PDA

View Full Version : Draw Reins???



tryhardeventer
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:11 AM
A student of mine had a lesson the other day with a better known trainer than myself. I asked how the lesson went and found out that the trainer put draw reins on the horse to encourage its 'muscles toward the right shape'. I was a bit shocked to be honest as I consider this as a serious short cut that creates a false frame anyway. What do others think? This horse is not hollow, he accepts the bit, and although green is a nice horse.

Coup De Des
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:37 AM
eeeuuuwwwww not nice.

I've used draw reins when my horse was being a little snot and was pulling like a train and needed a reminder of where his head should be. He wore them 10 minutes MAX and i was supervised by a very experienced friend.

I agree with your views.. i wouldn't encourage your student to continue using them. He just sounds like he needs more time and work to learn.

lstevenson
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:43 AM
I consider this as a serious short cut that creates a false frame anyway.

You are very right here. Draw reins create more problems than they solve. Once a horse learns to "give" to draw reins, they will forever try to drop behind the contact, and be in a false frame.

cyberbay
Jun. 7, 2006, 09:34 AM
Although this may be a sidebar to the OP, draw reins do have a place, I think. They are a great way from keeping a less-strong rider from getting displaced by a strong horse. Yes, yes, they need to develop their seat, but a rider never will get the chance to if her horse, the only one she has to ride, keeps overpowering her. Letting a rider hang on the reins and making her resort repeatedly to arm strength instead of 'hip' strength is doing no one a service and may make the job harder in the end. Instead, let the rider get a taste of success and what it feels like to keep a dynamic rein feel AND be able to have a positive effect on the horse, and before you know it, the draw reins are like a photograph of an long-ago vacation. A nice memory...

You're right, they should be used only in short doses and for many people, only under supervision. The OP sounds like a situation where the rider at this stage has undeveloped feel for a horse in front of her leg or possible throughness, and, yes, draw reins would block any development by anyone, but if she uses them under supervision, or even removes them early in each ride, she may get a chance to find her way to feel and to connection. A horse that goes well is what is going to teach a rider. A horse that is never on the right track is going to keep this rider from embodying (sp?) feel.

redponyrider
Jun. 7, 2006, 09:45 AM
I've seen a runaway horse with his head pulled down by draw reins run head-on into a wall, causing serious damage to horse, wall, and rider. He sure could run fast with his head tucked that way. Too bad he couldn't see. If you want your horse to stop in an emergency you need to pull the head to the side, something draw reins don't help you with. I've also seen someone trying to over-power a horse with draw reins, only to find out that once you crank that head down, boy can the horse buck. Using draw reins as brakes/ a control mechanism is as wrong and ill-thought-out as using draw reins to try to get the horse on the bit.

STF
Jun. 7, 2006, 10:02 AM
I HATE Gagets. I have a new favorite quote from a book Im reading while Im fat and pregnant right now!

"Yielding by means of Greman Reins (draw reins) which, while it has been established as a system, is a bizarre and distorted as an attempt to put a baby to sleep by administering opium" - M. Henriquet

ThreeFigs
Jun. 7, 2006, 10:17 AM
The example offered by Redponyrider is horrifying, but probably a case where draw reins were NOT called for and improperly applied. My guess is, this horse RPR refers to had multiple problems. (Yes, I know, I wasn't there!) Draws are NOT "brakes". As for a horse dropping behind the vertical after use of draws, that has not been the case in my experience, though I have heard of and seen other horses who did react this way. It's all in the judicious application of the device, folks. Judicious.

In experienced hands, or under correct supervision, draw reins can help a horse or rider get through a rough patch. However, I've seen them used by weak or poor riders to "control" their horses (with no supervision) and that is very bad. Learn to ride correctly first before messing with such devices. And then use them with care. There's a reason draw reins have been likened to "a razor in a monkey's paw" when used by the inexperienced.

I agree with Cyberbay's post. Draw reins, like firearms, can be used for ill or good. Don't blame the device, blame the device's handler, if things go wrong.

I just noticed the posting by STF regarding "German" reins. I wonder if this refers to the German Martingale or true draw reins? The German Martingale, IMO, is more dangerous than plain draw reins, because the rider CANNOT release the pressure from the German Martingale, while with draws, they can be completely released. Some horses will feel claustrophobic in German Martingales. STF, is the remark in parenthesis your clarification, or directly from Henriquet's text? Just curious.

summerhorse
Jun. 7, 2006, 11:24 AM
Draw reins have their uses but are a tool only, they should never be everyday equipment for the length of the ride. And yeah, they can sure run off in them (in a running martingale too!).

STF
Jun. 7, 2006, 11:24 AM
Directly quoted from book text. He talkes about them in several different chapters. One in "Raised hands and their Problems" where I got the quote from and actually from reading it now it looks like he requoted it from The French Equestrain Federation Manual. There is also chapter where he breaks down each and every tack from saddle, spurs, girth to whip - including draw reins.
He pretty much says IF they have to be used, which is rare that its only by experienced people who wont teach horse to come behind the bit and can feel to know how to yield to the pressure needed.
Now one thing he HATES is the martingales:
"This is a harness that is used to hold the hroses head at a certain level by sheer force. Its use indicates that the rider is incapable of balancing and positioning the horse by means of classical suppling."

Tonja
Jun. 7, 2006, 12:55 PM
I don’t blame you,tryhardeventer, for being shocked. The correct muscling of the horse’s neck doesn’t come from manipulating the neck. Correct muscle development is a natural byproduct of refining the horse’s independent balance.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:11 PM
Thanks, STF, that clarifies it for me! I'm gratified that Henriquet does make a distinction between draw reins and German martingales. There IS a difference in their application and potential severity.

BTW, the way I've used draws in the past, I adjusted them so that the draw rein only acted when the horse came up against the hand. It can be quite useful with an "upside down" ewe necked horse, or one who, while having pretty correct build, still has underneck muscles that dominate, whether the original problem is structural or created from previous bad riding. The horse self-corrects in this case. He feels that resistance from the draw, and lowers his head to relieve it. The horse MUST be ridden forward into the hand. Correctly used, the horse is in contact with the "regular" reins the majority of the time, and only contacts the draws when he's "naughty".

The draw rein becomes a horrible weapon when used as a "pulley" to "make him round his neck/come on the bit/whatever". What horse wouldn't want to escape from such a thing? I'd reckon most of us have seen that abuse from time to time, and that's why there are so many warnings against its use. And rightly so. In the wrong hands, it's a terrible torture for the horse. In the right hands, it has benefits.

STF
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:28 PM
Ive used draw reins on a rearing jerk I once had here. But...... I knew to LET GO so I did not flip him over on me too!!
He was one that would slap his head back and try to nail you in the rear. He finally got out of it, but I cant say it was the draw reins, it more me beating his #%^$%^ forward and making life miserable for him every time he reared cuz he wanted to go back to the barn!
:sigh:

Swale01
Jun. 7, 2006, 01:39 PM
Draw reins, like firearms, can be used for ill or good. Don't blame the device, blame the device's handler, if things go wrong.


Here here!

I have used them, conservatively, on multiple horses in the past. I would never give them to a novice rider - but used by someone with soft, supple hands,they can be very useful. When I use them, they are rarely the source of contact (as opposed to the direct rein) but function almost as a sliding, very maleable running martingale in a sense that the pressure is something the horse brings upon himself depending on how he moves his head. People who misuse them are people who ride on them (as opposed to the direct rein) and people who think that they use the reins to produce the desired headset as opposed to having it as a reinforcement tool as they push the horse into the bit.

DP2000
Jun. 7, 2006, 04:25 PM
I use them maybe in sessions of 3 times every 5 months? We find to only use them when I as a rider need to work on my body more then the horse...Its there as a reminder that my mare cant venture with her head....and for me to not worry about her connection as much...if that makes sense.
I think they are great to use, in the right hands of the right rider. Some trainers "assign" their students to use them almost every day and ever ride...now that disgusts me in a way that the horse will soon learn to almost depend on them, in my poin of view.

lstevenson
Jun. 7, 2006, 11:13 PM
Even when people think they are using them "correctly", they are always just putting their horse in a false frame.

