PDA

View Full Version : Can we talk about the picture on the last page of this week's Chronicle?



SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 22, 2011, 03:50 PM
I didn't see a thread on this yet and I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

On page 62 of this week's Chronicle, there is a picture of a rider jumping a horse in draw reins. The title of the piece is "Is There A Place For Draw Reins In The Show Ring?" and it consists of three famous riders (Anne Kursinski, Norman Dello Joio, and Markus Beerbaum) answering the question.

I don't think the issue is specifically that of the "evils" of draw reins, though that is certainly part of it, but rather, whether you should be showing in them.

Personally, I think draw reins have their uses. I'm not even against jumping in draw reins, though I do think they should be run through a martingale or breastplate to prevent any accidents. But draw reins in the show ring? What would the point of that be? And how safe would they be in say, a jump off situation?

ETA: Forgot to add that the picture is from a HITS show. Apparently draw reins are currently allowed in low level jumpers. So the question isn't really a hypothetical one.

ETA Again: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/there-place-draw-reins-show-ring

myalter1
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:09 PM
draw reins in the show ring? really?

danceronice
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:26 PM
Uh...

No.

CatchMeIfUCan
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:32 PM
Jeeze, we eventers can't even use draw reins at all on the competition grounds! That's crazy!

What is the benefit of jumping in draw reins?

Tha Ridge
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:37 PM
I'm not a draw reins hater—they have their place and I've jumped with them on more than one occasion (always hooked to a yoke, never the girth)—but I do agree that the photo in question is certainly a dangerous application.

AliO
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:41 PM
I have a jumper mare who refuses to break at the poll unless she is in draw reins. She fights a martingale (standard and running) and has gone through maybe 20 different bits. I school her in draw reins both on the flat and over fences (run through a breastplate) and she is SIGNIFICANTLY better. Mostly because without them, she just throws her head like a fool the whole time around the arena, except when she is about 2 strides out of a jump. She is still green as far as the big jumpers go, and I wont keep her in draws over fences forever, but for now, they serve a purpose, and if they are hooked up and used properly, I dont see why they shouldnt be allowed in the lower level jumpers. Unfortunately though, the lower level jumpers tend to bring out a lot of people who think the point of jumpers is to run around like an idiot as fast as you can, and those are also the people who wouldnt be educated enough to hack in draw reins, let alone jump in them, so I would be worried that all in all, it would cause more harm than good.

As far as I know, and like stated above, in the lower levels, they are legal, but I dont know the level at which they become illegal. I dont think I would personally show in them in anything other than the schooling jumpers, since that's exactly what that division is for, SCHOOLING jumpers.

Jumper_girl221
Mar. 22, 2011, 04:44 PM
I have a jumper mare who refuses to break at the poll unless she is in draw reins. She fights a martingale (standard and running) and has gone through maybe 20 different bits. I school her in draw reins both on the flat and over fences (run through a breastplate) and she is SIGNIFICANTLY better. Mostly because without them, she just throws her head like a fool the whole time around the arena, except when she is about 2 strides out of a jump. She is still green as far as the big jumpers go, and I wont keep her in draws over fences forever, but for now, they serve a purpose, and if they are hooked up and used properly, I dont see why they shouldnt be allowed in the lower level jumpers. Unfortunately though, the lower level jumpers tend to bring out a lot of people who think the point of jumpers is to run around like an idiot as fast as you can, and those are also the people who wouldnt be educated enough to hack in draw reins, let alone jump in them, so I would be worried that all in all, it would cause more harm than good.

As far as I know, and like stated above, in the lower levels, they are legal, but I dont know the level at which they become illegal. I dont think I would personally show in them in anything other than the schooling jumpers, since that's exactly what that division is for, SCHOOLING jumpers.

Why do you go with draw reins over a german? (just curious, I would think it would do the same thing).

CBoylen
Mar. 22, 2011, 05:20 PM
You can show in them in classes of any height offering less than $1000, same as german martingales. Standings you can use to $5000.
You used to be able to use them in classes that offered more money, I forget what the cut-off was then, but I showed a junior jumper in draw reins to the chest in all but the classics.
I haven't seen the picture, but I assume from the comments that the draw reins are to the belly? I prefer those run through a yoke to jump, but many people don't find it necessary. Most probably wouldn't show with them to the belly in anything other than a schooling class where they were just going to canter around, though.

AliO
Mar. 22, 2011, 06:30 PM
Why do you go with draw reins over a german? (just curious, I would think it would do the same thing).

I dont own a german martingale, so that probably has a lot to do with it, lol. That said though, I like the draw reins because I have total control of where she is and when she is staying soft, I can loosen them up, but in an "Oh Sh*t" moment I can get her back really easily. Shes one that likes to run through your hands and ignore you until you put a wall infront of her... Shes also my potential grand prix prospect. Need I say it... wish me luck? lol.

Ibex
Mar. 22, 2011, 06:34 PM
I dont own a german martingale, so that probably has a lot to do with it, lol. That said though, I like the draw reins because I have total control of where she is and when she is staying soft, I can loosen them up, but in an "Oh Sh*t" moment I can get her back really easily. Shes one that likes to run through your hands and ignore you until you put a wall infront of her... Shes also my potential grand prix prospect. Need I say it... wish me luck? lol.

Don't feel bad... I have photos of doing baby-XC (think it was our first time out ever) in draws for the same reason. A german martingale is super useful, although not quite as adjustable.

We ended up in a Pelham for XC... my mare is *NOT* a GP prospect, and therefore a wee bit easier to contain in the longer term... :lol:

Kryswyn
Mar. 22, 2011, 06:42 PM
So call me a traditionalist, but I vote NO. Draw reins have their place at home ON THE FLAT but most people who use them (and most other gadgets IMHO) don't know how to use them properly.

I've seen a picture of a fine rider (no one any of you know) jumping in draw reins NOT through the yoke or clipped to the bp, with the horse's face well behind the vertical over a 4'6" fence. What they think they're teaching that horse is beyond me, because it certainly isn't free to use itself properly over a fence.

