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Rel6
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:16 PM
I am constantly surprised by things I see in the horse world. COTH-ers, tell me if this is common.

I went to try a horse today with a semi-BNT. Grooms tacked up the horse, with draw reins, and sent me to the ring to meet the trainer. I get on, walk around (as instructed by someone riding in the ring) and wait. Trainer comes and I try the horse. Nice guy, a little hard to understand (I can have a hard time hearing and he mumbled and had a fairly thick accent) but the horse was nice and he was very knowledgable.

We start jumping. Draw reins stay on. We pop over some 3'9'' verticals, draw reins stay on.

Now let me say that I am a young ammy. I've ridden in draw reins maybe ten times my entire life. I am not that comfortable with them. On a horse I know and where I'm using them for a specific purpose I'm fine. But this was a strange horse, ring, trainer, etc.

I kept them fairly loose rather than crank her head down, but her head was very curled/behind the vertical and she was super behind the bit. I was very nervous about jumping in them (horse had no breastplate or martingale at all, they were not run through anything) so I made sure to keep them with no slack by her legs. I was very tempted to ask to ride without them, but honestly the trainer was pretty intimidating. Nice, honest guy, good trainer, but intimidating.

How common is it to put horses in draw reins for trials? I tried four horses this weekend alone, and numerous others in the past and have never encountered it before.

(Also, keep in mind I had never met this trainer before and he did not know anything about my background except that I was looking for a horse for a 3'9'' clinic. I know other riders at my level that have never ridden in draw reins!)

CBoylen
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:26 PM
For a trial, a horse should be in its show tack. I don't know any trainers who would show you a horse in schooling tack; it's unprofessional.
But you mention a clinic, and it sounds like you took a lesson on the horse rather than taking your own trainer and actually trying it? If you were not trying the horse with the intention of buying or leasing it; I can see the groom and trainer putting the horse in what it usually schools in.
It wouldn't occur to me that someone who was capable of showing at 3'9" wouldn't have some experience in jumping in draw reins. Like you, when they're run just to the belly I'm very aware of them and of any slack, and I don't use them that way on my own horses when jumping just for personal preference. I've done so with other people's horses though, and would never ask a trainer to change the tack on a horse I was riding, unless it was a trial for purchase.

Rel6
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:36 PM
For a trial, a horse should be in its show tack. I don't know any trainers who would show you a horse in schooling tack; it's unprofessional.
But you mention a clinic, and it sounds like you took a lesson on the horse rather than taking your own trainer and actually trying it? If you were not trying the horse with the intention of buying or leasing it; I can see the groom and trainer putting the horse in what it usually schools in.
It wouldn't occur to me that someone who was capable of showing at 3'9" wouldn't have some experience in jumping in draw reins. Like you, when they're run just to the belly I'm very aware of them and of any slack, and I don't use them that way on my own horses when jumping just for personal preference. I've done so with other people's horses though, and would never ask a trainer to change the tack on a horse I was riding, unless it was a trial for purchase.

I was trying it for a lease, even as a junior I would find my own mounts and try them on my own.

Also, I have friends with a BNT who *loathes* draw reins and will not allow their use, hence them never having ridden in them.

CBoylen
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:52 PM
Hard to tell then. It might be that that's the horse's home tack, and the trainer's personal way of doing things (foreign?). Or you unfortunately may have gotten a sort of lesson/trial hybrid without the usual presentation since you came alone, or since you were looking for a lease, or simply because the groom misunderstood the purpose of the ride.
If you are comfortable trying horses on your own you need to become more comfortable in speaking up when you want to do something different, so that you can get a proper trial and make an informed decision on your lease/purchase.

Rel6
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:55 PM
If you are comfortable trying horses on your own you need to become more comfortable in speaking up when you want to do something different, so that you can get a proper trial and make an informed decision on your lease/purchase.