I forget who this is a quote from but "a riders knowledge and horsemanship can be judged by the simplicity of his equipment."

Any rider good enough use draw reins "correctly" does not need them anyway. Proper riding is good enough.

slc2
Jun. 8, 2006, 11:26 AM
wonder why they hav ethem at the spanish riding school then. they dont come out of the tack room often, but they do have them. wonder why. perhaps they dont know how to ride.

lstevenson
Jun. 8, 2006, 12:14 PM
wonder why they hav ethem at the spanish riding school then. they dont come out of the tack room often, but they do have them. wonder why. perhaps they dont know how to ride.


:lol: Nice try. I'm sure in your vast "experience" (armchair experience?) you actually have been deep into the corners of their tack room. :rolleyes:

No, the SRS does not use draw reins.

STF
Jun. 8, 2006, 12:24 PM
:lol: Nice try. I'm sure in your vast "experience" (armchair experience?) you actually have been deep into the corners of their tack room. :rolleyes:

No, the SRS does not use draw reins.


ROTFLMAO!!!!!

Oh thank you, lstevonson - I needed a good chuckle!

Sandy M
Jun. 8, 2006, 12:27 PM
I believe Mikolka's quote is something along the lines of, "Those who know how to use draw reins properly don't need to use them."

That being said, I personally have only used them occasionally (and no longer even have a set), and then only on my old eventer who was HUGE and occasionally tried to precipitate pulling contests. ("Here, mom, you can hold up my front end." Aaargh!) I rode with them as though the drawrein was the curb rein of a double or pelham, and it only came into play when he was being truly obnoxious. If he reconsidered his position within a reasonable time, I took them off. He absolutely hated dressage (but boy! could he jump!) and did his best flatwork in a double-bridle (but with minimal curb rein). Go figure.

The other occasion I have seen them used that I thought was quite valid was in the retraining of a largish Arabian who had been through Arabian Pleasure and/or Park Horse training with one of those martingales where the reins run through metal loops on the shoulders of a breastplate-like device, head cranked up and back hollow. You could have ridden that horse forward, in front of the leg with gentle half halts and vibrating the bit a little, etc. or any other "correct" training method, and NEVER persuaded him to lower his head and round his back. He was ridden in draw reins for a while to try to coax him into a better position... and then they were removed. THough the rider was not that experienced in dressage, she worked with a good trainer and never rode in them without supervision.

ideayoda
Jun. 8, 2006, 12:58 PM
The purpose of draw reins is lateral flexability NOT longitudinal flexion. That is why the use of them usually fails, they are used in a pulley fashion for longitudinal flexion and with continuous contact. Used in this way the horse gets stronger in the underneck, and never correctly mobile in the jaw nor in self carriage. Definately not to be used by a less educated rider.

Pommederue
Jun. 8, 2006, 12:59 PM
Call them what you want. I use them if necessary on horses that need them. If you don't know or can't tell which horse will benefit and which horses might suffer from their use, don't use them.

slc2
Jun. 8, 2006, 01:13 PM
well, lstevenson, you're wrong, and quite a few visitors have said they not only have draw reins, but use them.

it is how often a rider uses them, and for what, and for how long, that makes the difference. i was always taught that MOST of the uses of them are wrong, and that MANY people misuse them, and that MANY people rely on them too much.

i have also seen a really awesome classical rider who NEVER rides rollkur, use them, to great benefit. for about 6 rides. and they were NOT cranking the head in, in fact, the horse had its neck more stretched out in front of it and more correct than i had ever seen. a skilled trainer knows when to use these things, and how. the majority of people - they don't, and they are a cop out. we had a trainer here who had every single one of her students horses living in the things. there is a difference.


slc

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 8, 2006, 01:14 PM
At a clinic, I heard Anky Van Grunsven say that she uses draw reins for her own safety when hacking out on the trail. :lol:

I found that amusing since it totally contradicted her reputation as a rollkur dominatrix. :winkgrin:

lstevenson
Jun. 8, 2006, 01:19 PM
well, lstevenson, you're wrong, and quite a few visitors have said they not only have draw reins, but use them.

it is how often a rider uses them, and for what, and for how long, that makes the difference.


slc



And would those visitors be........ the extra voices in your head?:uhoh:

Maybe NEW meds are required, slc.

Hmm... every TRAINER I have talked to from the SRS says they do not EVER use draw reins.

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 8, 2006, 01:27 PM
And would those visitors be........ the extra voices in your head?:uhoh:

Maybe NEW meds are required, slc.

Hmm... every TRAINER I have talked to from the SRS says they do not EVER use draw reins.

Karl Mikolka begs to differ.

http://www.angelfire.com/sports/dressage/pages/Karl.html#draw%20reins

slc-you owe me a drink :winkgrin:

slc2
Jun. 8, 2006, 01:52 PM
sure, i'll take some claritin and kick podhajskys grave since hes the one who wrote that.

Sandy M
Jun. 8, 2006, 02:50 PM
At a clinic, I heard Anky Van Grunsven say that she uses draw reins for her own safety when hacking out on the trail. :lol:

I found that amusing since it totally contradicted her reputation as a rollkur dominatrix. :winkgrin:


So AvG is generally regarded as the "most accomplished" dressage rider (by the standard of competitions won).

And dressage is supposed to make a horse more rideable, supple, obedient...and is supposedly the basis for all other traditional "english" disciplines....

But she needs draw reins to safely ride horses outside of the controlled environment of the arena.

SO....dressage does NOT make a horse more rideable, supple, obedient....

I give up. I have always been dumbfounded (though I probably should not be), that the harmonious and relaxed performances of Brentina (and other relaxed and less "brilliant" performers) always place behind the performances of horses that are brilliaint, but tense, look explosive, etc. but are exaggerated movers, sometimes neither performing walks nor immobile halts..... Obviously, whatever produces Brentina's performance must NOT be dressage, eh? Whatever.

I guess it's a good thing I have never aspired to Olympic/International competition. Sigh.

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 8, 2006, 03:08 PM
So AvG is generally regarded as the "most accomplished" dressage rider (by the standard of competitions won).

And dressage is supposed to make a horse more rideable, supple, obedient...and is supposedly the basis for all other traditional "english" disciplines....

But she needs draw reins to safely ride horses outside of the controlled environment of the arena.

SO....dressage does NOT make a horse more rideable, supple, obedient....

I give up. I have always been dumbfounded (though I probably should not be), that the harmonious and relaxed performances of Brentina (and other relaxed and less "brilliant" performers) always place behind the performances of horses that are brilliaint, but tense, look explosive, etc. but are exaggerated movers, sometimes neither performing walks nor immobile halts..... Obviously, whatever produces Brentina's performance must NOT be dressage, eh? Whatever.

I guess it's a good thing I have never aspired to Olympic/International competition. Sigh.

Anky didn't say that she used draw reins on her FEI horses. (I don't know if she hacks them out....) She rides young greenies as well--in fact she was laid up with a broken leg for much of 2004 when she was bucked off a young horse.

Not only are the horses that AVG chooses HOT, they are also extremely athletic!!!! :eek:

Sabine
Jun. 8, 2006, 03:11 PM
Anky didn't say that she used draw reins on her FEI horses. (I don't know if she hacks them out....) She rides young greenies as well--in fact she was laid up with a broken leg for much of 2004 when she was bucked off a young horse.

Not only are the horses that AVG chooses HOT, they are also extremely athletic!!!! :eek:


nooo- it was Joker that bucked her off after a lengthy layup. Not a young horse.

Eclectic Horseman
Jun. 8, 2006, 03:23 PM
nooo- it was Joker that bucked her off after a lengthy layup. Not a young horse.