And to AliO, no offence intended, but maybe your mare is trying to tell you she doesn't really want to be a jumper. From your description it doesn't sound like she's enjoying it much.

findeight
Mar. 22, 2011, 06:52 PM
Just because an elite level rider and Olympic veteran says they have their place does not mean it's an approval for you to slap them on whatever you are riding or an overall endorsement.

They have their place, even over fences. And most serious competitive riders in any discipline find they do help at the proper time in the proper circumstances in the proper hands.

COTH is for serious competitive riders. It is not an entry level publication and merely presented this piece to illustrate something serious competitive riders may or may not want to include in their "tool box".

If you do not care for then that's fine and your choice. BUT, you may want to keep them in the back of your mind in case you ever get one that would benefit from their appropriate use -never say never because you really never know what you may be dealing with in the future.

I certainly would never presume to look down at these particular riders because they do use them when appropriate and are willing to share that.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 22, 2011, 07:10 PM
A link to the original article here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/there-place-draw-reins-show-ring

findeight
Mar. 22, 2011, 07:19 PM
Well, not so sure AK has NEVER used them at all, they were certainly in the barn she started at when appropriate, maybe when she was not around but can attest to the fact he did use them later in the evenings...and NDJ said "generally", not never ever.
Beerbaum was probably the most honest and least worried about how his statement would be perceived.

Again, not a beginner magazine and proably should have the disclaimer "don't try this at home". But there is a time and a place and it's not always a shortcut in the hands of a monkey.

Most of us never recommend them on here to unknowns though because they can be just that.

LookmaNohands
Mar. 22, 2011, 07:48 PM
Okay, I am a purist.

I think people should learn to RIDE BETTER!

I wonder who this person's trainer/instructor is!

Instead of dumbing things down, I think we should make things harder. How about offering prize money for jumping without stirrups? Even a national championships. Now who wouldn't want to be No Stirrup Jumping National Champion?
:D

findeight
Mar. 22, 2011, 08:14 PM
Now who wouldn't want to be No Stirrup Jumping National Champion?
:D

Um...a 55 year old rider preparing 17h 1.45m+ Jumpers for the big bucks of GP and potential International competition????

Not saying alot use them that shouldn't or for the wrong reasons (with a wrong result) but, really, not everbody who chooses them is a bad rider or lacking in talent. Far as I am concerned Marcus Beerbaum has earned the right to use whatever he wants and does not need to ride better. He can also have his advanced students in them schooling type classes to solve some problems even a great rider cannot solve without some help. Flatwork only goes so far when faced with a triple combination to open water with a roll back to a vertical at 1.45m+, sometimes that flatwork needs a back up to prep for that kind of thing.

If you ask me on here though, I'll say leave them in the tack room. Unless you are Marcus Beerbaum or similar level talent.

Somehow it sounds like the rider pictured was not. Glad it was not me taking these pot shots. But, then again it wouldnlt be as I do not care for them in normal circumstances and ride Hunters.

RxCate
Mar. 22, 2011, 08:46 PM
I was always taught training aids were for schooling at home.

That's what draw reins are - TRAINING AIDS - you shouldn't still be training, if you're in the show ring. Your horse green, or not, should be schooled enough that you can safely and sanely take him out in public and compete in your chosen discipline.

I haven't used draw reins in years, I prefer a german martingale, and even then, it's only used when needed, and ONLY on the flat.

I wouldn't dream of jumping in draw reins, even through the breastplate, that's not what they're for. (at least how I was taught). There's too much of a risk of getting hung up, and I'm not going to put myself or my horse at that risk.

COTH should probably print a disclaimer in the next issue letting those who read it, and aren't serious competitors, that that picture does portray a potential hazard and that they should consult their trainers before use.

SidesaddleRider
Mar. 22, 2011, 09:38 PM
I personally would never even think about taking them in a schooling class...heck, I think I may use them twice a year, if that, at home. I saw the article in COTH, and as others posted, there were several things to make you go :eek: in that picture besides the draw reins.

That aside, I watched Patty Hueckeroth do her schooling trip in them at Warrenton last year, then come out of the ring, have her assistant remove them, and go back in the ring to do her 2 trips. I remember she won at least one of the classes, if not both. ;)

akhunterrider
Mar. 23, 2011, 11:32 AM
I think draw reins have their place as a training tool, but I think many people overuse them. I do not think that under any circumstance you should be using them when you're showing.

I have ridden my green horse in draw reins three times and it has been very helpful for him learning how to carry himself. They're not something I will use every ride though.

sar2008
Mar. 23, 2011, 11:37 AM
I dont own a german martingale, so that probably has a lot to do with it, lol. That said though, I like the draw reins because I have total control of where she is and when she is staying soft, I can loosen them up, but in an "Oh Sh*t" moment I can get her back really easily. Shes one that likes to run through your hands and ignore you until you put a wall infront of her... Shes also my potential grand prix prospect. Need I say it... wish me luck? lol.

Well, hopefully you can learn to jump her without draws soon....she'll never be able to do a GP otherwise ;)

sar2008
Mar. 23, 2011, 11:38 AM
I think draw reins have their place as a training tool, but I think many people overuse them. I do not think that under any circumstance you should be using them when you're showing.

I have ridden my green horse in draw reins three times and it has been very helpful for him learning how to carry himself. They're not something I will use every ride though.

^This :yes:

callie208
Mar. 23, 2011, 11:47 AM
i think the rule is fine as it stands. I would never show one of my own horses in draw reins, I try to avoid using them unless to correct a specific training issue, and even then, use them sparingly. I think people tend to over use them, and rely on them as a crutch to cover up what is essentially a training or lack of training issue. Have you ridden a horse that has been "trained" by a draw rein fanatic? Unfortunately, I have, and it's sometimes difficult to try and undo. But i supposed the over use of draw reins is not what this thread is about.

I think draw reins are a training aid, and should be used at home, in private. Once you get to the show, most of your training should be done. But in the case of a green horse, at one of its first horse shows, which I am hoping is the only place I would see this, then ok. If someone else really wants to use them, I guess it doesn't affect me. I think there are other ways of getting the job done, but maybe that person just doesnt know them...or doesnt have the proper help.