Yea makes sense...I'm pretty vocal usually during a trial but this really through me off. Thanks for the input!

shawneeAcres
Apr. 10, 2011, 08:27 PM
I would not want to try a horse in draw reins and would have asked to take them off. Personally I do not jump in draw reins, I know some trainers do, but I do not.

doublesstable
Apr. 10, 2011, 08:40 PM
I too would have asked "what" is the reason the horse is in draw reins? What would this horse do bad if the draw reins were removed??? Expecially if you were thinking of taking on the lease... I would want to know as much as possible. And if they got snappy about it - I would pass on the lease.... That would be a huge red flag as far as I'm concerned and to tie myself to a lease - no thanks.

And I do not feel comfortable jumping in draw reins.....

whbar158
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:17 PM
I will say awhile ago I went to have a lesson and hack some horses. It was a pretty big nice show barn with riders going to indoors and stuff like that. Every single horse I was asked to ride went in the same tack, loose ring and draw reins. I am not a huge draw rein user unless using them to help correct something. Usually have used them a few rides on the flat then haven't needed them again for months. When it was time for my lesson, same setup. I had NEVER jumped in draw reins, only flatted. We weren't doing anything big, all under 3', but I don't know if I wasn't releasing them enough (fear of horse hooking a hoof in them) but things were not going well. The girl who was helping me finally said we could take them off (actually saying the horse doesn't really need them, but BNT has all horses go in them) and wow took them off and had a GREAT time jumping.

I do not really have a problem with people who use them, but I think that they are over used quite a bit. I know someone who uses them on a horse that has no problem dropping down and rounding up, but feels they need them. Only a few horses I have ridden ever felt like they really needed them, ones with very locked jaws and very stiff through the jaw and neck. Other people have used them to help with head movement (throwing head around) but I usually have been able to work through that without them. Again I don't feel like I need them often, but there are people who feel like they do. As long as one isn't cranking the head around in them then I try not to let it bother me :winkgrin:

ClaireCaipirosco
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:37 PM
I've never seen or myself tried a horse in draw reins, and frankly, I believe it's quite dangerous to use them while jumping. I've always thought of draw reins as a training aid, but not something to try a horse in. I've always tried horses in what they are ridden in at shows.

RougeEmpire
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:05 PM
Ive seen a LOT of horses trained and schooled obsessively in draw reins to train them in order to PACK really bad amatures around. Dont get me wrong not all amatures are bad riders but there is definetly a market for horses that jump ANYTHING with the riders that use NO RELEASE because the rider has NO BALANCE and NO LOWER LEG and literally just holds on , prays to god to get the distance right, can not count strides and uses a short release over every jump. Sounds like the horse you are describing is trained for just such a kind of rider. These horse usually bring lots of money (starting at 20k and quickly rising).

doublesstable
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:18 PM
Ive seen a LOT of horses trained and schooled obsessively in draw reins to train them in order to PACK really bad amatures around. Dont get me wrong not all amatures are bad riders but there is definetly a market for horses that jump ANYTHING with the riders that use NO RELEASE because the rider has NO BALANCE and NO LOWER LEG and literally just holds on , prays to god to get the distance right, can not count strides and uses a short release over every jump. Sounds like the horse you are describing is trained for just such a kind of rider. These horse usually bring lots of money (starting at 20k and quickly rising).

I always thought I was a "decent" rider until I watched a video.. boy do I need to work on my hands. I didn't realize I was "that" bad... lol. I now get nuts when my horse doesn't accept my hand to the fence and ducks behind the contact. I think some of that was draw rein related and a sensitive mouthed horse. I have been working on my hands and using a rubber bit...

But you DO totally have a point here...... I think A LOT of horses are trained for ammies or young riders since they are a BIG part of this industry.

Rel6
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:32 PM
Ive seen a LOT of horses trained and schooled obsessively in draw reins to train them in order to PACK really bad amatures around. Dont get me wrong not all amatures are bad riders but there is definetly a market for horses that jump ANYTHING with the riders that use NO RELEASE because the rider has NO BALANCE and NO LOWER LEG and literally just holds on , prays to god to get the distance right, can not count strides and uses a short release over every jump. Sounds like the horse you are describing is trained for just such a kind of rider. These horse usually bring lots of money (starting at 20k and quickly rising).

