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View Full Version : Horse training has reached a new low - Thanks Dover!



SaturdayNightLive
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:34 PM
http://www.doversaddlery.com/the-dog-bone-training-aid/p/X1-30114/cn/109/


An innovative training aid, well suited for horses with a tendency to carry their heads a bit too high. Functions like a standing martingale with two distinct differences. First, the entire middle section of the device is a heavy-duty rubber "Dog Bone", so it gives and stretches as the horse moves and settles into the correct position without excessive interference from the rider's hands. Second, the device snaps directly to the bit for more direct and effective communication once the horse has achieved the desired head set. Fully adjustable. D-ring snap to attach to girth. Stainless steel hardware. USA. In brown. One size.

:eek::eek::eek:

A whole new low. Now you can snap you horse's mouth directly to your girth. Awesome.

Normally, I'm one that says that all tools have a place in the right hands. Not this one. It's entire purpose is "headset", though it completely ignores the biomechanics that lead to a proper "headset".

I can't wait to see this thing running around the warm-up ring. *HEADDESK*

Rel6
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:36 PM
I've seen it used by a dressage trainer's student at my barn and hated it.

SaturdayNightLive
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:39 PM
But but but headset is function of the horse's correct use of the rest of their body. It isn't just a matter of putting the head down. It's about the back end tracking up and the back being lifted. Strapping your horse's head down doesn't "encourage a proper headset". It encourages a false frame and a strung out back end.

nickers@dawn
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:45 PM
This looks like a recipe for a rear and flip-over in the right circumstances. If your horse spooks or gets over excited and hits that bit and gets no relief, it could end badly. Don't think I'd get on a horse with his mouth tied to his girth.

pds
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:45 PM
Just what the horse world needs, another torture device in the hands of a bunch of hacks.
The crap some horses have to put up with. :eek: :no: :sadsmile: :mad:

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:46 PM
But but but headset is function of the horse's correct use of the rest of their body. It isn't just a matter of putting the head down. It's about the back end tracking up and the back being lifted. Strapping your horse's head down doesn't "encourage a proper headset". It encourages a false frame and a strung out back end.

This... I can't imagine literally strapping my horse's mouth to the girth :eek:

kinnip
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:50 PM
The dang thing has to bang the horse in the mouth with every step. A girth isn't exactly a stationary point, and that thing looks tight. I agree it's a recipe for a flipover.

Event4Life
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:51 PM
This... I can't imagine literally strapping my horse's mouth to the girth :eek:

Seriously! Why do we need something thats even worse than an standing martingale choked up so tight horse can barely move?? Ughhhhh.


Disclaimer: I agree that standing martingales have their place in the correct hands, as do *most* training aids. But this...really???!!!!

I would love if someone could point out an appropriate use for this thing.

dags
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:18 PM
Good god I hope there is a safety break on that. I have some terrifying images of broken jaws going through my head right now.

This is a seriously high danger quotient, despite all the other things wrong with it.

Resisting this contraption is going to result in some seriously sore backs. Giving into it is going to result in some seriously weak hind ends.

I'm a bit shocked dover didn't just laugh this idea out of the park. Or at least show some concern for the horse's safety.

laughATTACK
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:19 PM
Sadly, this is just a fancier looking version of a tool I saw used QUITE OFTEN by some people in Florida. I saw it more frequently during our two week stint in Ocala than I did during the rest of the winter in Wellington. The ones I saw were homemade with baling twine, an O-Ring and two double-end snaps. I thought they were horrifying then, and now to see that this device is being marketed to the masses is even scarier.

eventer_mi
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:37 PM
This has been around the Western world for ages now - it used to be called a "training fork". There was also this thing called a "Market Harborough" which was similar (I think that's what it was called) which was basically a running martingale with elastic "arms" that snapped directly to the horse's bit - I used to have one from years ago, when I showed low level hunters, and this was quite common. So, nothing new. In fact, I think I bought my MH from Dover back in the late 80's!

***whoops, did a search on MH and it's not the same thing, but I do have one from the 80s that is basically the same - can't remember what it's called. haven't used it since the late 80's, either.

BAC
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:37 PM
It makes me sad to think of any horse wearing that contraption, even the horse modeling it.

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:42 PM
This has been around the Western world for ages now - it used to be called a "training fork". There was also this thing called a "Market Harborough" which was similar (I think that's what it was called) which was basically a running martingale with elastic "arms" that snapped directly to the horse's bit - I used to have one from years ago, when I showed low level hunters, and this was quite common. So, nothing new. In fact, I think I bought my MH from Dover back in the late 80's!