Brigit
Mar. 23, 2011, 12:37 PM
Wow I learned something today. I didn't realize you could use draw reins in the show ring at all.

Personally, I kind of think that schooling & schooling gadgets should stay at home. I think that if a horse is needing to be ridden in draw reins at a show, it maybe isn't ready to be there yet. It's in the same category (in mymind anyways) as someone taking a horse to a 3' class and chasing it over every fence, it's just not ready to be there yet. All horses progress at different paces and sometimes we try too hard to force readyness for our own purposes. There's usually something going on, or some hole that needs to be fixed if a horse or rider is dependant on a schooling aid.

I do see the usefulness of draw reins on the flat & over fences. I had a mare that would see the jump, lock her jaw and fly through a combo. There wasn't much you could do to slow her down which resulted in 1 strides turning into slightly scary long bounces. Not fun at all. Doing the same exercise in draw reins helped us school through that issue.

naturalequus
Mar. 23, 2011, 02:09 PM
Anne Kursinski - "I've never used draw reins in my life...I don't own a pair...You see them a lot, but most people around the horse show are lazy, and they're butchers. Go get some dressage lessons and learn to ride."

Norman Dello Joio - "Draw reins can be a razor in a monkey's hand...I'm generally not a believer in it...It's a shortcut."


This :winkgrin: Nothing against Beerbaum of course ;)

If someone uses draw reins correctly and judiciously and it results in a correctly-developed horse (ie, one working from behind, who is light, responsive, not BTV, and is happy), who am I to judge? In the show ring though? Not in my books. It's a schooling aid, not a showing aid.

Mardi
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:10 PM
Okay, I am a purist.

I think people should learn to RIDE BETTER!


Ditto.

Question for the person who wrote this: "I have a jumper mare who refuses to break at the poll unless she is in draw reins. She fights a martingale (standard and running) and has gone through maybe 20 different bits. I school her in draw reins both on the flat and over fences (run through a breastplate) and she is SIGNIFICANTLY better."

I couldn't help but notice that you described all sorts of artificial aids to correct the problem, but said nothing about how she's ridden, meaning how you use your natural aids.

bumknees
Mar. 25, 2011, 06:47 AM
Because of who I learned to ride with I was required to own and learn how to use draw reins properly. Because of that I have owned a set for nearly 30 yers but have used them so few times( beyond learning how to use them properly) if I counted on fingers I would have over half my fingers left over.

I was also taught it was never a good idea to jump with them for the reasons stated by someone else in this thread. But we were taught not to attach between front legs but at billet length. So running them through breastplate would not have worked.

I personally have seen way to many horses drawreined incorrectly.. Ie yank and kick, barbie doll arms etc style of training. Then ridden some of these horses and clearly the person using them had no clue how to use them and neither did their 'trainer' ( use of term so lightly I think the person saw a horse in field dreamed of riding and thought it was enough to be a trainer). The poor horse had no clue how to work poperly..

Because of my past training I thik I would have a difficult time jumping a horse in them. But if I see someone doing this I would just hope the person knows what they are doing.

alliekat
Mar. 25, 2011, 07:05 AM
I am not a draw rein hater but feel they are over and improperly used. In the right hands that use them as a tool they can be helpful. I own a pair but they haven't been out of the tack room n over 4 years.
I have first hand seen the effects of a horse that was ridden and jumped in draw reins. My mom leased and older horse who was an ex jumper and he was only ridden in draw reins. The only time they came off was to go in the show ring. When my mom went to try him and his owner was explaining all about him to my mom she told my mom to "pull till her arms hurt". WOW really??? Then my mom asked why he was in draw reins? She told her that the only time him didn't have them on was in the show ring. She said you will never get him "on the bit" without them. Well sorry to tell you he wasn't "on the bit" with them. He went around behind the vertical. He started receiving Chiropractic work once my mom started riding him and we threw away the draw reins. He had so much wrong in his neck and poll. It was really sad. My mom rode him long and low ( when he wasn't going like a 2X4) for the first year. Then when he actually started to learn that to really be "OTB" you must be working from back to front and recycling the energy. It was a lot of work but the end result was real.
The sad thing is this girl really didn't know better. In the end I feel sorry for the horse when they end up in uneducated hands.

M. O'Connor
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:28 AM
The Beerbaum quote in this thread, above, does not include his statement noting that draw reins are prohibited in the show ring across the board under FEI rules.

His comments were only a statement of his general philosophy regarding their use.

I am with AK on this, though there is one circumstance only that I have seen them used wisely and that is in the case of a horse that is at times so difficult to ride (spooking, wheeling) that a loss of control would present a danger to the rider or those nearby.

And in over 30 years I have known exactly three of this type, so they are definitely rare.

Over that same period, I've seen those whose habit it is to use draw reins regularly teach horses to hold their heads frozen in place and move the rest of their bodies to compensate, when a horse's natural balance requires the exact opposite approach.

The "frozen headset" simply doesn't make sense to me--IMO it's very difficult physiologically for most horses to bear with, raising the risk of injury through strain and repetitive motion, particularly to the back and stifles, especially if asked to jump in them.

(This takes place at every level of showing, in every ring--note the particularly high rate of casualties in the hunter rings, folks--they are here today, superstars, then <<poof they're gone>>).

The picture used in the article demonstrates why it's dangerous to use them over jumps--the possibility of the horse getting it's legs through them is a wreck waiting to happen, no matter how skilled the rider.

I think it speaks volumes that the identity of the rider in the photo is "unknown."

COTH I'm sure wanted to make some waves by publishing this "controversial" question, and I guess it is worthy of discussion.

But I would hope that no one really wants to have to consider jumping in draw reins--IOW, shouldn't a horse/rider be going better than that for starters? If that's not the case, then I would suggest going back to the drawing board to figure out what has gone wrong! The "need" for draw reins is a symptom for which draw reins are a mask, not a cure.

