In 2016, the Tota Comfort System made its Olympic debut, and was the choice of top dressage riders around the world to keep their horses comfortable and performing at their best. The patent pending, revolutionary bridle design has now begun to influence a new generation of dressage riders, who are quickly discovering how comfort for the horse translates to better performance. Three of the top US Juniors and Young Riders have discovered the Tota Comfort System and its benefits to their horses as they set the standard for the future of dressage competition.
Juliet Hess, a member of the 2016 USDF Region 3 NAJYRC Gold Medal Team, fitted her 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Diano in the Tota Comort System Noseband because of the horse’s tendency to get tight in the jaw during high intensity work. “He can be a bit complicated in his neck, and tends to get tense in the collected work,” said Hess. “The Tota Comfort System Noseband relieved pressure off his poll, making him more comfortable in the
bridle.” Hess also noted that the stabilizing chin strap and curved cheek pieces helped Diano keep his head straight, and made him more confident to step evenly into the hand. This added comfort in the bridle boosted their performance as well as their scores, contributing to their success and a Gold Medal for Region 3’s NAJYRC team. The 17-year-old Hess and Diano (Don Renoir x Wenda Van Papinglo) train with Anneliese Vogt Harber out of Vogt Riding Academy in Atlanta, and plan to continue their successful Junior career this
season in Wellington, including riding in the 2017 Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic during Florida’s winter season.
As Juniors and Young Riders push into the Brentina Cup and upper echelons of the FEI levels, they discover the importance of truly correct contact and thoroughness. Removing the impediments of the traditional bridle structure, the Tota Comfort System is exponentially more influential among horses competing in the FEI levels, as they work exponentially harder in the Prix St. Georges, Intermediare I&II, and finally to the Grand Prix. Alongside their international and Olympic counterparts such as the UK’s Carl Hester, Canada’s Karen Pavicic, and the USA’s Kasey Perry-Glass, two aspiring Brentina Cup riders recently moved their horses into the Tota Comfort System bridle, and noticed an immediate difference.
“It was apparent in the first ride that the horses were more comfortable,” stated 20-year-old Lillian ‘Lily’ Simons, who rides and trains with Wes Dunham out of his Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, New York. Riding last year in the Juniors, Simon noticed the 9-year-old American Warmblood mare Havanna 133 was more comfortable and happy in her work from day 1 in the Tota Comfort Noseband. “She was less tense and more soft in the jaw, which allowed her to perform at a higher level,” said Simons. “And it was the same experience with my horse, Willoughby. He was very busy in the mouth, and the Tota Comfort System made him more comfortable and steady in the contact.” The 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Rhodium has been owned by Simons for 7 years, and she is aiming him for the 2017 Young Adult Brentina Cup division.
Another Brentina Cup hopeful, Kerrigan Glutch, has also chosen the Tota Comfort System to refine the contact between her and her mount, an 11-year-old PRE stallion. HGF Brio, owned by Kim Boyer of Hampton Green Farm, will be campaigned by Glutch in the U25 Grand Prix this season in Wellington. With scores over 69% in the U25 Grand Prix in 2016, Glutch credits the TCS bridle with helping to improving the stallion’s overall focus and comfort. “He tends to be a busy body in the mouth, and the Tota Comfort System helped to stabilize his jaw and keep him from fidgeting,” said Glutch. “Its design also seems to be generally more comfortable for him compared to a typical double bridle, and this allows us to communicate more efficiently during our work and makes it easier to keep his focus on me during the our tests.”
A patent pending, revolutionary bridle design intended to improve comfort for the horse and connection for the rider, the Tota Comfort System creates stability in the jaw, reduces poll pressure, and alleviates stress on the tempromandibular joint (TMJ) and facial nerves. Improving lightness and harmony in the contact was the inspiration behind its inception, as Olympians Ashley Holzer and Sue Blinks sought to improve unsteadiness caused by traditional bridle designs. The unnecessary pressure applied to the poll, facial nerves, and TMJ decreased the horse’s comfort and ability to step freely into the bridle, detracting from overall performance. Holzer and Blinks brought their ideas on improving the traditional bridle structure to Charles Tota of The Dressage Connection, and together the three devised a curved cheek piece and stabilizing chin strap to alleviate pressure and increase the horse’s comfort. The FEI and USEF approved the Tota Comfort System just before the 2016 winter circuit in Wellington, Florida, and the benefits of the advanced bridle design has brought improved comfort and connection to dressage arenas around the world. Available as a complete bridle system or noseband attachment, the Tota Comfort System is offered exclusively through its website and retail partners.
For more information on the Tota Comfort System, visit their website at www.thedressageconnection.com, www.totacomfortsystem.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thedressageconnection, or via phone at 1-888-SNAFFLE.
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