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View Full Version : Tell Me About Vienna Reins



overthemoon
Apr. 9, 2011, 05:38 PM
I've seen vienna reins mentioned a few times in discussions here, but I haven't heard much about them, nor have I seen them used. It is my understanding that they are a training tool used prominently in Europe and just started leaking over here to North America recently.

I've read a bit online, but I would love to hear personal experiences/opinions. What do you like or dislike about them? How do you compare them to side reins? To a chambon?

(For reference, I have a 3yo WB mare whom I rode for the first time today. Her summer is going to consist of very light riding (both due to her age and my work constraints), and hopefully hacking as much as possible.

She's been lunged a few times and has picked it up very quickly. I have never been huge on lunging for training, but find sometimes it's easiest for them to learn themselves vs from a rider. I have no concerns with trying to establish a frame/head set, but wouldn't be opposed to using a tool to help her learn to balance properly and develop the muscles she'll need for undersaddle work.

I also have no intention of lunging her all the time, but wouldn't necessarily be opposed to sticking her on the lunge for 15 minutes before a ride once or week or something like that.)

TIA.

Ghazzu
Apr. 9, 2011, 06:23 PM
I dunno about recent--mine are at least 15 years old. I like them because they seem to let the horse figure out on his own where he's most comfortable vis-a-vis his head carriage.

Ibex
Apr. 9, 2011, 06:28 PM
I use them and LOVE them. It's also good if you have a horse that likes to lean and dump on their forehand... there's nothing to lean on. Also great for keeping a horse from locking up over their back.

overthemoon
Apr. 9, 2011, 06:51 PM
Do you both use them with a surcingle, or have you found an alternative way to just use them with your saddle?

Jo
Apr. 9, 2011, 08:14 PM
I use ours with a saddle or a surcingle. For the saddle - it loops on the girth, then through the bit on each side, and back to the girth low.

overthemoon
Apr. 9, 2011, 08:17 PM
So, you use the first method described on this website? They explain it that the first method is more beneficial, which kind of makes sense.

http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/html/lauffer___vienna_reins.html

LowerSaxony_Jumper
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:51 AM
Love them too.....Best for longing

For young horses I put them under the Bell like draw reins, then through the bit rings back to saddel or surcingle really deep as i would put side reins. The younger Horse learns to go deep with the neck and i try to keep it active in the behind so it goes relaxed and can build up some muscels and find balance.

Older ones i put the reins like side reins and then up to the surcingle in the rings so i can get it in a frame as i would do while riding.
For this the horse must be correct on the longe (contact, acceptation of aids).....

The Principles of riding book 4 or 5 i think is all about longing.

fourmares
Apr. 10, 2011, 03:15 PM
I don't think they have come here recently. I remember seeing them in the mid-eighties... I think that, like any training device, if you don't know how to use it and don't have a trainer that can teach you, you can probably do more damage than good trying to figure it out on your own.

overthemoon
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the input so far. They sound like a nice alternative to side reins.

fourmares, I apologize if I am incorrect about when they've become popular over here. I had never seen them myself and was just quoting another COTHer who said they were a recently used training tool. However, I am quite familiar with lunging, and using tools like side reins on both young/green and experienced horses, so I wouldn't exactly say I'm at high risk of harming my mare.

seeuatx
Apr. 10, 2011, 08:00 PM
I use them to lunge on occasion. I usually borrow them from a friend who is the one that introduced me to the idea. She is from Germany and has used them for years, I used to just use side-reins.

I have only used them a handful of times, but have noticed a huge difference. Lease Mare is green, and has a tendency to lock her neck/jaw and be heavy on the forehand. These have helped her to find her own balance, especially at the canter.

The downside is that they (at least the pair friend has which is the same as that advertised in many catalogs) don't have anywhere to be attached when not in use. When I lunge in side reins I would lunge with them clipped on themselves for a few minutes to let the horse loosen up, then attach them to the bit. With these, I have to lunge for a few minutes, stop and add/adjust the Vienna Reins, and then go back to work. It's not big deal, but it would be nice if they were easier to deal with.

The pair I use is the 2nd pair shown on the link. They almost look like a martingale/breast collar strap between the legs. I'd love to try the 1st pair shown but can't find them like that anywhere.

RyuEquestrian
Apr. 10, 2011, 08:29 PM
I dunno about recent--mine are at least 15 years old. I like them because they seem to let the horse figure out on his own where he's most comfortable vis-a-vis his head carriage.

This. I prefer thse to side reins. I find that in side reins the natural movement of the horse's head causes the side reins to pull side to side. I also try to use attachments that don't "force" head carrier, but rather reward it, if that makes any sense.