Well, she is quoted as saying "a young horse" and that was what I remembered her saying as well. Here's one such quote

"On the problems encountered in the last season:

'Last year I had some difficult moments because of my broken leg following a fall from a young horse. That kept me out of competition for five months. Honestly I can't believe how fast things went in the training of SALINERO.'"

Found here-
http://eventingetc.com/2004/july_sept/press/press_dressage_aug_25.htm

Whatever :rolleyes:

Sandy M
Jun. 8, 2006, 04:00 PM
Whatever. I've started several young horses, for various english disciplines and I would regard draw reins as a DANGEROUS tool to use out on a hack. Nor have I ever needed them, either with OTTBs, or a couple of young and powerful WBs I "taught" to be trail horses, as well as whatever other discipline they were aimed towards.

While I know that Hilda Gurney, Gunter Seidel and others DO hack out their FEI horses (or have someone hack them out for them), I do wonder if AvG does every "hack" Salinero or her other higher level horses, and if so, in draw reins???

Frankly, I've reached the point where I don't much care. While I watch DVDs and tapes of various high level competitions, and can admire the beauty of the horses, and know that I, personally, will never achieve that level, I can't say that I like the tenseness and the appearance that some riders are muscling their horses around or that the horses may spook or otherwise explode at any moment. I don't often see any horses that look like "happy" relaxed athletes (whatever that may mean) with only the type of dynamic tension that high level athletic performance produces. It does not appear to me to be THAT kind of tension. When I do see a relaxed, correct, "cheerful" performance, it's a big surprise - "Oh, isn't that lovely! How harmonious, etc." - not at all what I see (most of the time, but not always) with many of the winning performances. Since 3rd level is the highest I have achieved, though I have had the honor of riding some FEI level horses, I realize that many will say I am not in a position to criticize, but frankly, if what the riders with tense horses do is absolutely necessary and correct to reach FEI levels, then I don't want to reach FEI levels.

Heck. My horse is older now, I haven't shown in a couple of years, primarily for financial reasons, and I won't have a new horse to ride/train until my present horse is unrideable ane therefore retired to a friend's farm, or passed on. But I can assure you that any new horse of mine will not be ridden in draw reins. ROFLOL

Gracie
Jun. 8, 2006, 05:00 PM
I've read several posts here along the lines of "I (or student) only use them when I (or student) needs to work on position" or "the horse is too strong for the rider and a pulling contest is bad." Even better -- draw reins are only used under "experienced supervision."

If the rider needs work on their position, ride a schoolmaster or put them on the lunge line. If the horse is too strong for the rider, sell it and get one they can ride. Let them learn the basic skills necessary to ride any horse in the future on a horse they CAN ride today.

Draw reins create an illusion of success. That occasional use creeps up into regularly use before you know it.

It's the horse and the next rider who has to ride through that bad training that suffer for it. It has taken me more than 6 months to detox my horse from draw reins. I can honestly say that in my experience, draw reins were used to compensate overhorsed riders.

Lieslot
Jun. 9, 2006, 01:08 PM
Sorry folks, if my comment/question were not to fit this thread, then just ignore it please. I didn't really fancy starting a new thread over this, so I'm hoping it sort of fits in with this drawrein post :) .

Here's my question. Would you consider an Abbot Davis Balancing rein to be better then drawreins or would you consider it to be the same?
picture, see link
http://www.discountsaddlery.co.uk/shop/details.php?p_id=338&session_id=66@249@72@2@20060504211325&search=&p_cat=65&p_mfr=x
Detailed view
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/The-Balancer-Customised-Training-Aid-Balancing-Rein_W0QQitemZ7246767875QQcategoryZ47296QQtcZphoto QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

It was recommended to me once by a trainer. I bought it, still got it in it's package & haven't used it so far.
Just curious if you would consider it's action to be one of "an illusion of an engaged horse, but in a forced outline" similar to drawreins, or would you consider it actually helpfull in correct muscle development if the rider can't achieve it on a horse that has it's head in the stars most of the time. :confused:
To me they look like a mix of drawreins & german martingale. The latter I find not very suitable, because when you relax the rein, you loose all contact with the horse.
Anybody out there using the Abbott Davis??
Thank you.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 9, 2006, 05:45 PM
I've read several posts here along the lines of "I (or student) only use them when I (or student) needs to work on position" or "the horse is too strong for the rider and a pulling contest is bad." Even better -- draw reins are only used under "experienced supervision."

If the rider needs work on their position, ride a schoolmaster or put them on the lunge line. If the horse is too strong for the rider, sell it and get one they can ride. Let them learn the basic skills necessary to ride any horse in the future on a horse they CAN ride today.

Draw reins create an illusion of success. That occasional use creeps up into regularly use before you know it.

It's the horse and the next rider who has to ride through that bad training that suffer for it. It has taken me more than 6 months to detox my horse from draw reins. I can honestly say that in my experience, draw reins were used to compensate overhorsed riders.

Gracie, obviously your horse was BADLY ridden in draw reins. Correctly used, they do not in any way "scar" a horse. The use of draws to as you put it, compensate for an overhorsed rider, is definitely one of the examples of draw rein abuse. Whoever rode your horse before was getting wrong advice/supervision and should have figured out a different solution to the problem. Selling the horse before it got ruined, or as you so correctly point out, taking lunge lessons or using a different horse until the rider is more competent.

I go back again to blaming the practitioner, not the device.

Unfortunately, not all of us have schoolmasters available to ride. We often must make do with what we have and do the best we can to help develop a harmonious partnership with horse and rider. So far, I haven't resorted to draws with a student's horse and hope never to be in that position. It is a device to be used only in the most extreme of circumstances. And then used with great care.

EqTrainer
Jun. 9, 2006, 06:12 PM
The purpose of draw reins is lateral flexability NOT longitudinal flexion. That is why the use of them usually fails, they are used in a pulley fashion for longitudinal flexion and with continuous contact. Used in this way the horse gets stronger in the underneck, and never correctly mobile in the jaw nor in self carriage. Definately not to be used by a less educated rider.

:yes:

And you may ride and train a gozillion horses and never need them.. but one day you will get on that horse that has been taught to go so incorrectly that you send your working student to the tack room to find them, forgotten behind the door, covered in mold.

If you never have and never do, good for you :) but it just may be that you haven't met that horse yet!

ideayoda
Jun. 9, 2006, 09:21 PM
The use however still remains that they should be used to promote lateral flexability and without a pulley effect.

lstevenson
Jun. 9, 2006, 11:17 PM
The use however still remains that they should be used to promote lateral flexability and without a pulley effect.


Even using them for lateral flexability has a pulley effect. That's how draw reins work. They (even when used kindly) force a horse to "give".

In correct dressage a horse should not even have the idea that he is to "give" to the bit.

For those of you who think draw reins are usefull, let me ask what do you think they do for you exactly? That correct training without gadgets couldn't?

goeslikestink
Jun. 10, 2006, 03:15 AM
i like it -- lstevenson-- haha

EqTrainer
Jun. 10, 2006, 08:45 AM
lstevenson - the point for me is that 1) when the horse has actually been trained into an incorrect response, I can show him very quickly what the correct response is 2) the longer a horse goes giving an incorrect response to the energy coming over his topline and through his front end the more wear and tear he does to his body - horses with this issue tend to have TMJ and their atlas gets out of whack as they twist and contort their heads, of course any time energy is getting pushed backwards the whole body suffers, these horses also will have sore croups/hocks/etc.

So if I can show him in one or two rides that there is a *different* possible response to the aids, we can get on with correct work that much faster. I don't think there is any virtue in taking a longer time than necessary to correct that particular issue as it becomes a vicious circle that perpetuates itself with the horse being sore and resentful (usually the reason he was brought in for training in the first place, or to be sold ;) )

Energy must recycle for the horse to feel good and want to work.. the quicker we get to that place where the horse is happy to do his job, the better IMO. Like I said, the draw reins are buried behind the door and usually moldy when retrieved, that is how little use they see.. once every few years I think. But for the right horse, with a certain issue, they are invaluable in getting on with helping the horse get better.