M. O'Connor
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:33 AM
Alliekat, that was a blue ribbon post!

DoubleTwistedWire
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:05 AM
I find AK's quote about getting some dressage lessons interesting, given that it was my dressage instructor who suggested draw reins for my horse who was Just Not Getting down and forward, to the point that my jumper trainer and I were joking about trying saddleseat instead. Half a dozen (mostly professional) schools in draws, and a lightbulb went off, the horse now gets it, and they're back buried in my trunk. Personally, I wouldn't ever jump in them, but in better hands than mine, I don't find it horrifying.

That said, you are in a horse show to show off your horse's training and skills. If you need draw reins to perform, you're announcing to the world that there are some giant holes in the training department that should have been fixed before entering the show ring. Primarily because jumping in them greatly increases the chance of something dangerous happening. Perhaps leave the rule as-is, but amend it to state, if it does not already, that any draw reins used in the ring must be run through a yoke/martingale to minimize risk of getting caught in them.

GingerJumper
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:08 AM
Just my 2 cents.

I don't ride in draw reins at home. Or at shows. In fact, I have never used them on my current mount. Can I use them correctly? Yes. Have I used them before? Yes. Will I probably use them on Doc (current mount) at some point? YES. But before I bring out the "big guns," I prefer to have ALL my ducks in a row training-wise and use it as an enhancement to training, rather than a replacement.

I feel like if you have to show in draw reins, or use them every ride, you're using them as a crutch, not what they were truly purposed for... Aiding and enhancing training.

buschkn
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:31 AM
I agree that draw reins are overused and more importantly IMPROPERLY used.

That said, I have used them, I am sure I will use them again, and I have even used them at a show (local), and the trainer who was working for me used them on a young horse in a rated show.

That said, I NEVER hook my DR between the front legs, always to the girth by the billets, under my leg. I NEVER used them to crank a horses head in. I find them primarily useful on a green "noodle" type young horse where it is a presence there to help block sideways movement and encourage the horse to stay in the channel. I keep them very loose, and maintain contact with my true rein, and the DR is only there to help prevent an evasion (laterally more so, not vertically) if necessary.

The case I used it in a show, was with a young stallion at a small local show, for his first outing. I would rather have draw reins there and not need them, than have a young stallion decide to get silly and become a danger to those around me, which might have been prevented with an extra aid. Luckily he behaved beautifully and I didn't need them. But no matter how well schooled a horse is at home, you simply cannot replicate the show environment at home.

The problem with draw reins is in the user, not the aid. Draw reins don't ruin horses by virtue of their simple existence. PEOPLE ruin horses by using them incorrectly.

Almost any humane aid can have it's place, IMHO, if utilized properly by someone who is knowledgeable and compassionate. The last part is where people fail their horses, not by having a set of draw reins in the tack box. JMHO.

touchstone-
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:49 AM
No comment on the benefits of jumping with draw reins.

But I have to say that I thought the Chronicle item was a low blow. They chose a picture of a random, low-level rider with an obviously dangerous setup (apparently without his permission), blacked out his face, as if to highlight that what he was doing was embarrassing, and then went to 2/3 professionals who believed that draw reins were an artificial aid without any beneficial uses.

I think the question of whether draw reins can be a useful tool over fences is an interesting one, and I would have welcomed a piece in the magazine discussing it and sharing the views of several professionals, including those willing to be photographed/quoted using draw reins in a manner they felt appropriate. But this approach seemed mean and unfair.

JustJump
Mar. 25, 2011, 05:45 PM
We have seen more and more of this type of lazy journalism from the COTH recently. Watch what you say here on the BB-a few times they have simply lifted the comments and used them without the writer's knowledge or permission. I guess the logic is they own the BB so they "own" the comments, but I found it very odd of them to do that.

BHSinTN
Mar. 26, 2011, 09:22 AM
While draw reins should not be the "go to" piece of equipment for low level riders, they are often used by upper level professionals depending on the horses' needs. Many of these horses are incredibly strong; hence, the myriad of leverage bits and nosebands commonly used.

If you think draw reins are a crutch for incapable riders, I suggest you've likely never ridden a horse of this caliber. Not every horse needs them, but to say they shouldn't ever be used is absurd. That's like saying all Grand Prix horses should be ridden in a plain snaffle, and those that aren't have lazy riders or holes in their training. :confused:

Many of my GP trainer friends school their horses in draw reins in the warmup area over 5' fences, only removing them as they head to the GP ring. The rule allowing them to be used in the show ring is not for the idiots careening around the Hopeful's at mach 3, but for the professionals making up upper level horses.

They can be completely safe for jumping in the hands of a skilled rider. Here are 2 pics of me jumping in DR on an UL sale horse I had. Nothing unsafe about it.

Small jump showing DR configuration:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2065532&id=1255001508#!/photo.php?fbid=1486078232659&set=a.1486076712621.2065532.1255001508&theater

4'6" jump:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2065532&id=1255001508#!/photo.php?fbid=1486078112656&set=a.1486076712621.2065532.1255001508&theater

findeight
Mar. 26, 2011, 11:28 AM
I think creating a discussion is a good thing. For both sides. Knowledgeable horsemen thrive on exchanging opions and civil discussion of differing viewpoints-that's how you keep learning.

Now, I have not seen the picture in question but I can well imagine:eek:. I've seen it and way too often.

Drawreins or anything else are only truely useful when all the flatwork basics are there and you just need a little help enforcing them when the horse gets to a show or on a low course and gets excited (or stupid, forgive me for saying that but it's true). They are not now and never have been any kind of a substitute for PROPER flatwork-because they do not teach the horse a thing if the basics are not firmly in place.

But we got alot of trainer wannabes out there that don't stand up for what is in that horse's best interests and alot of results oriented owners who are in too big a hurry. Owners who don't care what's in that horse's best interests.

This whole issue goes far deeper then drawreins in questionable hands for questionable reasons.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 26, 2011, 11:51 AM
If you think draw reins are a crutch for incapable riders, I suggest you've likely never ridden a horse of this caliber.


