Working harness to induce the elevation of the withers and to develop the back muscles

Directions for use - "PILOT" VERSION (Mounted Work) -

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Take the stirrup straps off the saddle. Slide one D ring of each small Alliance strap through the metallic strirrup hooks on the saddle. Replace stirrups.

Hold the Alliance by the buckle, keeping the two snap hooks at the end of each sliding rein attached to the small ring under the buckle of the reins. Place both hands and slide reins around the head and the neck as with a normal rein, with the Alliance neck piece hanging under the neck. Attach the extremities of the hand reins to the bit. Unhook each snap hook of the sliding reins from the small ring at buckle and join them to each of the small straps fixed on the saddle, crossed over, RIGHT SLIDING REIN TO THE LEFT SMALL STRAP AND VICE - VERSA. The hand reins staying outside. (When unhooking, replace snap hooks on small ring of the buckle before taking off.)

The Alliance Back Lift is now ready for use.


A.B.L. comes already adjusted for most standard size horses.

It is imperative that the segments of the reins attached to the bit remain sufficiently loose, i.e. : no tightness. If these segments are too short, the horse will not yield its withers. The fact that they can float at times does not alter the action of the Alliance nor the control of the horse. Sliding reins will be adjusted from N3 to N5, in order for the horse to stretch easily.

Nota : The small straps can remain on the saddle permanently.


Specific action :
Carry both hands forwards to approximately one fourth of neck length and apply vertical tension (discomfort for the horse) repeatedly. As soon as the horse's upper head moves forward and down, release hands completely (comfort for the horse) lowering and moving them forward. Gently come back to a simple soft contact. Horse is tensed by itself and not against the hand.

Repeat action as soon as the horse gets out of its arched frame.

While maintaining the horse's curved posture, avoid frequent and short turns. Work mainly on long straight lines IN THE SLOWEST POSSIBLE PACE. The strides generated by the back muscles are slower as they induce the pelvis activity which acts as an additional lever (Power locomotion).
Do not ask for extension of pace during the first month.
Give time for the back muscles to develop strength and elasticity.
The rider must be attentive to the eveness of pace and balance of the "power locomotion" and use only slow, progressive and steadily maintained actions, until the horse yields..
Prepare your horse in advance, apply the aids and patiently WAIT for the yielding..
Forward impulsion should be induced by slow actions of the seat rather than the leg.
Refrain from all sudden command. Guide in "slow motion". For better change of direction, after incurving on inside leg and hip, move the outside hand largely forward, exaggerating rider's head and shoulders swivel towards the new direction desired, without pulling on the inside rein. In the even balance of its power locomotion the horse will respond to very fine seat inclinations. Use them with preference to rein actions.

Progression : first session : maximum 30 minutes at walking pace and at the slowest obtainable trotting pace. To be increased by 5 minutes daily. No canter for the first week and then only a few strides, at each hand, during the second week. No limitation in time or in type of work after this progression including jumping sessions.

Special warning : after the first few sessions, watch for delayed perspiration that may occur 30 minutes after workout in atypical areas. The Alliance Back Lift induces a substantial elevation of the withers which may cause injury, due to friction with the saddle. It is strongly advised to over protect the withers with all saddles. A horse that would even slightly hurt itself when raising its withers will carefully avoid repeating the action in the future.

Sous licence d'exploitation : Michel RAFFIT (1994)
2, route de Chevreuse 78490 BAZOCHES SUR GUYONNE
Tel : ( 33) 6 25 24 21 32