***whoops, did a search on MH and it's not the same thing, but I do have one from the 80s that is basically the same - can't remember what it's called. haven't used it since the late 80's, either.

That thing is neither a MH or a western training fork. You were right that a training for is basically a running martingale with elastic arms, and like a running martingale, the reins go through the rings... The only difference is the fork attaches to the girth and not a neck strap.

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:43 PM
This... I can't imagine literally strapping my horse's mouth to the girth :eek:

Ever used sidereins? ;) Just sayin'. Sidereins have a little more play, but still...


I do think this thing is a stupid, stupid idea and has no legitimate use other than an ill-advised shortcut that won't produce desired results. I, however, can see A LOT of similarities between drawreins, sidereins, etc. especially the way people misuse them.

Leprechaun
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:47 PM
I'm guessing this would teach a horse to rear pretty quickly. Could they recover their balance without flipping with their head tied to the girth?

eventer_mi
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:49 PM
I stand corrected, Overohunter. However, the thing that's covered in green mold in my tack trunk definitely clips to the bit, even though it has elastic on the "arms", and it attached between the front legs to the girth, so it's definitely identical to the dogbone thing in the Dover catalog.

I've seen the Western training fork attached directly to the bit (QH circuit in Michigan). So, what's the difference?

GingerJumper
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:50 PM
Side reins are NOT the same as this godawful thing. Sidereins act like reins and contact, and when used correctly are a very advantageous training aid. However, used incorrectly by someone with a poor eye and you can end up with incorrect muscling and horses who hate the longe.

This thing, though, is different. The horse really can't evade it, and the only thing in my mind right now is a vision of someone putting this on a hot jumper and flipping. *shudder* even my bombproof, doesn't-give-a-$h!+ horse this would end badly. Although, poor old man is used to training gimmicks... previous owners.:mad:

CHT
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:57 PM
And unlike side reins, this seems to be marketed as a riding tool, not for lunging. As well the angle of pressure on the bit is nothing like a rider's hands, with the bit rings being pulled down folding the bit up into the roof of the horse's mouth. Seems like a good tool to make the horse fear the bit. Lovely.

Xanthoria
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:01 PM
A strap from girth to bit rings? It's a single side rein, set at an extremely low angle.

A strap from between the legs to the head with little to no give? It's like a standing martingale.

This contraption, while awful and pointless, is no huge surprise.

What annoys me far more is the proliferation of standings adjusted much too tightly and every single damn horse wearing them whether they need them or not. Why advertise your horse is a head flipper if he's not? Such the ridiculous fashion.

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:02 PM
Ever used sidereins? ;) Just sayin'. Sidereins have a little more play, but still...

Actually, no for the same reason; however, I will confess to using a neck stretchers, but only for lunging, never riding.




I've seen the Western training fork attached directly to the bit (QH circuit in Michigan). So, what's the difference?

The intended purpose.

eventer_mi
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:04 PM
OveroHunter - the intended purpose of all these contraptions is to "set the head". I'm not sure I understand what you are saying?

pj
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:06 PM
Seriously! Why do we need something thats even worse than an standing martingale choked up so tight horse can barely move?? Ughhhhh.


Disclaimer: I agree that standing martingales have their place in the correct hands, as do *most* training aids. But this...really???!!!!

I would love if someone could point out an appropriate use for this thing.

:lol: I call most "training aids" gimmicks for the lazy trainer.

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:07 PM
Side reins are NOT the same as this godawful thing.

Never said it was the same. Just pointed out that many people connect their horse's bit to the girth.



This thing, though, is different. The horse really can't evade it,

Actually, they CAN evade it...by putting their head down and in...which is why someone came up with this awful thing. they can actually get away from it more than they can get away from drawreins.


And unlike side reins, this seems to be marketed as a riding tool, not for lunging.

there are plenty of people that ride in sidereins. I don't agree with it...but it's not that uncommon.

GingerJumper
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:13 PM
*shrugs* Either way, this thing is deplorable.

morganpony86
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:14 PM
I'm a bit shocked dover didn't just laugh this idea out of the park. Or at least show some concern for the horse's safety.

That's not their job. I would blame the people who made the contraption and especially those who are buying/using it!


Actually, no for the same reason; however, I will confess to using a neck stretchers, but only for lunging, never riding.

This looks exactly like a neck stretcher to me! Only you strap the whole head to the girth, not just the jaw. What is the difference? Because I recently had a thread about neck stretchers and there wasn't nearly this much bad blood towards them.

findeight
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:15 PM
Been around forever in more or less similar forms. I suppose it has some limited usefulness at the proper time in the proper hands. I wouldn't use it.