I think there is a market for horses that pack riders around in general, regardless of junior vs. amateur. Honestly I'm not even sure if the trainer new I was an ammy (I'm fresh out of juniors, look younger, and sometimes forget myself that I'm not a junior!)

Now I want to give credit where credit is due...we had some really nice spots and while I have my faults I do make a point of giving an appropriate release. I do have a looser lower leg and I was getting jumped out of the tack quite a bit over the bigger fences. The trainer was honest and said I don't think this is the horse for you, which I completely agreed with.

The horse was also a jumper...and very clearly one. Beautiful and talented mare but not really suitable for any other ring.

So while I agree that many trainers crank a horses head down and try to get them passable for even the most incompetent rider, I'm hesitant to say thats the case here. The trainer was honest that this wasn't the horse for me and gave me some really good advice about my riding.

kaluha2
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:35 PM
CBoylan:

Can you explain why draw reins would be used over fences. What is trying to be accomplished by using them o/f. I don't understand the intent or the reason behind using them. Thanks

doublesstable
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:45 PM
I think there is a market for horses that pack riders around in general, regardless of junior vs. amateur. Honestly I'm not even sure if the trainer new I was an ammy (I'm fresh out of juniors, look younger, and sometimes forget myself that I'm not a junior!)

Now I want to give credit where credit is due...we had some really nice spots and while I have my faults I do make a point of giving an appropriate release. I do have a looser lower leg and I was getting jumped out of the tack quite a bit over the bigger fences. The trainer was honest and said I don't think this is the horse for you, which I completely agreed with.

The horse was also a jumper...and very clearly one. Beautiful and talented mare but not really suitable for any other ring.

So while I agree that many trainers crank a horses head down and try to get them passable for even the most incompetent rider, I'm hesitant to say thats the case here. The trainer was honest that this wasn't the horse for me and gave me some really good advice about my riding.


I hope you know I was never implying you were the type of ammie in need of a saftey horse. lol....

I actually thought you sounded like an experience rider.... Sorry the lease didn't work out.... hope you find something that works out... :)

mortebella
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:06 AM
I must not get out enough. I haven't seen this, and I may be majorly misunderstanding. But the idea of tying a horse's BIT to something (I'm not talking martingale here) more or less immovable while asking him to jump just freaks me right out. I come from the old, old school that says - and you were taught to take it as gospel - "a horse needs the freedom of his neck and head to balance himself over a jump." And the cardinal sin of riding was to get left behind and catch your horse in the mouth. Never, ever punish your horse's mouth - some situation will always happen when he has to make some extra effort with his head and you must GO with that - or you will ruin a good horse for jumping. How can draw reins accommodate that?? What I'm hearing is they CAN'T, and that gets the horse used to suffering under bad riding. I am too old for this brave new world.

kayteedee
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:15 AM
Reported leodown2!

meupatdoes
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:20 AM
CBoylan:

Can you explain why draw reins would be used over fences. What is trying to be accomplished by using them o/f. I don't understand the intent or the reason behind using them. Thanks

Well, CBoylan's mileage may vary but when my horse was first learning to jump (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBI5S9PFW2g) there were three schools where he did the first few jumps in draw reins and then finished the school without.

That was primarily to help him with STRAIGHTNESS.
He had had maybe 7 or 8 jump schools under his belt when this video was taken; the video is put together clips from three rides.

After those three rides he hasn't worn them since.

Rel6
Apr. 11, 2011, 10:16 AM
I hope you know I was never implying you were the type of ammie in need of a saftey horse. lol....

I actually thought you sounded like an experience rider.... Sorry the lease didn't work out.... hope you find something that works out... :)

Oh no I didn't get that at all! I was more trying to defend the trainer since he really did seem to want to find an appropriate rider for the horse and was quite honest about it not being the horse for me.

And thank you, I did actually find something! A very cool gelding that I'm excited about :)

findeight
Apr. 11, 2011, 01:13 PM
I kept them fairly loose...but her head was very curled/behind the vertical and she was super behind the bit. I was very nervous about jumping in them (horse had no breastplate or martingale at all, they were not run through anything).

How common is it to put horses in draw reins for trials?