Lord Helpus
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:09 PM
I use a Pessoa rig with the side ropes that come from around the horse's butt, through a low ring on the surcingle, through the ring at the bit and back to a higher ring on the surcingle.

I first did this about 15 years ago.

Isn't this the same thing as the Vienna reins, except that it has the added advantage of keeping the hind end involved?

kaluha2
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:48 PM
I had a pair back in the early 70's that I used on a few horses and they worked very well especially with those few that did not work well in side reins.

Back then they were called lauffer reins and mine were made in germany and brought back to the states. I have searched high and low for those darned things and I have no idea whatever became of them. But they do work well as long as the horse is asked to step up to them and not allowed to drift behind them.

Mukluk
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:19 AM
They are about $60.00 at Dover. I made my own with a little hardware and some shock cord. I like them. I think it only cost me about $15.00 to make my own. Makes green OTTB horsey girl figure out how to carry herself I have also been ground driving her a bit as well.

Reagan
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:02 PM
They are about $60.00 at Dover. I made my own with a little hardware and some shock cord. I like them. I think it only cost me about $15.00 to make my own. Makes green OTTB horsey girl figure out how to carry herself I have also been ground driving her a bit as well.

How did you do this? I have a big (17.1hh) TB mare who is very, very long and my Vienna's don't fit her. I can get them on very tightly, but I absolutely do not want to start her like that, especially with her "you can't force me to do nothin'!" personality. I was thinking of trying to create some kind of extension so how, maybe loops around the girth which I then loop the reins through... But, I think my best option may be to make my own now that you brought it up! It is an ingenious idea, I never would have thought of that!

Fancy That
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:51 PM
I homemade mine too. My dressage instructor told me how. Just bought some rope (a certain kind/width...it's soft and thin) and snaps from Home Depot.

Used electric tape to secure the snap ends. (thread rope through snap-end, and fold back onto itself by say 3 inches. WRAP the eletric tape around, to secure)

Cost less than $10 bucks.

You just have have a good eye to adjust it properly, because I literally tie it on. (snap the ends onto the bottom of the girth, through the bit and over to the d-rings)


How did you do this? I have a big (17.1hh) TB mare who is very, very long and my Vienna's don't fit her. I can get them on very tightly, but I absolutely do not want to start her like that, especially with her "you can't force me to do nothin'!" personality. I was thinking of trying to create some kind of extension so how, maybe loops around the girth which I then loop the reins through... But, I think my best option may be to make my own now that you brought it up! It is an ingenious idea, I never would have thought of that!

Kryswyn
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:09 PM
I've made them out of leather, and I've made them out of bungee cord with hardware clamps and snaps. I wouldn't trust electrical tape with the stress a horse can put on them.

You can make them more or less adjustable depending on how clever you are. With the leather ones, as I recall, I had those rocker buckles (with the spike in the middle) to allow for adjustments. With the bungee ones I simply tied them in knots away from the bit area.

cuatx55
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:29 PM
http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=202647

Personally I feel VR (which go through the legs) act too much like draw reins and don't allow enough lateral flexibility. It can work on some horses but also leads to BTV quite easily.

I personally prefer the "triangle/balance/Lauffer" rein that doesn't go through the leg but rather attaches in a V (top ring surgingle-bit-bottom ring surgingle SAME SIDE).

The balance reins allow the horse to stretch but also don't restirct so much. I found mine for 20 bucks at Schneiders. It also seems much safer as horses are known to get a leg through Vienna and draw reins.

I also use standard side reins with elastic. It really depends on the horse and where they are at with their work and if they naturally go above or below the bit.

enjoytheride
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:43 PM
Meh, I have a pair of reins I can use as drawreins, vienna reins through the girth, or vienna reins with a fancy name to the sides. Same thing with varying degrees of leverage.

Reagan
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:50 PM
I homemade mine too. My dressage instructor told me how. Just bought some rope (a certain kind/width...it's soft and thin) and snaps from Home Depot.

Used electric tape to secure the snap ends. (thread rope through snap-end, and fold back onto itself by say 3 inches. WRAP the eletric tape around, to secure)

Cost less than $10 bucks.

You just have have a good eye to adjust it properly, because I literally tie it on. (snap the ends onto the bottom of the girth, through the bit and over to the d-rings)

So you can't adjust them? Or you adjust them by tying them at different lengths to the dee's? I wonder if it would be a pain to tie on snaps at different lengths and leave them there. I may be making a trip to Home Depot soon! Thank you for the advice!

Sorry OP for hijacking!

