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We Ask Trainers: What’s the One Piece of Equipment You Swear by?

Every trainer has one piece of training equipment that they swear by when training horses. Many can’t leave home without it, and when they need it, it’s always in their line of sight.

GoHorseShow asked top trainers’ about their must-haves and the backstory on why it’s essential to their training program.

Julian Harris – A 35 yr old copper snaffle that everything of mine shows in for the first time. Everything rides great in it. It’s a bit like a pacifier. But, perhaps, it’s just habit.



Jenn Wheeler
– So, Justin’s answer is he has this old (probably 100-year-old) curb bit. We joke and call it the cavalry bit, but it’s perfectly made. It’s his go-to. He has to go to every show with this bit. It works great on every horse we have, and it’s like his Swiss Army knife of bits. He cannot leave home without it.

My answer would be my favorite bit I had made. It was supposed to have my initials JD, but the bit maker heard J C over the phone, so we call it the JC bit. It’s just a twist snaffle with shanks, but another nice handmade bit that will probably also go 100 years. I do a lot of horsemanship and equitation training in our program, and I don’t know what I would do without that bridle. It’s tied for my most used equipment…with my longe line, of course.

Charlie Cole – Horses respond well to a correction bit. iI’s a great training bit. I also like draw reins, especially when I’m teaching a horse to change leads. The draw reins allow me to have more control over my horse’s neck and shoulders.


Laurel Walker Denton – The longe line. When starting yearlings, it teaches them discipline; walk, trot, and canter. It takes the edge off colts on a cold morning. At a show, I can get more done in 15 minutes on a longe line than an hour of riding. Longing, when done correctly, can be a huge tool in any training program. It is cool and breezy here on a typical fall morning. I am headed out right now to longe my three-year-old. Then, let the training begin.


Kellie Hinely – Sweaty saddle pads. A correction bit is my go to.





Jay Starnes
– Snaffle. Helps in any situation from the beginning to the end.





Farley McLendon – My Greg Darnall snaffle. I’ve ridden a lot of babies in it and also won quite a bit of money as well. It has a great feel, and it seems like every horse loves it too.




Austin Gooding – I would say our Hought hackamores. We went years and years without any high-quality hackamores, and the difference was unbelievable. Felt like the difference between riding 2 handed in a snaffle versus a bridle.





Margaux Tucker – A snaffle. No matter if you are getting one broke, or you need to go back to basics with an older horse, it works. The snaffle isn’t always just for the horse and trainer, but also for the non-pro to grasp a concept. On the other days, I gave a lesson and decided we needed to go back to basics. The snaffle allowed the horse to be softer in the bridle, allowed for the horse’s body to break loose and become less ridged, and show the rider a softer touch can get you more.



Tyler Schultz – I love a snaffle. There are so many things you can do in one. I teach many of my horsemanship maneuvers to keep my horses confident and soft in learning a new skill. I teach one to change leads in a snaffle, and draw reins as well. You have a lot of pull and placement of your horse’s body, which doesn’t intimidate them.




Do you have training equipment that you couldn’t live without? Let us know.