NOT. If anything, a trainer might put them on and jump the horse around BEFORE a buyer/leassor showed up so it went better for the trial. Having them out there like this begs the question what is so wrong with it you need them in a sales trial.

But, yikes, I am not anti draw rein at all but why in heck were they on a horse already behind the bit (and leg 99% of the time) for a rider of unknown ability????

Imagine there may have been a miscommunication somewhere along the way there. But as CBoylen mentioned, NEVER be afraid to speak up if you are not comfortable or want to question something. The responsibilty to stay safe is ultimately in your hands, regardless of what any trainer trying to sell or lease you a horse tells you.

Never feel intimidated if you seriously question a piece of tack or any excercise on a strange horse.

Pally
Apr. 11, 2011, 02:55 PM
may have gotten a sort of lesson/trial hybrid without the usual presentation since you came alone, or since you were looking for a lease, or simply because the groom misunderstood the purpose of the ride.


It could very well be this. When I'm told "someone is coming to try X" (and i have more than 5 minutes to think about this :) ), they get show ready....trimmed whiskers, nice saddle pad, the tack they normally jump in. However, sometimes what I get told is not as clear. Like "I'm going to get on X now [and then while I'm out there an interested party is going to end up watching me and we will go over some jumps]". Or "We are going on a trail ride [but on it will stop at our friend's ring and jump around]". So when they get back to the barn and I realize this, I often think "sorry would have sent you with the right bit if I had known", or "Eeek sorry about the butt ugly saddle pad and boots".

Beyond that, it's hard for us to say whether you jumped in them because they were already there, and the trainer thought nothing of it, or because he actively wanted them there. That's where it is up to you to ask. I know it can be intimidating, but I don't think it's out of line. It's not a big inconvenience to change, and you don't have to be argumentative (even if you were one of those people who vehemently hate draws) - just ask "can I do a few jumps without the draw reins? I just want to get a feel since I won't be able to use them at the clinic/show"



As to the purpose, definitely not an expert here, but when my rider has used draw reins for jumping, it is nothing to do with over the jump, but rather what happens before and after it...and like meupatdoes, generally lateral issues.

TrakeGirl
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:11 PM
FWIW – we use draw reins with my horse, flat and over fences.

He goes in a slow twist snaffle and can be either lovely or fairly strong, depending on the day. When he’s strong – he goes right through this bit over fences, or shall I say...before the fence. He to likes to grab it, throw his head up and run. We’ve tried stronger bits and they have not ended up being a better solution – he ends up being quite inverted, behind the bit, anxious. A pelham will manage him about as well as the snaffle/draw reins, but again, it is almost too much for him and he gets inverted. So we’ve found this a happy medium for him and we practice with and without them.

They DO help enormously in keeping him straight to the fences (he’s a wiggler without them) and for me (as an ammie), they help on the strong days from him being about to grab the bit and run after the first fence in a line. I am really good about staying with him and giving him plenty of release though. Most of the time they are looped and I’m riding off my snaffle rein, but on the strong days...it helps to have the extra rein there to hold him together. Ie – if he gets past my snaffle rein, then he sorta runs into the looser draw rein as an automatic backup system.

So for us – it is indeed to help with events before and after the fence. He gets plenty of release and can stretch his head as much as he’d like over the fence.

benni
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:24 PM
I suppose the horse goes best in draw reins and the trainer knew this and since you didn't complain, he just kept them on. OR - the groom put them on bc it was the horse's regular schooling attire and when the trainer saw it and you didn't ask - he went with it. OR the groom tacked him up in his usual attire and the trainer didn't give a xrap whether the horse was sold or leased, OR the trainer had had a long weekend at a show and didn't care about ANYTHING at all!!

Rel6
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:07 PM
I guess it could be for straightness or being strong (I didn't experience either, but hey, maybe they were doing their job?) This horse had one hell of a jump, does anyone think they might have been to restrict her use of head and neck and make her less "poppy"?

I realize I probably should have just sucked it up and asked the the purpose of them for that particular horse. Its definitely something I would do in the future.

Thanks guys!

findeight
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:20 PM
Who knows...