Fancy That
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:56 PM
So you can't adjust them? Or you adjust them by tying them at different lengths to the dee's? I wonder if it would be a pain to tie on snaps at different lengths and leave them there. I may be making a trip to Home Depot soon! Thank you for the advice!

Sorry OP for hijacking!

I just tie them at different lengths. I actually cheat and "mark" the different lengths I need by wrapping a thin strip of electric tape where I usually "tie"

You could totally cheat more by attaching little clips, maybe a like 4 inch intervals to keep things easier?

I just eyeball it.

They DO allow for lateral, more so than side reins. They have way more freedom than side reins. I don't do mine up tight at all.

And if your horse is lugging that hard on them, that electric tape-wrapped ends don't hold? Well that's a scary amount of pressure/leaning the horse is doing. I never have mine that tight at all. It's just a gentle reminder to go long and low and stretchy down and out. (I use the lunge whip to encourage the hind end forward)

Similar to the Pessoa Rig I guess. But on that,t he butt strap does more "encouraging" the behind.

A skilled lunger can do the same w/ just the Vienna Reins.

overthemoon
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:14 PM
http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=202647

Personally I feel VR (which go through the legs) act too much like draw reins and don't allow enough lateral flexibility. It can work on some horses but also leads to BTV quite easily.

I personally prefer the "triangle/balance/Lauffer" rein that doesn't go through the leg but rather attaches in a V (top ring surgingle-bit-bottom ring surgingle SAME SIDE).

The balance reins allow the horse to stretch but also don't restirct so much. I found mine for 20 bucks at Schneiders. It also seems much safer as horses are known to get a leg through Vienna and draw reins.

I also use standard side reins with elastic. It really depends on the horse and where they are at with their work and if they naturally go above or below the bit.

Thanks for the link. I'm also interested in what you call Lauffer reins, and what's referenced on that link/Dover as balancing side reins. I'm wondering, however, if it is possible to use these with a saddle instead of a surcingle. I don't own a surcingle and wasn't really planning on buying one as I don't lunge a whole lot (and in this case, I would likely be lunging before I rode).

JenEM
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the link. I'm also interested in what you call Lauffer reins, and what's referenced on that link/Dover as balancing side reins. I'm wondering, however, if it is possible to use these with a saddle instead of a surcingle. I don't own a surcingle and wasn't really planning on buying one as I don't lunge a whole lot (and in this case, I would likely be lunging before I rode).

I have (had? I can't seem to find them...) a pair of the balancing side reins and really like them since they let the horse figure out for itself where they need to go. I have used them with both a surcingle, and with a saddle by clipping the top on the saddle dee, and using a loop of baling twine between the split ends of the girth.

Mukluk
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:39 AM
How did you do this? I have a big (17.1hh) TB mare who is very, very long and my Vienna's don't fit her. I can get them on very tightly, but I absolutely do not want to start her like that, especially with her "you can't force me to do nothin'!" personality. I was thinking of trying to create some kind of extension so how, maybe loops around the girth which I then loop the reins through... But, I think my best option may be to make my own now that you brought it up! It is an ingenious idea, I never would have thought of that!

I used a measuring tape to figure out about how much shock cord I would need and bought a bit more than that. I bought a set of snaps that I tied on to either end of the shock cord with a bowline knot (google bowline knot to see) each end of the shockcord attaches to the lower surcingle loop. I bought two pieces of hardware that snap to the bit and the cord runs through. I bought two more snaps that attach to the upper surcingle loop. I just adjust as needed and knot the extra cord at the top of the surcingle. This is super simple but more fancy versions could be made. The shock cord encourages my girl to stretch into the contact. I just hate to pay big bucks for something I can make myself! It works well and love that it was cheap!

fourmares
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:14 AM
I can't believe I'm doing this... If you want to make your own and make them adjustable attach your clip to the end (one small enough to go through your surcingle rings.) then tie or sew several round rings to the cord so that you would run the clip through the surcingle ring and clip it back to one of the rings on the cord.

cuatx55
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the link. I'm also interested in what you call Lauffer reins, and what's referenced on that link/Dover as balancing side reins. I'm wondering, however, if it is possible to use these with a saddle instead of a surcingle. I don't own a surcingle and wasn't really planning on buying one as I don't lunge a whole lot (and in this case, I would likely be lunging before I rode).


Lauffer reins are another name for triangle/balance reins. I don't think you can use them correctly attached to a saddle. Vienna reins can be used w/a saddle.

I see a lot of used surcingles at tack sales, keep an eye out. Otherwise I just use regular side reins when I'm going to ride after.

http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/html/lauffer___vienna_reins.html