The most basic piece of training equipment is a halter. A halter is introduced to a foal (foals slip) so that he gets used to the idea of being led before he becomes full of confidence and growth to out win the handler.
Training usually begins from the ground up. First you train a horse to lead, lunge then to be ridden. The benefits of training your horse on the lunge will outweigh the cost of the tack needed. Lunging is not only beneficial for a young horse, but can be used to solve problems or improve the performance of an older horse.
Tack for training on the lunge consists of a lunge line, lunge whip and a cavesson. A cavesson is a padded noseband which has three metal rings on the front to which the lunging rein can be attached. The cavesson fits on a horse like a halter. Alternatively you could lunge your horse with a halter or a bridle.
The halter should be fastened snugly, a little tighter than usual but causing no discomfort to the horse. The advantage of lunging a horse in a bridle is that the horse has a bit in his mouth, thus giving you more control.
Using a bit on the lunge changes the training from a form of exercise to work. Choosing a bit for lunging is as important as a bit for riding. It is recommended that you use a bit that will stay still in the horse’s mouth whilst he is on the lunge, such as a full-cheek snaffle.
Essentially the horse should be tacked up with a saddle or roller to which side reins are attached. Side reins enable the horse to be worked from behind into the rein, just as he would be from the saddle. This way he is not just running in a circle, but actively engaging and working his muscles.
If you have not been able to exercise your horse for some time, it is always helpful to lunge him. He can blow off steam on the lunge and be reminded of commands and control, before you mount up.
There is also training equipment for the person who is lunging such as a hardhat and gloves. A hardhat protects you from flying hooves which are always a risk even with the best trained horse. Gloves are an essential when lunging to protect your hands.
A horse is always capable of panicking and it takes a simple scare to send a horse flying in the opposite direction. The lunge rein inevitably will slip through your hands like butter and leave a very uncomfortable rope burn.
As with any tack, make sure your training tack fits your horse correctly and if in doubt, ask another horse person or trainer. Buy good quality tack and clean it regularly. If you buy second hand training equipment always inspect it and have repairs done before using the tack.