But why are you condeming Dover in your title? They didn't invent it, they sell what people want to buy without passing any judgement.

I like Dover, they are not responsible for this and don't deserve the implication of being responsible for abuse any more then any other retailer of horse supplies that sells "gimmicks and gadgets. And that is ALL of them.

Event4Life
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:17 PM
I like Dover, they are not responsible for this and don't deserve the implication of being responsible for abuse any more then any other retailer of horse supplies that sells "gimmicks and gadgets. And that is ALL of them.

I'd hope Dover will only sell it if people buy it. Hopefully no one buys it. Suppliers only sell the "gadgets" people buy.

vxf111
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:17 PM
The thing is dumb but I don't know that I'd fault Dover for selling it. If people want it, they sell it. Period. They sell all kinds of questionable stuff (unapproved helmets, calming supplements that are marked 'don't test' but are clearly against the spirit of the drugging rules, etc.)

findeight
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:22 PM
I'd hope Dover will only sell it if people buy it. Hopefully no one buys it. Suppliers only sell the "gadgets" people buy.

Of course they will not carry it if nobody buys it. But people do buy it and requested similar or this high volume retailer would not carry it and all it's cousins. That is still not their call if they want to stay in business and everybody else has them too on top of all the homemade baling twine and O ring gizmos.

It's a don't shoot the messenger situation.

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:23 PM
This looks exactly like a neck stretcher to me! Only you strap the whole head to the girth, not just the jaw. What is the difference? Because I recently had a thread about neck stretchers and there wasn't nearly this much bad blood towards them.

There's a lot more play/stretch/give in a neckstretcher...and it does not attached directly to the bit but rather runs through it. I suppose if someone adjusted the neckstretcher really tightly it could be as horrible, but used correctly, I think a neckstretcher is less offensive than drawreins, and a lot of other training aids.

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:42 PM
OveroHunter - the intended purpose of all these contraptions is to "set the head". I'm not sure I understand what you are saying?

All I meant is that I western running martingale's intended use is for the reins to go through the loops and not attach directly to the bit. Yes broadly they are both meant to set the head with no regard to the hind end (the reason why I would not use either of them) but they do so pretty differently.

kinnip
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:43 PM
I think the issue with this thing is that it's made only to apply downward pressure to the bars, and if it were used with a single jointed bit, it could cause some real pain to the horses palate.

Madeline
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:20 PM
Ever used sidereins? ;) Just sayin'. Sidereins have a little more play, but still...


I do think this thing is a stupid, stupid idea and has no legitimate use other than an ill-advised shortcut that won't produce desired results. I, however, can see A LOT of similarities between drawreins, sidereins, etc. especially the way people misuse them.

Yep. This goes on the wall of shame with the side reins and the german martingale. For exactly the same reasons... No actual way to use it "right."

dags
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:22 PM
Side reins, unless you do the between the leg thing, have a lot of vertical play. This thing has no vertical play at all (just "down" doesn't count).

I'm not blaming dover, but I'm not going to commend them either.

Is there a safety break? True question. The first thing we learn is to never tie the horse by the reins/bit. My most basic equine fundamentals just cannot get over this . . . and then my more advanced equine mechanics check in and I just. don't. get. it.

Neck stretcher. Goes over poll. Enormous difference. (except for the one that rears. then you're screwed either way.)

Madeline
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:25 PM
I think the issue with this thing is that it's made only to apply downward pressure to the bars, and if it were used with a single jointed bit, it could cause some real pain to the horses palate.

And that would be different from a tight running martingale in what way?

amastrike
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:39 PM
And that would be different from a tight running martingale in what way?

Running martingale goes through the reins, so there's always at least a little bit of give there depending on how long the rider is holding the reins. Also, a running martingale allows unlimited reaching forward, which this contraption does not.

Trakehner
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:49 PM
This is just a hound couple leash....meant to show a pair of hound together. Wonderful....no throwing heads around and rearing with this agony in a horse's mouth.

I betcha' the ones most apt to buy it are the riders riding with all hands, no leg.

Rockfish
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:50 PM
I've seen people lunging horses in home make versions of that at shows around here...........

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:02 PM
I've seen people lunging horses in home make versions of that at shows around here...........

I'd imagine it's not hard to turn a running martingale into this with a couple double ended snaps. :o

Madeline: action may be similar to a running martingale with downward pressure on the bars of the mouth. but you can drop the reins with a running and take it completely out of play. Of course, this is the "good" of any of the training aids that use the rider's hands. (bad, however, that they are reliant on the quality of the rider's hands and the rider's reaction time). The "good" of a device like this (if there is any) is that it's all up to the horse. they find the release and reward themselves. The bad being there is no panic release option (same as with neckstretcher, chambon, DeGogue, etc)) and you can get yourself into a world of trouble that you can do nothing but watch unfold.

kinnip
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:06 PM
And that would be different from a tight running martingale in what way?