EqTrainer
Jun. 10, 2006, 10:36 AM
Two Simple, I am sorry but YOU are simply mistaken. You obviously do not have the riding skills to have ever experienced what I am talking about, but just because YOU have not experienced it does not mean it does not exist.
You clearly have no understanding of how a horse gets on the aids. None. You are "talking" about something you have no clue about . I am shocked that you would display such ignorance unless it was because you were aware of your deficiency and trying to learn something.

Don't try to tell me my horses don't like to be on the aids and work, because they do. I am sure while you are galloping around with your horses tail flagging they are having a good time, no doubt about it - but that doesn't mean that mine don't like being on the aids. WTF is this about harsh contact on their mouths? My horses MAKE the contact, they reach onto the end of the rein. I don't hold them in or pull them back. WOW you are clueless.

Psssst.. secret to ya' - your horse would LOVE the way I would ride, and she'd be on the aids, too - round and reaching onto the end of the rein. Whereas my horse might launch you, because he dislikes being hollow and inverted - once they know better it's hard to go back to having a weight on their inverted, hollow back. They learn that it feels better to carry that weight with their back up and rear end coming under - it's easier.

Anytime you want to give it a public challenge you just let me know. I'll even do it in your western saddle ;)

poopoo
Jun. 10, 2006, 12:19 PM
Draw reins can be an effective tool in teaching a rider not to take back, pull, or hang on a horse's mouth. The draw reins can also teach a rider how to have steadier, quiter hands. You keep your hands in one place and kick the horse into the contact. Then the horse is in front of you without any taking back, no cheating. I think they can be an effective tool.

lstevenson
Jun. 10, 2006, 03:26 PM
Draw reins can be an effective tool in teaching a rider not to take back, pull, or hang on a horse's mouth.


Absolutely not. Just the fact that you want to put them on shows that you're riding from front to back. If it weren't about using the leverage of the draw reins to make the horse give to the hand, why would you even want to use them?

EqTrainer
Jun. 10, 2006, 03:36 PM
I don't think draw reins teach the rider anything at all. The rider has to be taught how to use them. Nobody who does not already know how to ride the horse onto the end of the rein should be using them. That is when they are the razor in the monkeys hand, because they give those people the illusion of the horse being on the aids. But it's just an illusion.

Like all tools, they can be used to teach the horse something. That's it. They aren't magic and they aren't the anti-christ, just another tool, like your whip or spurs or bit or whatever.

goeslikestink
Jun. 10, 2006, 04:00 PM
i use them but only if ahorse is a git and i have done everything i can with out them i have used them twice in 47 years ---i have them and they are in the boot of my car with all my tack

exsample they say dont let kids use them well idid --

there was this kid called charlie of 7yrs old and she had a pony called magic still has said pony -- now this pony was a git -- ran out of school buck reared and redeo kick her in the head - doube barrelled and when mum took it show ran thorugh the ring line nearly decaptating her daughter -- but this little kid was a tough cookie--she loed the pony-- the mum was at wits end as to what to do could she sell him-- no-- dangerous--- or work with him.... she asked me for my help...
now we have a saddle -- then a good proprtion of leg then an ankle--
a kid on a pony after the saddle doesnt have a good proprotion of leg on thier ankle---

the pony was puttinh is head dwon and running--doing his thing

so i got my pony draw reins out -- got the pony and put it on the lunge
to accpet the draw reins i then proceed with the child and show her how to hold them and keep her hand set in one position-- then i lunge him as he went to buck i called for her to nufge him forward - now that she had draw reins on he couldnt do waht he was doing before cuaase now he was pulling against himself--

then i taught the mother how t keep lunge line tight and how to feel the pony if it was going to do something-- when i tried i asked her to urge the pony on--by voice-- and at same time to give charlie a shout to move it on
by nudging forward--

i said do him both sides in walk trot and canter for 10-20mins

see all the kid needed was an extra bit of strenght to hold his head up so he couldnt run and rodeo with her--but keep her hands in one position but sponging when asking to go from trot to canter and back to walk

six months later no draw reins -- and first show no ducking out of the arena
2yrs later still have the pony hasnt been on the draw reins since is snaffle mouth and polite---

it was draw riens for agitty pony or child got hurt --- so charlie is a nice 9yr old girl and a very good little rider she does well in the pony club and her brother has just started on her pony-- everybody wanted to get rid of him
all he needed was to learn some manners as kids arnt as sttrong as an adult
and it ponies can be stronger than a kid even an adult -- there strenght is three folds compare to ours... but carlie beat him, now if there any naughty ness from him shes ready with a good old kick and a slap with the whip

goeslikestink
Jun. 10, 2006, 04:12 PM
my point-- is drew reins are an aid used wrong can be dangerous to both horse and rider-- but use correctly can be of a help-- but then all aids are only as good as the hands that use them

Equus Caballus
Jun. 10, 2006, 11:03 PM
Two Simple--

I think you two need to agree to disagree, because the argument here is pointless. Both of you are trying to prove that the other disipline is cruel and incorrect, one saying that the contact is cruel, the other saying that a lack of contact is cruel because of the hollow back... etc, an neither is likely to back down. From an outside view, it is silly, I don't think you are either well-versed enough in other disiplines to be challenging, commenting, and insulting (but please don't take that personally, because I don't really know either of you or your experience. I just find that if you really KNOW a disipline, you can respect it and how it can be done correctly). Having done both dressage and western riding (training reiners), my opinion is that neither contact nor slack reins are cruel. The entire purpose of training is to get the horse to perform in a comfortable manner while utalizing his athletisism to the best extent possible. HOW this is achieved can involve many different techniques. Dressage, if done correctly, can result in a soft, supple, responsive horse. There is not "metal bar cruelly jammed in the mouth" or whatever. Trained dressage horses are a joy to ride, smooth, and beautiful. Western horses, on the other hand, are also amazing. My reiners can be controlled completely by seat and leg cues, without any reins at all, and this includes traveling in the correct frame. HOWEVER, and this is the important part-- to get to that point in training, it was nessecary to use contact at times. There is no horse that NEVER requires contact. The rein bit connection is a tool just like draw reins or anything else. In the wrong hands, a bit can be a harmful and terrible thing. However, in the right hands, contact can be used to create a soft supple horse that eventually will not require that contact at all, depending on training goals and disipline. Additionally, it depends on what level of performance you want to achieve. Please show me a dressage horse that could do what it does without any contact during training or performance. It simply isn't possible. However, that isn't to say that you can go contact-free in you hacks.

Please try to respect each others differences, as you are both blinded by your preference of disipline.

EqTrainer
Jun. 10, 2006, 11:29 PM
Yup, that was what I figured.. when confronted with the option to let the horse decide, you would rather not. God forbid she teach you something.

StefffiC
Jun. 10, 2006, 11:48 PM
Please try to respect each others differences, as you are both blinded by your preference of disipline.

I have alot of respect for EqTrainer from reading on the board here and doing some asking around the horse community in my state. I'd loff to go be her working student this fall or next spring. She's a smart lady. :yes:

TS on the otherhand told me recently that should I ride my horsey on appropriate contact she might not be lame instead of the loose rein I had her on (riding for the vet). FWIW, pony has a hock spavin and is getting worse before she gets better (we hope).

Some people like to argue and disagree. EqTrainer isn't one of those.

Steph

cyberbay
Jun. 12, 2006, 11:57 AM
You know, twosimple, there are a lot of horses that don't really enjoy the academic atmosphere of dressage work. There are also a lot of horses that really do. And there are also a lot of horses in the inbetween, who really appreciate the benefits of the basics, the stretching, and coming over their backs, etc., but just find they don't have the enthusiam to do it every day, and do best with a mixture of things, like trails, jumping, and dressage-oriented flat work. Just like people.

Somehow, in your posts, I think there is something to be said that maybe the horses you have just aren't ring-work freaks.

