The auxiliary reins and their dangers (III): the chambón

Horse with chambón

The adjustable shank is always elastic and allows you to adapt its length to your purpose

The chambón is a type of auxiliary rein which we could call one of the softer options. There are two types:

  • Adjustable elastic shank: This kind of chambón goes from the neck, passing through the mouthpiece to the girth. It is always elastic and has a piece (usually plastic) in the nape area that allows you to adjust its length. It is the softer option of the two.
  • Leather chambón: You see it in the photos in the gallery; it hooks onto the mouthpiece and goes through a ring at the end of a strap that acts as a «second headpiece», to go directly to the strap. There are several versions regarding the type of hooking with the strap that, although it may not seem like it, in practice can make a difference. The rope can be elastic or not, although it seems to be more frequent than it is. The difference with the previous one that I called "elastic" is that strip of leather in the area of ​​the headboard, and that the rope does not pass through the same place, as can be seen, since in the elastic it goes through the embouchure , does not get hooked on it. Also, this class of chambón does not have an adjustable option. I know that explained like this it sounds like Chinese but in the images I think you can perceive it well.

Although it is usual to see that it is used in mounted horses, is meant to be used when winding; on horseback there is a variant of the chambón, called gogue, which we will also talk about. Although the elastic chambón we find that it can be more accepted in riding, due to its structure and performance characteristics.

The effects that provoke the auxiliary reins are always relative, in the sense that there is no absolute maximum rule of action for them; Anyway, there is always talk that they help to work the neck, nape and back area, by causing more muscular work. Its use is quite common in young horses to precisely muscle the neck area, and help to retain the head a little in the vertical, as well as restrict the pulling of the reins by raising the head or nodding. But, as we already know, it is very easy to misuse them and lead to catastrophes. Among them: hard-mouthed horses, tension in the neck and neck, sinking of the back ... That is why its use with long reins seems more successful, when used as a subtle aid only in certain moments of training, placing emphasis on the work lengthening the entire dorsal line. Thus, the chambón, being elastic, gives us a little more freedom or confidence, knowing that at least he cannot hit the horse's mouth so hard.

Rope horse with leather chambón

The leather chambón is better used for winding


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