Because, apparently this thing is appropriately adjusted when it does this. An overly tight running martingale is just that, overly tight.

Arrows Endure
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:11 PM
Ever see hock hobbles? If you guys are scared by this, imagine walking out to the round pen to see someone lunging a 2 year old at a canter with his bit tied to his hocks. Yup. The western pleasure folks at my old barn used to put hobbles on their young horses, run a rope from the hobbles, between the front feet, and to the bit, then lunge them, walk/trot/canter.

I stared in....something. And then asked what the he!! they were doing. Apparently this little contraption of theirs "loosens up the back and gets the horse working from his rear end quickly, so you don't have to work them as long" Uh huh....

After hock hobbles, nothing surprises me.

HPFarmette
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:13 PM
:no:

kinnip
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:14 PM
That's beyond the pale.

leilatigress
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:19 PM
I'd call that a tie down though the ones I have seen used had a headstall and then it attached to the girth. It keeps the horse's head from getting too high or high enough to bash you with. Barrel racers use them and some roping horses do as well. Most won't actually learn to rear with it as they don't normally put two and two together to get up rather they yank their head up and hit the tension on the tie down and get the head back down.

Stellar_moves
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:21 PM
This has to be a joke... My horse would snap that thing in half then just be p*ssed off for the rest of the ride. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me!

SueL
Jun. 1, 2011, 04:28 PM
Yep. This goes on the wall of shame with the side reins and the german martingale. For exactly the same reasons... No actual way to use it "right."

Side reins? Are you kidding me?

I learned from the Old Skool and I learned to longe properly with side reins adjusted properly (hint, they should never force a horse into a "frame) and they bear nothing in common with this gadget when used properly.

Geesh.....

Sue

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 05:06 PM
Ever see hock hobbles? If you guys are scared by this, imagine walking out to the round pen to see someone lunging a 2 year old at a canter with his bit tied to his hocks. Yup. The western pleasure folks at my old barn used to put hobbles on their young horses, run a rope from the hobbles, between the front feet, and to the bit, then lunge them, walk/trot/canter.

I stared in....something. And then asked what the he!! they were doing. Apparently this little contraption of theirs "loosens up the back and gets the horse working from his rear end quickly, so you don't have to work them as long" Uh huh....

After hock hobbles, nothing surprises me.

That just makes my skin crawl... I swear there are good WP trainers our there! :eek:

Rel6
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:42 PM
Yep. This goes on the wall of shame with the side reins and the german martingale. For exactly the same reasons... No actual way to use it "right."

I disagree. I think there is CERTAINLY a way to use side reins correctly.

Denzel
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:46 PM
Looks like an english version of a tie down to me! Except a western tie down is essentially like a noseband with a strap from the chin to the girth. I see it around here on tons of roping horses.

OveroHunter
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:47 PM
There's a huge difference between a tie down and this thing for the reason you said! Nose pressure and direct bit pressure are very different beasts.

Lynnwood
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:58 PM
There is a local trainer that uses some aweful variation of this using instead heavy boating rope. She says the "weight" helps encourage them to drop their heads down and "carry their bridle". The saddest thing is seeing all her students proudly strutting around on their horses talking about how much better so and so's head set is now.

Where is the barf icon.

allison finch
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:46 PM
All I can say is none of my students had better bring one of those to the barn.

forestergirl99
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:53 PM
Dear God. Whoever uses that must have a death wish.

mroades
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:41 PM
Dover is corporate now...and we all know how corporations look out for their customers.....

War Admiral
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:00 PM
This is just a hound couple leash....meant to show a pair of hound together. Wonderful....no throwing heads around and rearing with this agony in a horse's mouth.

I betcha' the ones most apt to buy it are the riders riding with all hands, no leg.

Well I'll be dogged - it sure the heck IS a hound couple leash! Admirably spotted, Trak!!

As to the rest of your post - you KNOW thass right.

fivehorses
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:04 PM
Best way to let Dover know is to boycott buying anything from them.

Let them know too, when you make a purchase elsewhere. Maybe they will get the message.

In the meantime, dummies using new fandangle equipment because they don't know what or how to train.

vxf111
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:42 PM
Can I also boycott them for carrying show bows? I think they're tacky and ugly. And for that Joules blanket that's all bright colors and looks like polka dots vomited? So loud! And for unapproved helmets, those are just plain dangerous? Etc. etc.