One likes to think when they come to try a horse, that horse is the best it's ever going to be therefore one should not be seeing any heavy duty schooling aids without explanation. Or warning on the specifics;).

CBoylen
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
I must not get out enough. I haven't seen this, and I may be majorly misunderstanding. But the idea of tying a horse's BIT to something (I'm not talking martingale here) more or less immovable while asking him to jump just freaks me right out.
So you ride without reins? The draw reins are no more or less movable than reins in general, since most people are able to both move their hands and lengthen and shorten their length of rein as needed, both with the draw rein and the regular rein that's actually "tied" to the bit.


CBoylan:
Can you explain why draw reins would be used over fences. What is trying to be accomplished by using them o/f. I don't understand the intent or the reason behind using them. Thanks
It depends. Many barns use them as standard equipment for schooling, with the presumption that the horse isn't show-ring quiet to school at home or on warmup day. They add a bit of extra control and steering, and discourage the horse from playing. You wouldn't want to bit up or ride the horse differently for schooling, since you want to practice the correct way of going, but you do want something there in case you need it.
If you're using the draw reins for a training a specific purpose on a specific horse it could be for steering, as metup mentions, to help collect its stride, to help with control to correct a recurring disobedience, to help with control on a strong horse, or to encourage it to carry itself differently on the way to the fence and away from the fence. A lot of different reasons. There is very little effect actually in the air over the fence, unless someone were specifically to ride with that purpose, which I've never seen anyone do.

Rel6
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:18 PM
Who knows...

One likes to think when they come to try a horse, that horse is the best it's ever going to be therefore one should not be seeing any heavy duty schooling aids without explanation. Or warning on the specifics;).


thats what I would think :/

I once tried a jumper that went in a double bridle and things like that and trying a horse in draw reins gives me a negative impression before I ever get on the horse. I mean if the horse can't even be tried without equipment...

(I know the horses probably *could* be, I'm just saying first impressions mean a lot.)

kaluha2
Apr. 13, 2011, 06:10 AM
C.Boylen:

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Here is your response:

"If you're using the draw reins for a training a specific purpose on a specific horse it could be for steering, as metup mentions, to help collect its stride, to help with control to correct a recurring disobedience, to help with control on a strong horse, or to encourage it to carry itself differently on the way to the fence and away from the fence. A lot of different reasons."

Just so I understand this correctly: Horses are jumped in draw reins because they have certain problems such as:

1. steering problem

2. needs help to collect the stride

3. to help with control

4. to correct a disobedience

5. to help with control with a strong horse

6. or to help carry itself differently on the way to the fence and after the fence.

7. a lot of different reasons

Seems to me that all this is corrected with correct schooling on the flat. At least that is what has been taught for generations now. I distinctly remember someone of merit stating that jumps are obstacles one would meet while doing flat work---or some such statement as that. But he's an old fogey now. Or maybe it was De Nemethy but he's dead now.

Maybe no one has the time for correct schooling anymore to educate the horse correctly.
Maybe time is if the essence now?

Anyway thanks so much for the reply.

findeight
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:00 AM
Seems to me that all this is corrected with correct schooling on the flat. At least that is what has been taught for generations now. I distinctly remember someone of merit stating that jumps are obstacles one would meet while doing flat work---or some such statement as that. But he's an old fogey now. Or maybe it was De Nemethy but he's dead now.

Maybe no one has the time for correct schooling anymore to educate the horse correctly.
Maybe time is if the essence now?



That is correct up to a point. That point being the fact you sometimes have to practice and correct problems over actual jumps and when a horse gets excited, over exhuberant...or nasty over those jumps-and I am talking jumps here, not speed bumps. You cannot fix that on the flat in a fat, plain snaffle.

But you cannot fix it in draw reins either if you have skipped all that flat work-and you are right that too many don't want to take the time to get the proper basics in there-and that means extensions, collections and laterals.

At best, draw reins will allow a rider to fine tune already established basics...basics that sometimes fall apart when the horse gets excited and you really don't want to be trying to, say, half halt in a 2 to a 1 to a 2 at l.45m or stop a hard left drift 2 strides in front of even a small 3' oxer into a line. That horse has to be sharp and listening. They can need a reminder.