So, to each their own. In my long-winded way, I'm saying that maybe it was just the nature of your horse that stood in the way of dressage work, and not the evil 'contact.' You clearly had the awareness to 'hear' your horse when it came to contact, and that you made an active choice to no longer pursue that avenue, to see if there are other ways to go about it. Instead, you chose another 'lifestyle' for your horse, and that's fantastic.

Personally, I'm in the 'contact' camp. Yet, I sincerely enjoy watching a well-trained western horse (on ESPN)--they have the prettiest coats, and those manes and tails are to die for--although many times I just can't agree with the way the horse is travelling.

knz66
Jun. 12, 2006, 12:34 PM
Its gotta be "to each their own".... Or we'd all kill eachother LOL

My daughter's instructor put draw reins on for a couple lessons after she hopped on him for a while to see why she was having such a hard time getting him on the bit. It was to help with her independence of seat/leg/hand work.

He was doing his thing. Dragging her right out of the saddle. Hell, he'd drag the adult out of a saddle. He's 20 something, been there, done that and has that pony attitude, "make me!"

After a few lessons with the DR's and a couple supervised rides by mom here, she now has a feeling to go off of on her own. She felt the lightness that is suppose to be ther, she was able to feel all the things she reads on here about, in books and magazines.. It gave her a template to work with.

Sure, sure... You purists out there will still say its wrong, its cruel, the world is ending... But I feel they do have their place. The hard part is knowing when to use and when to stop using.

EqTrainer
Jun. 12, 2006, 03:46 PM
TwoSimple, you took that *one* sentence totally out of context and put it into the context you wanted it to have. I was explaining WHY I would put a horse in draw reins rather than taking the 6 or 12 months it would take to teach it the same response. Not only did you take it out of context, but you were rude as hell about it.

I was not saying that horses can only be happy under those circumstances. Not only was I not saying that, I would NEVER say that, because I don't think it. What I was explaining, was that when being retaught that response the horse won't be happy or understand until his energy starts to recycle.

I am not sure whether you simply did not read for comprehension, or you just decided to be snarky, but I suggest you go back and reread your post and think about whether your response was fair and reasonable or not.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 12, 2006, 03:47 PM
Bravo, knz66! Well said!

Use 'em if you need them and have the skill and/or appropriate supervision, leave 'em alone if you don't like 'em or aren't sure how to use them right. Simple as that.

Live and let live, for crying out loud!

lstevenson
Jun. 12, 2006, 05:26 PM
Bravo, knz66! Well said!

Use 'em if you need them and have the skill and/or appropriate supervision, leave 'em alone if you don't like 'em or aren't sure how to use them right. Simple as that.

Live and let live, for crying out loud!



But you miss the point. For 99.9% of the people who would use draw reins, there is NO constructive use of draw reins for dressage training. Their purpose is to force the horse to "give" to the reins. In correct dressage the horse should NOT "give" to the reins.

nhwr
Jun. 12, 2006, 08:21 PM
Their purpose is to force the horse to "give" to the reins. In correct dressage the horse should NOT "give" to the reins.


What is being described isn't the purpose of drawreins. Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper flexion. They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. If I remember correctly, originally they weren't supposed to be used through the bit, though that is how you see them configured most commonly. By applying pressure with the inside draw rein and giving with the outside, the horse may be encouraged to soften at the poll and in the jaw. Draw reins should not be used on both sides at the same time. To do so creates a pulling match between the rider and the horse's poll. Many people think they can be used to force a horse on the bit or into a frame, but it doesn't work and is not their intended purpose.

Personally, I have seen more harm than good come from their use and I don't like to use them myself. But in the hands of knowledgable users, they aren't a problem. The problem is not with them as a tool. It is with the people who think they know what they are for and how to use them.


lstevenson, you say a horse shouldn't "give" to the reins or the bit. What is your expectation of what a horse should do in response to an aid from the hand?

ThreeFigs
Jun. 12, 2006, 09:21 PM
But you miss the point. For 99.9% of the people who would use draw reins, there is NO constructive use of draw reins for dressage training. Their purpose is to force the horse to "give" to the reins. In correct dressage the horse should NOT "give" to the reins.

Thank you, first of all, for admitting that perhaps .1% of us might have a constructive use for draw reins. That's probably about how many horse/rider combinations might at some time need draws. Not all the time, not forever, just occasionally, briefly, with one difficult horse.

Read nwhr's response, which I think is quite good. I DO miss your point, because In my opinion, it is not valid. Sorry. So don't use them if you find them counterproductive. Let those with the skills and the need use them. Go back and read the previous posts which offered several examples of CORRECT and JUSTIFIABLE draw rein use.

Let me ask, though, if the horse does not yield to the rein (or leg, or pressure from seat bones), what IS he supposed to do? How are we to communicate?

In a perfect world, horses would do our bidding simply through the power of thought, and we'd all sit our horses perfectly. Horses would never, ever buck or nip. And I'd be 20 pounds lighter OR 4 inches taller. With legs up to here.

But it is not a perfect world, and some horses, because of a poor start in life, or less than perfect conformation, need extra help. So do some riders. That's why, dear lstevenson, there are things like sticky deerskin fullseat breeches and bucking straps. And let's not forget all the other "training devices" that human inventiveness has devised. Things like neck stretchers, Vienna Reins, Lauffer Reins, Chambons, Gogues, and those newfangled things that are supposed to teach the rider to sit correctly. I could go on, but I won't.

Unfortunately, I think you simply want to condemn those who would use draws without conceding that there MIGHT be a time or circumstance where the devices would be appropriate. If the SRS uses them occasionally, on horses who (supposedly) are bred and born for dressage, why would it be out of the realm of possibility for the rest of us mere mortals to use them occasionally on our (sometimes) less-than-perfect horses?

I've used my draws on one horse in the last 10 or 15 years. And then only to get her through a bad patch. It took about a week. She has not needed them again and is suffering no ill effect from the use of draw reins. There is another use/application of draw reins that you may find interesting.

Bear with me.

This was presented at a clinic here with a BNT from Europe. The subject horse was one who had an overdeveloped undermuscle in his neck from misguided early training. He could not or would not maintain throughness over the back and frequently was just a smidge against the rider's hand. The BNT threaded one draw rein from the girth through the horse's cavesson and to the rider's hand. When the horse attempted to raise his head "above the bit" and hollow his back, he met the resistance on the cavesson. When he put his head back in the right spot and rounded himself, there was no resistance. The rider used this configuration for several days and thereby began to solve the horse's persistent problem. She has since used more "sophisticated" solutions for the horse's problem with great success. But the draw/cavesson arrangement was part of the journey. I must add, that as with ANY dressage training, riding the horse forward into contact was part of the solution -- with the addition of an "incentive" to accept said contact correctly.

People who ride with draws pulled tight and curling the horse till his chin touches his chest are indeed misusing the device. They are teaching the horse nothing. People who ride the horse actively forward into the bit, with the draws LIGHTLY applied only when necessary (as when it tries to "go above the bit" and hollow its back) are teaching it to carry itself and its rider more efficiently.

The people who misuse/abuse training devices need more instruction themselves. I'd guess most of them don't even know they're misusing the device and causing more trouble for their horses. I don't have a solution for that, unfortunately. It's not against the law to be stupid.

lstevenson
Jun. 12, 2006, 09:31 PM
What is being described isn't the purpose of drawreins. Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper lateral flexion. They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage.


When they are used one rein at a time they are used to force the horse to give laterally. When used with both reins at the same time they are used to force the horse to give longitudinally. That IS the purpose of draw reins. The leverage from the draw reins forces the horse to give. Even if it's done carefully, it still FORCES the horse to give. Once a horse thinks he is supposed to "give" to the hand, he forever "gives" to the hand by dropping slightly behind it. I want my horses to move into the bit and accept it, not to "give" and give me a false sense of "lightness". Lightness is not the looseness of the contact, it's the way the horse carries itself behind and moves over the ground. Only when the horse moves into the bit can he progress into lowering his haunches and moving in true self carriage.