I'm pretty sure Anne Kursinski and Norman Dello Joio have both ridden horses of "this caliber". ;)

findeight
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:04 PM
I'm pretty sure Anne Kursinski and Norman Dello Joio have both ridden horses of "this caliber". ;)

Ummm...have you watched the GP and International level riders, or their assistants, school on off days or in the early AM??? Most are in something other then what they wear in competition-in proper hands for proper reasons.

dags
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:20 PM
We have seen more and more of this type of lazy journalism from the COTH recently. Watch what you say here on the BB-a few times they have simply lifted the comments and used them without the writer's knowledge or permission. I guess the logic is they own the BB so they "own" the comments, but I found it very odd of them to do that.


Actually, they did message me and ask for my permission and name. However, I was shocked at the liberty they took in editing my words. They combined parts of multiple posts, and not necessarily in chronological order, into one paragraph as if I'd written it that way - with no mention that such splicing had been done.

Prior to said paragraph they led off with one sentence that I had written in direct response to another post (which was not printed in the magazine). Sitting there alone it comes off as inflammatory, and it was not at all necessary to the point I was making.

Needless to say, it is not at all how I would lead off an argument, yet my name is signed below, in print, in a prestigious industry magazine. As a whole, they did get my point across, but not really in the manner I presented it.

So when you get that PM from them, and get just a little excited that somebody took note of your words and thinks they're worthy of print, beware that they construct those little forum gems specifically to excite readers, and be well aware of what you've written.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:47 PM
Ummm...have you watched the GP and International level riders, or their assistants, school on off days or in the early AM??? Most are in something other then what they wear in competition-in proper hands for proper reasons.

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about...

I was responding to the poster that said that anyone that disliked draw reins must not have ridden horses of any caliber. I was just pointing out that AK and NDJ said just that in the magazine article, but that they had certainly ridden horses of international caliber.

I never said that NOBODY uses draw reins. I never even said that I was against the use of draw reins. I was just pointing out a flaw in that particular poster's logic. ;)

Really, Findeight, sometimes you just come out of left field.

findeight
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:59 PM
;)

Really, Findeight, sometimes you just come out of left field.

:cool:why thank you.
Usually I come out of right field and never left of center;).

It's the internet on a Saturday when it's way colder then it should be.

MHM
Mar. 26, 2011, 02:09 PM
Dags-

Interesting about the edit job on your comments. Good to know- thanks!

dags
Mar. 26, 2011, 02:59 PM
Dags-

Interesting about the edit job on your comments. Good to know- thanks!

To clarify, they did indeed print the words I wrote, and I just went and re-examined it and it seems that the various quotes used from different posts were each placed in their own neat little paragraph, but the order was switched up a bit and I come off nice and blunt when you strip away the strategic padding and order of my statements . . .

Anyhoo, have spoken with them now. It seems they are actually trying to recreate the online conversation, which is a bit different (I feel) then presenting the arguments for or against the actual issues us common folk raise here on COTH. This is perfectly fine, just not really what I was expecting.

Sorry for the hijack. Draw reins are eeeevil. Just kidding. They're not. If you know what you are doing. Also, I've only ever used them a handful of times and think they're generally overused, much like ritalin among angst ridden teens. That pretty much covers the argument, right?

kellidahorsegirl
Mar. 26, 2011, 07:50 PM
The picture (http://www.sporthorseartconnection.com/COTH-DR-Pic.jpg)

I got a friend who subs to text me the photo because after reading this thread, I had to see for myself.

My biggest issue is the amount of slack hanging around the legs, other than that, a lil more give with the hands would be nice, but since the photo is stopped at that second in time, we don't know if the rider's hands continued forward with the horse's mouth or not ;)

As for the 'discussion'...just like every other item, idea, piece of equipment we use with horses....everyone has an opinion on it. Some use it and it works great with no harm no foul. Others hate it. Such is the world of horses.

WNT
Mar. 27, 2011, 10:44 AM
My first thought was that the rider needs to read the Between Rounds article regarding jumping ahead. I also think that having my horse's landing gear so close to the draw reins would have me worried. One slightly awkward jump that the horse has to twist his front end a bit could easily get tangled in the draw reins. At best, he'd land on one foot, worst could get someone seriously hurt.

Personally, I can't imagine jumping in draw reins, especially at a show. I prefer to hammer out my training issues at home before going out in public, lol! I suppose they may have their place schooling over fences, but there are much safer ways to attach them.

findeight
Mar. 27, 2011, 10:52 AM
The picture (http://www.sporthorseartconnection.com/COTH-DR-Pic.jpg)


Thanks kelli.

Ehhhh, not as bad as I thought and have seen much worse...does not look like a new picture either, something about it says it's a few years back.

Horse is certainly being ambitious here, maybe rider's leg is goosing him on a little, or not. Who knows.

At any rate, while DRs would not be my choice in this situation for what this horse appears to be doing? Not all that unsafe. Not ideal but not on the road to imminent disaster. We have had much worse on here asking for critique.

Again, not good, I wouldn't and a potential risk but not the trainwreck over fences I assumed. See worse in the ch/ad at almost any show.

Beth Rasin
Mar. 28, 2011, 03:02 PM
Just a quick note to thank you all for reading our March 21 issue and engaging in a great debate about draw reins. We thought this was an important issue, both in terms of safety and horse welfare, which rarely gets much attention, although people tend to have strong opinions about it. It’s great to read so many different viewpoints!

Since someone raised the issue, I just wanted to clarify that COTH will not take comments off the board without the author’s permission. While we do occasionally have to shorten comments for space restrictions (in the print world, things have to fit exactly to a page or two), we will not rearrange or otherwise take things out of context. It’s possible that paragraphs may be indented to make it easier for readers, but they would not be rearranged.

Thank you again for all your comments! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns,
Beth Rasin,
Editor
bethr@chronofhorse.com

dags
Mar. 28, 2011, 05:27 PM
Just a quick note to thank you all for reading our March 21 issue and engaging in a great debate about draw reins. We thought this was an important issue, both in terms of safety and horse welfare, which rarely gets much attention, although people tend to have strong opinions about it. It’s great to read so many different viewpoints!