Now, I have no tolerance for using them to substitute for training or make up for bad riding. But in the hands of a qualified rider who understands what they are trying to do? It's a valid choice-even for an International rider. Even some who say they never use them...but you can see them doing just that in the early AM.

One thing though...alot seem to be dumping on draw reins without ever stopping to consider that some horses not in draw reins may have heavy hardware in their mouths with a plain dee side-but you cannot tell from a distance. Just me but I'd rather use the draw rein then go to the heavy hardware in the mouth.

But, then again, I rarely use anything because I do that flatwork...but sometimes you need some back up that cannot be addressed on the flat.

Zena
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:37 PM
I have started using draw reins SPECIFICALLY over fences with my 5 year old warmblood. I am a short sized Amateur, and was having difficulty keeping my horse in a decent frame around the course. I can get it, and be straight all day long, on the flat. My trainer who has long legs can get the shape and maintain it over fences. When my horse maintains his shape, his form over fences is lovely, when he get's strung out in the slightest, it is less correct. I do a decent job without them for a majority of the course, but when we turn the corner down to a line, usually my 3rd line, and he picks his head up, or pops a shoulder, I am not skilled enough to straighten him out, bring his nose in, and find my distance in that short space. Having draw reins gives me a tool to help me close up the gap, and teach my horse that he needs to maintain his shape, with me, all the way down the line. I do not crank the draw rein. I use it if I need it. They also help me keep him straight sfter the fence to set up for the lead change. I am a good rider, but on a young horse, I need a litle help to fine tune.

CBoylen
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:52 PM
Seems to me that all this is corrected with correct schooling on the flat.
Sure. Until it isn't. I'm sure anyone that has a horse knows that some days are more correct on the flat than others, and sometimes jumps don't actually fit right into the flatwork, to the point where you wonder if you're riding a completely different horse. And sometimes you want the horse to have to correct itself without rider interference, particularly a hunter jumping around a course.
Really, flatwork is fantastic, and necessary. But if flatwork was all there was to it, there would be a whole lot of better riders and trainers out there. At some point in this discipline you have to put it together over fences, and perfect flatwork is neither an excuse for not getting there nor a guarantee that the horse can do anything worthwhile over jumps.

kaluha2
Apr. 14, 2011, 06:34 AM
"Really, flatwork is fantastic, and necessary. But if flatwork was all there was to it, there would be a whole lot of better riders and trainers out there."

The reason there are not a "whole lot better riders trainers out there" is exactly because correct schooling has fallen by the wayside and replaced with draw reins and a whole host of other auxillary reins and bits used as band aids in place of proper school figures and stengthening and suppling exercises to improve a horses way of going and education.

There really was a time when flat work actually was used and did take care of all the issues listed and then some, including straightness problems.

Even a young horse and most especially a young horse needs to be worked on the flat properly and learn bit acceptance, relaxation, and then "a frame" or actually, learn to come on the bit and remain between the riders seat, leg and hand.

Have you discussed with your trainer why he/she feels that you need to misuse draw reins by "framing up your horse"? Have you asked your trainer what the purpose and intent of the draw rein is? If not, you should. You might be very surprised by the answer, well maybe not if they are being used to "frame" a horse and the rider/owner/trainer accepts this as correct use of equipment.

How does the draw rein allow the rider to fine tune established basics? If the established basics were actually established why would a draw rein be needed? And while correct schooling is no guarantee that the horse could not put a hoof wrong at some point, are you trying to imply that draw reins is that guarantee because I can assure you it is not.

How does the rider in the show ring correct the hard left drift in a 2 stride where draw reins cannot be used?

And I agree with you, there is nothing I find uglier than a rider stepping into the ring with some God Awful hardware in the mouth and you'll see it time and time again. There is no better advertisement than this to show everyone on the grounds that this horse has not been schooled properly and that the rider lacks basic schooling ability. Some horses may need a bit more bit but when riders are relying on equipment to hold things together for them there is a basics problem.