You're really going to boycott a store for carrying a product you don't like? That isn't their house brand/not something they manufacture? I suppose you can, but I think the energy might be better directed to the manufacturer?!

findeight
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:53 PM
Dover is corporate now...and we all know how corporations look out for their customers.....

Dover coporate now?? Are you kidding? They have been incorporated since I visited their store in Wellsley in 1992 and probabaly well before that.

OK, so boycott any retailer like Dover who sells anything like this.

Enjoy the shakey ropes and majikal kholrabi sticks on the remaning sites.

The problem is not Dover that sells what people want, it's US, we as a group that owns horses that buys the stuff. The anwer is educating US, not damning a retailer that provides what WE, as a group, want and BUY creating numerous jobs.

Gnrock25
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:42 AM
It reminds me of the rubber bands that the orthodontists make you put on your braces. Just looking at it makes my teeth hurt

DarkStarrx
Jun. 3, 2011, 01:21 AM
I saw some of these in the warm-up ring at Devon tonight...eek

Ghazzu
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:59 PM
I just submitted a review of the product.
Perhaps others might express their thoughts as well.

Losgelassenheit
Jun. 3, 2011, 03:00 PM
Gosh, I feel like such an a$$ having spent the last 22 years believing that "direct and effective communication" came from the leg.. seat.. hand.. voice.. All that work I could have avoided just by picking up one of these magical leather straps that makes the girth do it all for me! :rolleyes:

I'll just continue to shake my head and say good grief. This thing's an accident just waiting for the right clown to make it happen. Oh, and SNL you're my hero.

But but but headset is function of the horse's correct use of the rest of their body. It isn't just a matter of putting the head down. It's about the back end tracking up and the back being lifted. Strapping your horse's head down doesn't "encourage a proper headset". It encourages a false frame and a strung out back end.

I think this fact needs to be taught to our young riders/students/future trainers/etc right from the get-go, right along with the "up-down-up-down". Maybe I'm just a hard-nose in that respect, but really, how hard is it to teach even the simple term, ride "back-to-front"? :uhoh: IMHO it's as critical as it gets for anyone who truly gives a hoot about the animal and plans on having some sort of career with it (which I do realize these days is a nice wish and dream -- seems to be more about status and the almighty $$$). But I digress..

JumpinBean17
Jun. 3, 2011, 03:05 PM
Dover coporate now?? Are you kidding? They have been incorporated since I visited their store in Wellsley in 1992 and probabaly well before that.

OK, so boycott any retailer like Dover who sells anything like this.

Enjoy the shakey ropes and majikal kholrabi sticks on the remaning sites.

The problem is not Dover that sells what people want, it's US, we as a group that owns horses that buys the stuff. The anwer is educating US, not damning a retailer that provides what WE, as a group, want and BUY creating numerous jobs.

AMEN!

2DogsFarm
Jun. 3, 2011, 03:30 PM
I just submitted a review of the product.
Perhaps others might express their thoughts as well.

Way to Go, Ghazzu!
Enough reviews and perhaps Dover will take this POS off the shelf?

Anyone else notice that the site listed a mash mix as "customers who have viewed xxx also bought..."?
Way to say: "Sorry I effed-up your mouth" to the horse?

wrolov
Jun. 3, 2011, 07:03 PM
I believe this device is simply a reincarnation of the German Martingale (not to be confused with the German Olympic Martingale).

The German Martingale has a loop through which one can slip their girth, and an adjustable elastic piece which runs from girth to what is essentially a curb strap (runs from cheek piece to cheek piece of the bit), and then a leather strap which runs around the elastic and over the horse's neck to prevent it from falling in reach of his hooves. I have used this martingale once before on my very-well broke horse only to learn the feel of the device (along with many other martingales), because my trainer had a very old one. I didn't find it particularly effective, though more so than a standing martingale, which I dislike in any case.

The only difference I can see between the two devices is a lack of safety strap over the neck, which is very dangerous. Along with the rearing risk of tying a horse's head down in any fashion, that also adds the risk of getting a foot caught over it... bad stuff.

I'm not taking any sides, other than to say that I believe before any martingale is employed, lengthy use of natural and standard artificial (spurs/reins) aids should be used to establish contact and attempt to train the horse into a frame. Further help is sometimes needed in the form of martingales, but that should always be backed by continued training.

Anyways, I'm new here and I saw this thread and wanted to pitch in my knowledge. Thanks!

kelsey97
Jun. 3, 2011, 07:17 PM
It's. just. scary!! One of the fundamentals of training IMHO is: you give a little, and I'll give a little. Riding is dynamic not static...this thing is awful.