Since someone raised the issue, I just wanted to clarify that COTH will not take comments off the board without the author’s permission. While we do occasionally have to shorten comments for space restrictions (in the print world, things have to fit exactly to a page or two), we will not rearrange or otherwise take things out of context. It’s possible that paragraphs may be indented to make it easier for readers, but they would not be rearranged.

Thank you again for all your comments! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns,
Beth Rasin,
Editor
bethr@chronofhorse.com

In my situation, posts were rearranged. I'm not sure if that's different or not... but my very first sentence in the thread showed up as the 3rd paragraph in the mag; something that was definitely not my first sentence showed up as the lead off . . . have been in contact with you all and I am not entirely displeased, just clarifying for the rest of the crew here.

CBoylen
Mar. 28, 2011, 05:44 PM
I just wanted to clarify that COTH will not take comments off the board without the author’s permission.
I was not asked for nor did I give my permission for comments of mine that were published off the board.

Tha Ridge
Mar. 28, 2011, 06:08 PM
In my situation, posts were rearranged. I'm not sure if that's different or not... but my very first sentence in the thread showed up as the 3rd paragraph in the mag; something that was definitely not my first sentence showed up as the lead off . . . have been in contact with you all and I am not entirely displeased, just clarifying for the rest of the crew here.

What issue did your quotes appear in? Just curious, for those of us out of the loop!

dags
Mar. 28, 2011, 06:11 PM
What issue did your quotes appear in? Just curious, for those of us out of the loop!

Horse Show Issue, March 14th
Dagny Amber Aslin

Beth Rasin
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:35 PM
We apologize that the first time we removed quotes from this board for use in print we did use quotes from some users whose usernames and/or signatures easily identified them. This was within the terms of use that everyone checked in order to be a member of this forum. However, we respect the conversations that happen in this community and don't want to make anyone feel like big brother is watching, so since then we decided that, going forward, we would only use quotes from users who had been contacted and asked for permission. I can promise you that from now on that you will not be surprised to find yourself in the magazine....we will have definitely PMd or emailed you first for permission. You guys are an important part of the discussion about these issues, and we thank you for your enthusiastic debates.
Beth Rasin
Editor

lawn chair
Mar. 29, 2011, 07:08 PM
I'm going against the majority and say that I love my draw reins! I need less bit and cut down on unnecessary pounding to get my horses supple and relaxed. I alway ride with them snapped to the yoke and out of danger's way and will school over low jumps and grids with them. When I take them off my horses continues to be relaxed and in a happy frame. I am not a GP rider nor am I a monkey. Just an average rider that welcomes a little help now and again. Don't use them on every horse and not every day but to me they are a valuable tool. I will now sit back and await criticism.

*jumper*
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:19 PM
I refuse to jump in draw reins. I just don't think it's safe, period. There are other pieces of equipment with similar action that can be used o/f.

That said, I do use them for flatwork. I find that my horse is much more willing to relax, stretch, and soften with them. Otherwise, getting him round can be a bit of a tug of war. With the draw reins, though, he realizes they're there and goes, "oh alright!" I'll leave them on for pole work, but I don't even like going over cavaletti or crossrails with them on. I find it counter-intuitive; I want my horse to stretch and use his head and neck over fences. The last thing I want to do is restrict it.

So, on the flat, I think draw reins can be a useful tool in the right hands. Over fences, not so much. And personally, I'd never enter the show ring with them. Seems unprofessional to me (not trying to incite anything, that's simply my humble opinion!)

kellidahorsegirl
Mar. 30, 2011, 10:52 AM
Chronicle just posted a link to the whole article on Facebook, so I figured I'd post the link here.... I always like to be able to read the whole thing instead of what someone selectively posts. You get a better feel for what the person was saying as a whole, rather than just "don't do it". :)

Plus a good copy of the picture is on there

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/there-place-draw-reins-show-ring

pwynnnorman
Mar. 30, 2011, 11:08 AM
About twelve years ago, I left my young jumper in the hands of a pro who was coached by a BNT (hence my horse got the BNT's attention, too). I left him at this top show (a HITS one) for five days--dropped him off late night, picked him up five days later. During that time, he went in two classes and then proceeded to be "too tired" to do any more than that. IN FIVE DAYS. Sitting around for five, very expensive days only to be too tired to go in more than two classes...

What does this have to do with drawreins in the show ring?

Before I drove to the barn to pick up my horse, I stopped at the secretary's booth to settle my bill. While waiting my turn, I listened with interest to a heated conversation about a horse being shown in drawreins. Nice horse, the three people agreed...ah, but there's something wrong with it, one person's words implied. Why else would it be getting drilled in and out of the ring in those drawreins?

Most of their conversation actually didn't center on the horse (that's just the part that continues to burn me the most, over a decade later), but rather on "what it means" to use drawreins like that.

What it means. When I think back to that embarassment, to listening, unknowing until the BNTs name was mentioned (well, not exactly stated out loud, but since he had traits that were pretty unmistakable, I knew who it was--and it was all confirmed later on the videotape of my guys rounds that I bought), to what had happened to my horse...what can I say? IMO, the story says it all. Absolutely, positively, infuriatingly, it says it all:

Drawreins are for people who want results faster than the horse can give it to them.

Period.

Beck
Mar. 30, 2011, 01:44 PM
Drawreins are for people who want results faster than the horse can give it to them.

Period.

Bless you, pwynnnorman!

The only people who should be using draw reins at all are those who are capable of getting the same results *without them.* Which then brings up the question: why use DR unless as a short cut?

I cannot see DR as being appropriate over fences. If the horse has some kind of problem with jumping that makes the use of DR seem to be an option, then perhaps the problem would best be addressed on the flat.

whbar158
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:47 PM
I have used draw reins before, my horse is stubborn and can get stiff and lock his jaw. I use them a time or two then they got put away for months before he ever needed them again. They were just a reminder to him that he really can do what I am asking. What I don't like to see are horses being ridden in them consistently. Yes they have a place and they are a great tool, but I see people use them and NEVER take them off to see how the horse is without them. Then horse horse is often behind the bit and afraid of contact (these are not BNT's using them). I have even tried to approach these people in a nice way, as in saying "You and your horse have gotten so much better recently why don't you see how he does without the draw reins today" nope get a snotty answer saying that they know what they are doing.