I don't mind at all if someone is honest and just says he doesn't have the time to correctly school the horse anymore and would rather use equipment as a band aid to try to correct rider errors/horse problems but to claim that putting in the years and sitting on countless horses teaching riders to correctly educate and school horses does not produce better riders and trainers is well, ludicrous at best.

I do however, have a big problem with riders that do not have the inclination or the desire to want to develop and expand their knowledge and education and become better than the rest and honestly don't give a hoot if they develope the ability to be better than Suzy Q waiting on deck and then have the audacity to claim that the misuse of equipment is preferable to correct and proper schooling.

Not everything has to go in a big, fat snaffle. Some horse prefer other bits. However, some of the bits today are used because of the lack of ability to properly school the horse.

I guess I'm just an old kodger. I am forever looking for the educated horse and rider to step into the ring using talent and education rather than misused equipment to get a horse around. It is incredibly refreshing to see a truly schooled rider and horse combo in the ring. They are few and far between.

And if I was out horse shopping and a sale horse was presented to me in a pair of draw reins I'd just have to chuckle. This really says it all about the sad state of horsemanship and the lack of the training of the riders and horses when this is considered an ok way to present a sale horse.

meupatdoes
Apr. 14, 2011, 07:14 AM
"Really, flatwork is fantastic, and necessary. But if flatwork was all there was to it, there would be a whole lot of better riders and trainers out there."

The reason there are not a "whole lot better riders trainers out there" is exactly because correct schooling has fallen by the wayside and replaced with draw reins and a whole host of other auxillary reins and bits used as band aids in place of proper school figures and stengthening and suppling exercises to improve a horses way of going and education.

There really was a time when flat work actually was used and did take care of all the issues listed and then some, including straightness problems.

Even a young horse and most especially a young horse needs to be worked on the flat properly and learn bit acceptance, relaxation, and then "a frame" or actually, learn to come on the bit and remain between the riders seat, leg and hand.

Have you discussed with your trainer why he/she feels that you need to misuse draw reins by "framing up your horse"? Have you asked your trainer what the purpose and intent of the draw rein is? If not, you should. You might be very surprised by the answer, well maybe not if they are being used to "frame" a horse and the rider/owner/trainer accepts this as correct use of equipment.

God, I can't get over how hilarious it is that you are telling CBoylen of all people to look into the proper way to develop a young horse.

Seeing how her family developed ROX DENE and all.

Maybe when you have brought along the next horse hailed as The Hunter of The Century you can revisit this conversation.

dags
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:24 AM
May not be a popular opinion but.... not everyone can "do" productive flatwork.

Sure, I can torture an ammie for hours at the sitting trot on a 20m circle. And there will be points at which I scream in delight "THERE!! THAT! That MOMENT! Did you feel that? That step back there? Did you feel the CONNECTION from back to front?!" And they will look at me with a giant glowing smile on there face and answer with a resounding YES! WOW! That's what it's supposed to feel like!". And we will spend the next 45 minutes trying to find that moment again. And this will go on for years.

And we will keep up with it, because every single one of those moments is the best teacher there is for a rider with no natural feel, which is a great majority of them. But that's my program, and it's not for everyone...

Good flatwork is not easy, and for many it is frustrating as hell. This is an instant gratification society; paying 85K for a horse and 4K a month to board, train and show usually means you'd like to enjoy your limited time in the saddle. And if you are not enjoying it then the horse suffers.

So prep was invented (not the injectable kind). The horse is trained up by someone with time, feel, experience, or whatever possessed them to hang out a shingle. Fully tuned it is passed to jr/am for their 1 hour lesson or 3 classes over fences, then it goes back to trainer, who polishes up the tune. Rinse. Repeat.

Draw reins can stablilize the rider as much as the horse. It's very hard to get handsy when managing 4 reins, and the horse's shoulders are far more obedient. Since crookedness is typically the root cause of all mishaps, and busy hands can turn a well trained horse into an immobile pretzel, it's not uncommon to slap the draw reins on with non-pro rider and say "Keep your hands still. Give, don't pull."

That's just one of the reasons you might be seeing them on a horse. And could be the case here - trainer has no idea what kind of rider you are, knows this one can really curl itself into a pickle, and since it's not a purchase (ie, he inevitably will be the one doing any re-tuning) thought this was a safe route to go.