And the SRS riders I have worked with have told me that the SRS NEVER uses draw reins.

lstevenson
Jun. 12, 2006, 09:43 PM
Let those with the skills and the need use them.


I don't have a problem with people using draw reins if they need them to be safe, for example, so their horse won't run away with them, buck them off or something like that. I don't have a problem with hunter/jumper riders using them, as their end goals are very different then those of a dressage rider.

But for anyone who is serious about dressage, they are NEVER doing themselves a service by riding their horse in draw reins, even once. Dressage horses should not think it is correct to "give" to the reins. That is not correct dressage. For the rest of that horses career, he will have a tendancy to be in a false frame. Which many riders LOVE because they don't know the difference, and the horse feels light. It's fake.

True lightness comes from the engaging and lowering the quarters, not from teaching the horse to be "light" in the hand.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:08 PM
Well, you haven't worked with all of them. Here is a link to an article by Karl Mikolka, former Chief Rider from the SRS. I'm sure if I got his title wrong, someone will correct me! Someone already mentioned this -- but I submit it here for your convenience, lstevenson:

http://www.angelfire.com/sports/dres...l#draw%20reins

I agree completely with you that true lightness comes from riding the horse rear to front, and all that jazz. I still contend that a horse can be ridden correctly forward into contact, accepting the bit (as opposed to "giving", perhaps we are now getting caught in a semantical net), coming round , engaging his hindquarters, lifting his belly, all the stuff that goes into making fine dressage -- but that some may need temporary help with drawreins.

The horse I described in my earlier posting is now performing (in hand) piaffe and beginning passage. She can lower and carry with her hindquarters like mad -- but is not yet strong enough to carry a rider and perform the same feats. She can -- but for a few steps at a time only. And believe me, she NEVER gives me a false sense of "lightness"! Draw reins did her no harm, and even helped us get where we are now. She is a difficult, intelligent, sensitive creature who was not well served by her early riding. She also has a somewhat low-set neck and a tendency to overuse her underneck -- similar to my friend's horse at the BNT's clinic. She frustrated the other professionals I worked with -- not just me -- and these are people with extensive talents and knowledge. Training her is a journey of discovery -- I've learned more about my strengths and weaknesses as a human being and as a rider through her. It has been humbling, enlightening, frustrating, and challenging. She has made me a better rider and teacher to my students. I owe this mare a lot!

So don't condemn the use until you've met that one incredibly difficult, stubborn, not-quite-perfect individual who challenges everything you believe and everything you think you know!

nhwr
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:28 PM
Once a horse thinks he is supposed to "give" to the hand, he forever "gives" to the hand by dropping slightly behind it.

This is only true if the horse doesn't respond to the forward aids (the leg and seat) or the rider doesn't use them.

Regarding the use of draw reins, when used properly, they are more lof a wall than a lever. They are engaged by the horse if it resists, not the rider, so the isn't really any force involved.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:30 PM
This is only true if the horse doesn't respond to the forward aids (the leg and seat) or the rider doesn't use them.

Regarding the use of draw reins, when used properly, they are more lof a wall than a lever. They are engaged by the horse if it resists, not the rider, so the isn't really any force involved.

Thanks nhwr. You are the soul of brevity!

Tonja
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:37 PM
Beasmom wrote:

Let me ask, though, if the horse does not yield to the rein (or leg, or pressure from seat bones), what IS he supposed to do? How are we to communicate?

In dressage, a soft, light elastic contact is a natural byproduct of balance and relaxation. If the horse doesn’t offer soft, light elastic contact it’s up to the rider to figure out and address the cause of the imbalance and tension. It could be that the rider is imbalanced, tense, using inappropriate aids or that the contact is inconsistent or too strong. Or the horse may be rushing, tense, crooked or unresponsive to the driving aids.

If all of these issues have been adequately addressed and the horse still does not relax, and offer a soft, light, elastic contact then there is likely a painful physical issue of some kind (from ill fitting tack, sore muscles or joints, etc). Draw reins do not address the causes of contact issues; they only mask the symptoms and teach the horse to work in a “desirable frame” in spite of the underlying issues.

Achieving a soft, light elastic contact through the appropriate use of the basics is an art in and of itself but it is not out of reach of the average rider.

lstevenson
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:55 PM
Draw reins do not address the causes of contact issues; they only mask the symptoms and teach the horse to work in a “desirable frame” in spite of the underlying issues.





:yes: Yup! Thank you Tonja!

I knew we had some people on this board who understand dressage enough to know why draw reins don't really work.

lstevenson
Jun. 12, 2006, 10:59 PM
Here is a link to an article by Karl Mikolka, former Chief Rider from the SRS.


I believe Karl Mikolka has been quoted to say "those who would be able to use draw reins correctly don't need them". What does that mean to you?

nhwr
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:02 AM
lstevenson,
If I had a euro for every person to whom that quote has been attributed, I wouldn't be negotiating with my husband about the mare I want to buy in Europe. She'd be paid for already :lol:

Here is what Mikolka really said about draw reins
http://www.angelfire.com/sports/dressage/pages/Karl.html


A Few thoughts about draw reins

Before we venture into a detailed discussion about the benefits or disadvantages of draw reins, let's explore the question: Why draw reins at all?
To establish a generality, draw reins should only be used as a backup rather than a replacement for the gymnastic training necessary for achieving suppleness, submissiveness, balance and throughness. Since these milestones of proper training are best accomplished by selecting the right combination of ring figures, forward riding, bending in motion, engaging, half halting and countless transitions in proper balance, one should never hope to achieve the same solely through the use of draw reins.

The subject of draw reins and their value in the training of the horse has been dividing the equestrian world for centuries. Certain Masters of the past regarded draw reins as a useful means in achieving the highest level of 'throughness', while others opposed their use entirely, even on difficult horses.

In recent times the question of draw reins is often defended by professionals as being helpful in cutting down considerably the training time and getting difficult horses quicker on the bit and up through the levels. It has been proven that draw reins in sensitive hands are effective tools when smartly used as a support rather than applied as a forceful gadget for pressing the horse's head into a certain form.

Experts in theory - as they are wont to call themselves - and Puritans who defend the orthodox approach toward training often disagree in the use of draw reins, no matter what the excuse. They are quick to quote the late Col. Podhaisky who was heard saying on more than one account: "In the wrong hands, draw reins are as dangerous as razorblades in the hand of a monkey" A potentially insulting maxim in itself, considering all the animal rights groups nowadays who might immediately protest such an insinuation.

Some Facts About Draw Reins

As with all things in human life, there is a good side and a bad side when it comes to managing draw reins. After all, it is not the draw rein which does the damage or the fixing, it is the person behind the draw rein, the rider himself. Considering the imperfection of human nature it is easy to understand how controversial an issue such as the dispute over draw reins can become and how quickly those who see merit in using them are, at the same time, immediately regarded as incompetent in their application.

It is almost like saying:" If you merely think of working with draw reins you are automatically admitting that you know nothing about their manipulation." A somewhat over simplification of the situation.

The Truth About Draw Reins

The mere term draw rein brings to mind of the sensitive soul a device which uses force as a means to an end. Like a draw bridge lifted by force, force is used to pull a horse's head down. Granted this can easily happen, especially when inexperience dominates. The philosophy of the Old School stressed first and foremost 'throughness' rather than insisting on a certain head set. How the horse placed its head was secondary to throughness, although the degree of throughness affected the horse's head carriage. 'Throughness 'or Durchlässigkeit is a condition which includes and afects the entire body and being of the horse, not only a small part of it. All too often the term 'on-the-bit' is attributed to a certain head set - roughly two fingers in front of the vertical - while in reality 'on-the-bit' mainly describes the condition of a completely relaxed horse accepting the rider's aids without arguments. In the Old School, 'on-the-bit' was the result of throughoess and throughness was the product of the highest level of suppleness, submissiveness, balance and relaxation. No draw reins, even those made of gold, can replace the work toward throughness, although sometimes they can be quite helpful in achieving it.