I rode a few horses at one barn, every single horse they had me hack went in draw reins. Out of 4 they had me hack 1 actually felt like he benefited from them. I personally would not jump in them either. I prefer to use them then put them away and see what the horse got from them.

I have not had much success with them on the hot or very strong horses. All that has made them do is really curl up and get tense (hot) or just continue to keep pulling (strong). Now those also were horses that had been ridden in them a lot that I was just catch riding on.

I don't like to see them used because I see them used wrong so often. Yes some trainers get really good results out of them, I just prefer not to do it that way, and as long as they aren't totally cranking on the horses face and have their head to their chest I just don't worry about.

amastrike
Mar. 30, 2011, 10:32 PM
I'm not a great rider. Or even a good rider, really. I've never ridden a fancy, valuable horse. Probably never will. But I've worked extensively with two horses: one with issues under saddle period, and the other with jumping problems. First horse could barely walk in a figure 8 pattern without getting excited about the change of direction and would launch a ground pole like it was 3'. Second would gallop to a small crossrail and then slam on the brakes at the last second, or canter sideways (not crooked, sideways, as in parallel to the fence) down a line, straightening out just long enough to get over the jump.

First horse usually goes in a running martingale. Second goes in nothing but a normal bridle (previously with a loose cavesson, now with none). Guess what? I got both horses going dead quiet over fences up to 2'6"-3'. Had I been more skilled and not had some bad luck, we would have easily gone higher. Yes, it took a long time, but it worked.

So if a fairly incompetent rider such as myself can turn a scary horse into a safe and quiet one without ever touching drawreins, I'm pretty sure everyone else can, too.

I hate the argument that "my horse is just THAT BAD, he NEEDS draw reins." No he doesn't. He needs good training. Or you do. Or both. The one thing I can darn near guarantee is that you do NOT need draw reins.

(Yes, I'm an anti-draw rein nazi. And happy to be so.)

lawn chair
Mar. 30, 2011, 11:02 PM
I have seen riders abuse thier horses in a rubber snaffle! You can be a horseman and still use a variety of equipment to help. What about a DeGogue or a chambon? Side reins, lunging, spurs, flash nosebands - all can be abused in the wrong hands. Don't blame the tack!

amastrike
Mar. 30, 2011, 11:26 PM
I've never seen a De Gogue or cambon outside of a catalog, much less used one. I don't like longeing unless I'm physically unable to ride for an extended period of time, I find side reins virtually useless, and I refuse to use flash nosebands. Sometimes use spurs, but not often. I consider them to be a refining aid, not a training aid, and therefore not in the same category as draw reins and the like.

BetterOffRed
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:13 AM
Hey, does anybody feel bad for the headless rider that got featured in the magazine and on the website? I doubt anyone wants to give off the impression that they are a suckass rider, or abusive. I feel bad for the rider but maybe it has encouraged them to get a new trainer....unless they are the trainer!

pwynnnorman
Mar. 31, 2011, 07:08 AM
I just want to clarify something, though. I meant what I said, but I don't deserve the "bless you, pwynn" response that followed. I've used drawreins, too (on the flat, never over fences). And for the very reason I said everyone uses them. I condemn that kind of training, but I also have to acknowledge that it is a reality that shouldn't be criticized in the absolute. If everyone had to take the time to do it right, few would do it at all, alas.

And I want to throw something out there, if anyone is still into this topic. What about those honking big BITS being used over fences now? Does anyone see them as equivalent to drawreins in some ways? (Maybe I should start a new thread.) I do, not just because they are shortcuts to solving some issue or another, but mostly because, IMO, they are incredibly dangerous should the unforseen occur: a fall. The mechanics of those bits not only apply enormous leverage to parts of the horse's head, they also often have huge ports inside that could bruise the roof of a horse's mouth horrifically.

In eventing, standing martingales are not allowed because they are dangerous. IMO, jumpers need to think about the safety of some of the devices they use in the ring, too. Falls are more rare there, but the "what if" part really scares me!

Alpha Mare
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:13 AM
my vote is no draw reins in jumping.

The picture shows a rider who has lost his/her leg, pivoting on the knee, see what Geo Morris would say, making it an unsafe jump from the rider position before you add the draw reins.

To those who say they have seen worse at local shows - to me that is no reason to continue a bad practice.

I had the pleasure of watching Hap Hansen ride the Grand Prix at Devon, in a plain snaffle, and on a tricky straight-line-related distance give a half halt in the middle to balance the horse and shorten the stride to meet the next fence. It was a beautiful thing to see the horse adjust while maintaining his rhythm and for the rider to stay centered in position.

Also saw Laura Chapot ride in a plain hackamore and do a lovely job.

No, we are not all at their level. Sooooo, adjust the showing to your level of ability is my recommendation. Saying this (picture) is acceptable continues to dumb down the level of riding needed for competition, in a way that is dangerous for horse and rider.

I agree with AK. And with Pwynnnorman. And Amastrike. The draw reins are a front-to-back aid, meaning the rider does not have the horse in front of the leg and on the aids. A crutch. In my observation, used incorrectly the more frequently they are used.

And I am concerned about those honking bits - there is a lot of 'equipment' on those horse's heads.

sdfarm
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:25 AM
If you take the horse out of the picture, this rider is going to fall flat on their face. If your leg isn't strong enough to support you over a small fence regardless of the effort your horse puts in, you have no business using extra hardware. You don't get the toys until you can use the basics.

I would not want to see draw reins in the lower levels period. They are a tool that can be used when schooling as a short cut for long hours of proper flatwork and experience. Sometimes pros need to train and turn horses quickly, and that's just the reality of it.

Bonnie the backyard ammy does not need to show in draw reins... and if she does, she is on the wrong horse.

nycjumper
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:35 AM
I ride with them all the time. I ride a lot of babies and it helps to channel that energy in the right direction. And used correctly, they're not abusive nor do people that use them ride around with their horses head cranked to the chest.