Though I would think the potential to jump harder would be greater in the draw rein.

Anyway, just a ramble with my coffee. Good morning everyone :)

Disclaimer: As stated before, I personally hate draw reins :D I don't feel like I'm very good with them, and have had them stripped from a horse that's been handed to me with them on. However, I've substituted a German many times when looking for what is probably a similar effect.

CBoylen
Apr. 14, 2011, 06:00 PM
Have you discussed with your trainer why he/she feels that you need to misuse draw reins by "framing up your horse"? Have you asked your trainer what the purpose and intent of the draw rein is? If not, you should. You might be very surprised by the answer, well maybe not if they are being used to "frame" a horse and the rider/owner/trainer accepts this as correct use of equipment.

You're the only one using the word frame. I understand the purpose and intent of the draw reins, hence I didn't include "framing up the horse" as an intent when I responded to your post. I learned the purpose and intent by results achieved in the horse, not by asking my trainers, whose response to such questions is usually, "wait until we're finished and then you tell me what that exercise/piece of tack/method of riding is meant to accomplish". That's why I can now tell you under what circumstances and conditions a specific piece of tack might be helpful, and know that it's the truth. I've been lucky enough to ride with some of the best hunter trainers in the business, developed my own horses with them and watched them develop many others, some of which have become household names. None of them are afraid to use all the tools that are available to them as needed.
I've also met a number of people that talk a big game about their flatwork, and consider themselves above certain types of equipment, and somehow they never actually get to the ring to produce any results. I'm a fan of flatwork, I can't state that enough. But I'm not a fan of flatwork when it becomes an end to itself, or when it becomes an excuse not to progress.

Meupatdoes, there's a picture in my mother's house somewhere of Laura Kraut jumping Rox Dene in drawreins. I need to go find it for these kind of threads!

Beethoven
Apr. 14, 2011, 06:51 PM
Must say that after reading this post, I tried my mare in draw reins jumping today. Attached to the breastplate so no fear of getting her leg caught. They were EXCELLENT! They were there to help me stop her if she wanted to rush the pole or crossrail...thats all we did. It was great really. Also helped keep her straighter and I was finally able to get her between my aids while jumping. (She is fairly well schooled on the flat, but get nervous when jumping and "forgets" all of that stuff) We didn't get in one fight and she never got anxious or upset like she has in the past. Really, they are great tool for horses where more bit isn't necessarily the answer. My mare is a sensitive one so getting too much in her mouth makes her angry. She grinds her teeth at me if my hands move while I am posting.:lol: The draw reins were just there as backup for when she didn't listen to my half halt. I think a few schools over poles and cross rails like today will allow her to make a huge jump in her education. This is coming from one of the most anti-draw rein person out there.

I think properly used as a tool then they are fine. I had jumped in them previously when I took on a trainers ride when she broke her leg. I was just riding her in the tack she wanted and I think the draw reins also helped that horse listen and stay straight and after 2 weeks she didn't need them.

meupatdoes
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:29 PM
Meupatdoes, there's a picture in my mother's house somewhere of Laura Kraut jumping Rox Dene in drawreins. I need to go find it for these kind of threads!

Haha, obviously y'all had NO CLUE what you were doing with that horse and the only reason you had the drawreins was because you simply couldn't pull your thumbs out of your heinies sufficiently to ride good enough flatwork.

If only you had dicussed with your trainer.

ExJumper
Apr. 14, 2011, 10:59 PM
Am I the only one who thinks it's amusing that apparently people think that in the "good old days" no one used draw reins?

Equestryn
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:01 AM
I had never jumped in draw reins in my life until the other day. It was always a HUGE No-No at my childhood riding facilities. I never made a big deal out of it, I just didn't do it.

A trainer friend mentioned the other day that she uses draws to help school her youngsters over fences, only she doesn't attach both reins to the girth between her horses legs. Rather attaches them to the girth on either side of the saddle like a side rein. I've ridden like this a few times and it helps with flexion and straightness.

Has anyone else seen this done? Or am I just behind the times...