As I mentioned before, one of the great dangers of riding with draw reins lies in the false assumption they can replace suppleness, balance and submissiveness, providing a short cut of some sort. Unfortunately, they can not. One can never compensate for the lack of throughness by solely relying on draw reins. Modern day horsemen unfortunately tend to do just that and create horses which carry their heads far too low and too close to their chests. This is highly detrimental for establishing true throughness, a stage where the horse offers no resistance either from the front to the rear or from the rear to the front. The rider's signals are accepted without delay or blockage. The horse becomes an extension of its rider. Whenever a draw rein is used to coerce an improper headset, its merit is lost and its application academically wrong.

Any one part of the horse which is singled out and worked without paying attention to the whole of the body will at best lead to a pitiful caricature of an animal exposed to human ignorance but never to an art form. That's the main reason why all the anti-draw rein supporters warn against the utilization of draw reins. And in this respect they are absolutely right.

What About Using Draw Reins Correctly?

That, according to the Old Masters requires some level of experience. Under Podhajsky, any manipulation of draw reins was limited to the Chief Rider and Podhajsky himself. Various historical treatises on the subject suggest that draw reins should only act as a certain boundary on a horse's head carriage. They advise using the draw rein as an auxiliary rein only when the horse is about to overstep this boundary line, while the rest of the time the draw reins should remain slack. I personally do not agree with this recommendation simply because experience tells us that it is rather difficult, if not impossible to apply a smooth, non-offending rein aid quickly and precisely with a rein not in continual elastic contact with the horse's mouth.

Before riding with draw reins, it will be indispensable for the rider to have developed a steady, independent seat, the base for a relaxed and sensitive hand. The effectiveness of the draw reins depends entirely on that good hand. The good hand has several qualifications which must be practiced off the horse as well as on the horse to the degree that they become second nature. In developing such a hand, the rider would do well to keep the following points in mind:
The thumb is the only part of the fist which exerts a strong pressure on the rein which rests on the second joint of the index finger. The middle finger ring finger and pinky are turned towards the palm of the hand in such a way that there is a little room left between the finger tips and the palm of the hand. Some people refer to this fist as 'bird fist', firm enough to prevent a bird from escaping but soft enough not to crush him. The wrists as well as the muscles along the lower arm must remain completely relaxed without allowing the thumbs to weaken their pressure, resulting in losing control over the reins.

To keep the wrists relaxed, the thumbs firm but the lower arm muscles free of tension and stiffness is at first difficult. I advise practicing these procedures while sitting in front of the TV or while taking a bath. The feeling of a correctly working hand has to be secured first off the horse, then reestablished on the horse.

It is all too tempting to tighten up the wrong parts of the hand such as wrists, fists, arm and shoulder muscles, especially when the horse starts moving. It is furthermore easy to forget to keep the thumb firm and the rest of the hand light and sensitive. Developing this good hand before working with draw reins will make the difference and can not be emphasized enough.

Variations On a Theme

There are numerous opinions on how the draw reins themselves should be adjusted. Some riders prefer attaching draw reins to the bottom of the girth and run them between the horse's front legs, over the horse's chest to the snaffle rings. This method can bring about good results temporarily. In the long run though, it entices the horse to lower its head too much and to drop its neck too low thus creating an image of an animal getting ready to perform a head stand. When confirmed, it will hinder the rider from using the natural leverage of the neck, head and shoulders, which otherwise would provide a means of shifting more weight occasionally towards the hind legs in preparation for good collection.

Other riders prefer to adjust the draw reins like side reins: through the left or the right side of the girth and through the snaffle rings from the inside out. This arrangement is the most common one. The rider holds two reins in his hands, the reins of the snaffle, divided through ring and little finger, the draw rein around the little finger; through the fist to the index finger where the thumbs hold both reins firm. A number of riders choose to divide the draw rein by the ring and middle finger. How the reins are held is not as important as how the rider's hands function. My extensive clinic travels reveal that most riders do not pay attention to or are even aware of their hands and stiff wrists. This phenomenon combined with weak thumbs, tight fists, rigid arm and shoulder muscles with elbows sticking out are quite wide spread.

Based upon my education it is my belief, that using draw reins on the same bit which holds the snaffle reins has only limited possibilities. Two pair of reins working the same bit? How can we expect the horse to understand the different meanings of snaffle versus draw rein? In my experience, which is also backed by the thinking of the Old Masters (see Seeger), it is much more beneficial if the rider works the horse Auf Doppeltrense with a double snaffle whenever draw reins must be used. For that purpose, a somewhat thinner snaffle, similar to the one used in conjunction with a curb bit is a good choice. This second snaffle is attached to a separate cheek-strap and is put on the horse first, while the normal - or 'true'snaffle is placed over it. The first or thinner snaffle is therefore closer to the rider, the 'true'snaffle a little further away. The draw reins are attached to the right and left hand side of the girth and run from the inside out, through the rings of the thinner, or second snaffle. Each hand holds two reins, the snaffle rein and the draw rein. With this set up the rider has a multitude of combinations available when 'playing' the true bit against the draw rein bit. It also has the added benefit of exposing the horse to carrying two bits in anticipation of the curb and snaffle work later.

Preparing the horse with the true snaffle and following through with the draw reins is the hallmark of this type of work. For example: the true snaffle is responsible for keeping the horse's neck and jaw soft and relaxed (lateral flexion) while at the same time the second snaffle, attached to the draw reins, is accountable for keeping the poll of the horse supple (longitudinal flexion). As long as the poll of the horse is allowed to remain stiff - an all too common occurrence - no horse can be consistently on the bit. Relaxing the poll area is mandatory for accepting the double bridle later. For that reason, the most important by- product of all work with draw reins, no matter how they are attached, must be the relaxation of the poll area. The success of draw rein work depends greatly on:

The quality of the rider's seat
The quality of the rider's hands
The ability of the rider to support each rein aid with well timed leg and seat aids. The legs support the 'true' snaffle in its task of keeping the neck and the jaw flexible, while the seat (weight of the rider) more supports the draw reins in keeping the poll of the horse supple. Always remember: a soft poll is the key to successful double bridle training.

Horses With Special Needs

Over the years I have had the opportunity to ride a wide variety of horses, horses of different breeds and horses with different problems. I discovered that horses with parrot mouth for instance, respond better to draw reins when they are attached to the girth under the belly and run between the front legs through a strap which connects the right and the left snaffle ring, almost acting like a very lose chin strap, to the rider's hands. This method can also be used with one snaffie bit when working a neck which is rather short and muscular and with a double snaffle when confronted with a neck resembling a swan.

Such a set up protects the delicate parrot mouth from all too strong pressures, guarantees quick relaxation of the poll and encourages the acceptance of the bit with confidence and trust. Working in that order, it becomes clear that the snaffle reins are free to influence and improve the relaxation of the neck muscles while the draw reins, almost acting as a running martingale, influence the flexing of the poll.

Other variations include: riding with only one draw rein. There are numerous horses which feel entrapped and claustrophobic when ridden with two draw reins. Their tenseness increases sharply due to feeling uncomfortable. So WHY- I ask- insist on two draw reins when they only make matters worse? Col. Podhajsky always stressed the need to develop into a 'thinking rider' That includes the one who never chooses a procedure which makes the horse unhappy or uncomfortable - (not to be confused with challenging the thinking of a horse).

The single draw rein can be attached either to the left or the right side of the girth. From there it runs into the same snaffle ring on which the bridle reins are hooked. From the left side it is passed through the left snaffle ring and when attached to the right side of the girth, it passes through the right snaffle ring. Here I would like to point out that only one snaffle is used when working the horse with one draw rein. The draw rein supports either the right or the left snaffle rein, both acting on the same mouthpiece. The rider works with two reins in one hand and one rein in the other - that which carries the crop. Working with two reins in one hand and only one rein in the other offers an excellent opportunity for the rider to experience the important- but often forgotten - counter-function of the outside rein. The two reins in one hand should never overpower the single rein, be it on the outside or the inside of the work direction.

