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BungeeBand

The Original Training Pad 

 

The PVP BungeeBand is the ORIGINAL training pad, and was developed by Performance Veterinary Physiotherapy after intense research and development into various training aids over the last 15 years. During this research, PVP determined that it is a priority to encourage the hind leg and lift over the back, without restricting the front end in any way. 

Try this; touch your toes, put your chin on your chest and try to take a big, elevated step forwards. Nearly impossible right? So why do we expect our horses to move through from behind whilst holding onto the front end?

The PVP BungeeBand is designed to be used WITHOUT side reins. This is not to say it must be used without side reins; in some circumstances it may be necessary, and obviously it is also a super training aid to use under saddle. What I am saying is that if you give it a try without side reins, you may be surprised. Horses that tend to lift through their abdominals and engage through their hind legs, naturally drop into a "long and low" outline as this is what they find most comfortable. Horses that usually rely on the riders hands for support (ever ridden a horse that leans on the bit?) can learn how to support themselves by working correctly behind and using the right muscles rather than relying on someone or something to support them.

As with all training aids, it will have critics; those who believe there is no substitute for good riding/training - and I applaud anyone who can achieve balance with any horse without needing an aid. However, not everyone is starting with a blank canvas, and sometimes horses need to be re-educated in how to move their own bodies and support their own musculature. Using a training aid does not mean you have failed as a trainer, rather that you are able to listen to what your horse needs and open-minded enough to admit your horse may need some help and guidance to find their optimum posture. You wouldn't expect an injured human athlete to start re-training and rehabilitation without support, so why do so many people frown upon supportive aids for horses? This is one thing I have never understood. 

The BungeeBand Story

I have been interested in the anatomy and physiology of horses (well, all animals actually) since I can remember. After university I went down a career path with high financial gain rather than one I was passionate about. I eventually came to my senses, changed direction (do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life) to eventually find my dream career as a Veterinary Physiotherapist.

From the earliest days of owning horses, I have found it a necessity to incorporate lunging into my routine; whether this was due to being on yards with no winter turnout (and rather fresh/young horses) or because I lacked the time later on juggling a demanding career to find a window to keep my horses fit. In the 'noughties' I started to work on a better way of keeping my horse balanced on the lunge without encouraging them to lean on the bit/side-reins. I had attended several ‘natural horsemanship’ type courses in the mid ‘noughties’ and started to use long-reining rather than lunging where possible, and this brought it home to me how crooked most horses are when being lunged.

I stripped it right back to basics and went head collar and a single rope. Whilst this is fine for some horses, others really struggled; they became unbalanced and moved in such a way there was a high chance of potential injury. I became obsessed with trying to find something to help support these horses and encourage them to find their own balance rather than panicking. I liken this to a child learning to ride a bike - if you expect them to get on and ride it with no help, they will fall and they might hurt themselves. We therefore give them stabilisers and try to teach them core stability and balance, to eventually manage on their own. I set about trying to find a way of teaching horses how to stabilise and balance themselves, without any force or restriction.

Horses are prey animals. They are grazing animals. Their body is designed to graze and run; fast and in straight lines. They are not built to canter in circles, to passage, or go sideways across an arena. The truth of the matter is, if we are asking our horses to do these things, some of them might need a bit of support.

There were many stages to BungeeBand - I have about five years worth of raw data; gait analysis and muscle mass was recorded in relation to different materials, tensions, angles, positions... With assistance from a veterinary surgeon, I was able to tweak and alter the prototype, until we arrived at what we now sell today - BungeeBand, unlike many other pads marketed, was never copied from another's concept; all the research was done in-house and it took many years to achieve the ideal design. 

I never intended it to become a business, let alone a global brand; it was a total labour of love, and something I am incredibly passionate about. I try and help every single one of my customers personally if I can.

There is no force and no restrictions with BungeeBand - it is there to support and encourage the horse to better utilise their own muscle. It encourages horses to move evenly, learn to balance themselves by engaging their core and their hind-leg rather than pulling themselves along on their forehand. We support, we do NOT force

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