I'm an ammy, use them with a pro in the ring as well and don't ever feel they've been problematic.

Jumping - I wouldn't but that's because I worry about my ability to maintain proper focus on reins, fence and position all at the same time (see above, ammy), not because I think it's intrinsically wrong.

foursocks
Apr. 2, 2011, 09:05 AM
People ride badly in all sorts of get-ups. Draw reins are not intrinsically evil, but they can be and are often misused. As can a rubber snaffle be misused. The other day I was going home from my barn and passed another barn with a ring full of riders, two of whom were yanking on their horses' heads, spinning in a tiny circle, etc. No draw reins, no big bits, just people riding like jerks- although this was just a few seconds observation, so perhaps they were dealing with runaways, dunno. Obviously they didn't think they were riding poorly, but the point is that bad riding is bad riding, exclusive of tools.

I flat (and jump) in draw reins frequently with certain horses. I ride my current horse in a nathe, but my last one needed the mental stability of draws, similar to what NYC says. We all judge, it's part of human nature, but the ability to critically analyze a situation and see that not everything is black or white (in politics or horses!) is a good skill to develop. :)

Rel6
Apr. 2, 2011, 02:25 PM
I had a super safe ch jumper packer. She was the horse that taught me to do jumpers and she was very kind. She was also 17.2 hands and a big bodied warmblood (keep in mind im a skinny 5'1'' teenager).

She was also pretty stiff in the neck and the jaw. I would flat her at home in a plain snaffle, do the eq in a pelham, and the jumpers in a 3 ring (one rein on snaffle, on rein on the third whole.)

Her owner (I was leasing her) told me she flatted her once a week in draw reins, but I wasn't too concerned about her being in a frame at the start of my lease since we were still figuring each other out. But about a month or two in I had really worked to get her in a frame on the flat.

The problem was that the amount of leg it took her to frame made her too heavy and strong for me to work with in a snaffle. The pelham made things better, but she still very hard to frame and wouldn't hold it for any length of time.

I asked my trainer if I could hack her in draw reins, and he turned to me very seriously and asked why I wanted to. I told him that she's very stiff in her jaw and I have a hard time holding the frame with her. He said yes and supervised a hack with me using them. I shortened them just enough to feel some give in her jaw and neck, and then took them off for the end of our hack.

I used them maybe two times a month? NEVER jumping. But it honestly made a difference. And yes, maybe if I had been a more advanced rider I could have gotten her to frame without them (I think I could now, three years later) but at the time they were really helpful. I used them under the guidance of a trainer (who is actually fairly against them) and I used them on a well trained but strong horse. I really fail to see how that was wrong (although I anticipate people informing why!)

faraway46
Apr. 3, 2011, 05:27 PM
Unfortunately, in riding 2+2 doesn't always equal 4. it's not that simple. The only laws that always apply are the laws of gravity.
Since horses are individuals, with individual traits, fears, abilities and personalities, they require different approaches. Sometimes drawreins work, other times they are the worst thing. I've had horses that flip in drawreins, others wouldn't get into a frame if they wouldn't wear them for a while...
I personally avoid them if I can, but if I have a stubborn horse who decides flipping his head around is what this sport is all about, then maybe I will give him a little drawrein time. I don't jump in them because ultimately I will have to show without them, so why fool myself thinking everything is ok and when the draws are off all hell rises? Might as well start off the way I will have to continue...
I also use them on a crisp winter morning if I feel my horses are fresh...call it a shortcut but if the high road leads me to a broken neck, then it would be the end of the road. I would like to ride without them but I also would like to be Angelina Jolie...that ain't happenin' either...
As for deadly weapons, anything is in the wrong hands... a sharp pencil is used for writing but you can also poke an eye with it. A snaffle could be the worst if you decide to hang on to the mouth at all times...you would make your horse dull and heavy even with a sweet, "harmless" snaffle.
It all comes down to guessing what is right for your horse and using it correctly. So try different approaches if you find yourself in a rut and always with supervision if you think you don't have enough experience for the new path you've chosen...

chunky munky
Apr. 3, 2011, 05:54 PM
Don't have the ambition to read this entire thread. Let it be said that I love, love drawreins. But I do not think they belong in competition. As far as the average rider with out good pro supervision, they can be the proverbial razorblade in the monkey's hand. In good hands they can explain much to a horse, particularly a " retread" that has come out of a bad program.

pwynnnorman
Apr. 3, 2011, 07:31 PM
Jumping - I wouldn't but that's because I worry about my ability to maintain proper focus on reins, fence and position all at the same time (see above, ammy), not because I think it's intrinsically wrong.

Hey, that reminds me of a question I've had since the beginning of this thread: What is the intended result o/f? WHY are they used o/f? I mean, if they are "in effect" while the horse is jumping, aren't they "restricting" its topline? ('Scuse me if I missed this discussion upthread.)

NOT that that is something everyone would agree is a no-no. I will never forget spending a summer with a biggish name (mainly in sales) who, when he went off to shows, whoever was left behind chased horses around his little indoor in this tight, tight pulley rein kind of set up that had their noses practically touching their chests--and the chasing as OVER JUMPS. Now his explanation was that folks often sent horses to him which could no longer do their intended, usually higher level (jumper or pro div. hunter) job. So he had to "remake" them into amateur horses. While he never said that tying their noses to their chests froze their toplines so ammy's would get jumped off, that's what I assumed.

Was I wrong? And is that kinda (???) what jumping in drawreins do IF IF IF they are in effect over the jump? If not, are they just used to round/soften/whatever the horse between the jumps? Anyone ever see them taut (tight) throughout? (I haven't.)

amastrike
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:32 PM
Pwynn, the one time I saw a horse going o/f in draw reins it was just sad and irritating. The rider kept complaining that the horse was popping over the fence. Neither she nor the instructor could figure out that the horse was jumping weird because he wasn't free to use his head and neck to jump. He was defensive and popping over the fence with his nose tucked in to avoid getting hit in the mouth. I wanted to smack them both and yell "take the draw reins off and let him go forward!"