If the horse has a pronounced stiff side, it is then advisable to put the draw rein on the softer side first. The horse needs a few days to get acquainted with this 'rigging.' Like water which follows the path of the least resistance, the rider should do the same. As soon as the horse is confident with this set up then the draw rein can be used on the stiffer side where it will be of great usefulness.

A few horses which develop the habit of falling on a shoulder every time they are asked to flex, benefit from a diagonal adjustment of the single draw rein. For example, a horse which drops or falls on its left shoulder every time it is required to bend right will be assisted in maintaining a better balance when the single draw rein is attached from the left side of the girth, underneath the neck, diagonally into the right snaffle ring. The draw rein when used for bending guards the diagonal shoulder at the same time. A draw rein used in that manner can also be quite helpful in preventing the horse from falling on his outside shoulder; as often occurs in the early stages of shoulder-in training.

The most challenging combination in addition to all previously mentioned is that of a cavesson and draw reins, a chapter; which goes beyond the scope of this study. This type of work requires a great amount of experience and is definitely not recommended for the average rider. Ignorance and inexperience invite accidents. Moreover; the horse must have developed a very high level of submissiveness before it can be expected to accept the cavesson without potential harm to its rider or itself. The cavesson-draw rein technique was preferred by the Old Masters who, granted,had much more time than we do to meet the needs of their horses. Times may change, but horses do not, and this combination still remains the best preparation for the work on the double bridle.

© Karl Mikolka 1998

Sabine
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:06 AM
nice one NHWR! wonder what the 'purists' are going to say now...!

poopoo
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:07 AM
Sounds like a grey issue, rather than a black and white one.

Sabine
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:13 AM
Good riding and training is VERY GREY!! if it was black or white - every Joe Blow would get it, but since it's much more refined and complicated and takes umpteen years to really learn....only one in maybe 500 really gets it...and then there are other issues that can get in the way...that's why there are soooo few that REALLY get it, are nice to be around and keep on achieving....that's why there is quite a bit of restless despair, wondering and questioning and NOT really knowing out there...!

lstevenson
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:16 AM
that's why there are soooo few that REALLY get it,



Boy, that's the truth.

lstevenson
Jun. 13, 2006, 12:18 AM
"Under Podhajsky, any manipulation of draw reins was limited to the Chief Rider and Podhajsky himself. "

Well, that says a lot right there.

mbm
Jun. 13, 2006, 01:57 AM
i am confused. you are using mr milkolka as proof that draw reins are correct. but what do you make of the out takes below? will you believe this as proof that riding deep, btv and etc as incorrect? and if not , why is ok to use his words to defend draw reins but then not believe what he wrote about riding btv??? (in other words, is it okay to pick and choose what you believe from someone as knowledgeable as mr milkolka?)

"One can never compensate for the lack of throughness by solely relying on draw reins. Modern day horsemen unfortunately tend to do just that and create horses which carry their heads far too low and too close to their chests. This is highly detrimental for establishing true throughness, a stage where the horse offers no resistance either from the front to the rear or from the rear to the front. The rider's signals are accepted without delay or blockage. The horse becomes an extension of its rider. "

nhwr
Jun. 13, 2006, 02:25 AM
One can never compensate for the lack of throughness by solely relying on draw reins. Modern day horsemen unfortunately tend to do just that and create horses which carry their heads far too low and too close to their chests. This is highly detrimental for establishing true throughness...
will you believe this as proof that riding deep, btv and etc as incorrect? and if not , why is ok to use his words to defend draw reins but then not believe what he wrote about riding btv??? No, because 1)that isn't what he says. The comment you refer to is saying it is detrimental to rely soley on draw reins (which I agree with), not that it is bad to occasionally put the horse btv. 2) There other experts whose opinions I respect (like von Ziegner) who say that riding a horse btv can have some benefit, if the rider is skilled and the horse is truly through. 3) I have had a different experience which, coincidently, was rehabbing a horse on whom draw reins had been used improperly. The net result of the rehab was a horse that no longer carried her head too low and too close to her chest because she had developed real "throughness".

cyberbay
Jun. 13, 2006, 07:03 AM
I think what is desired, as opposed to the horse 'giving' to the pressure of the rein, is a sense of the horse filling in the rein and moving into it.

Honestly, I've used draw reins on a horse that had a terrible time motivating his hq (for soundness, for mental reasons, etc.), and they were like a balancing rod for him. It really helped him for a couple of weeks. Haven't used them since, in about 2+ years. Still has his periodic unsoundness, but when he's sound, he's fully, strongly connected over the back (until he gets tired--it's always been hard work for his naturally weak lower back).

nhwr
Jun. 13, 2006, 04:34 PM
I think what is desired, as opposed to the horse 'giving' to the pressure of the rein, is a sense of the horse filling in the rein and moving into it.
If a horse does this without any "give" or response to an aid, the horse is hanging on the reins.

lstevenson
Jun. 13, 2006, 05:41 PM
If a horse does this without any "give" or response to an aid, the horse is hanging on the reins.


I think I'm seeing a pattern here, nhwr. Pro rk, pro draw reins, pro horsey put his head in pretty position? Because when you teach a horse to give to the rein, that's what you are doing.


Cyberbay's quote was right on:

"I think what is desired, as opposed to the horse 'giving' to the pressure of the rein, is a sense of the horse filling in the rein and moving into it"

nhwr
Jun. 13, 2006, 07:55 PM
I think I am seeing a pattern here too, lstevenson. You don't know how to read very well, you assume a lot and make may assertions that are not born out by the facts :lol:

I never said I was pro rolkur or pro draw rein. In fact, about draw reins I have said on this thread that I don't like to use them. However I acknowledge that there are people who can use them beneficially.

Please don't let being wrong (again) stop you, though :winkgrin:

TwoSimple,
Podhajsky was the head of the SRS. Mikolka was a student there for more than a dozen years.

EqTrainer
Jun. 13, 2006, 08:55 PM
Draw reins = abortion?

Can you please explain this from a medical perspective?

lstevenson
Jun. 13, 2006, 10:25 PM
I think I am seeing a pattern here too, lstevenson. You don't know how to read very well, you assume a lot and make may assertions that are not born out by the facts :lol:

I never said I was pro rolkur or pro draw rein. In fact, about draw reins I have said on this thread that I don't like to use them. However I acknowledge that there are people who can use them beneficially.




:lol: I read just fine, thank you very much. When I am reading things written by people who have common sense and a fair amount of intelligence, that is.

You say you are not pro rk or draw reins.... Hmm...... Yet you continue to argue for their use. You must think draw reins and rk have a good, purposefull use, otherwise why would you argue for them. It sounds like you don't know your a@@ from a hole in the ground. :D

The pieces of the puzzle actually fit quite nicely. If you believe that a horse should "give" to the bit, of course you would argue for the use of draw reins and rk. You may say that you don't, but your actions say you do.

lstevenson
Jun. 13, 2006, 11:10 PM
But that doesn't matter. If the head of Ford Motor company murders somebody, is that the same as saying that murder is commonly practiced and endorced at Ford Motor Company?


:lol: Very good point Two Simple.

lukas1987
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:23 AM
Absolutely, I would love to! The mare was worked for 30 minutes with no warmup, in draw reins because she was evading the bit and refusing to come "on the bit." She was worked at the trot and canter and was so mentally and physically stressed, that she ended up aborting her fetus and prolapsing her uterus.
I think that is the most ridiculous thing I've read yet in these RK and drawn rein threads. Where does one even start to address the absurdity of that comment???

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 09:49 AM
You say you are not pro rk or draw reins.... Hmm...... Yet you continue to argue for their use. You must think draw reins and rk have a good, purposefull (sic) use, otherwise why would you argue for them.
Well since you assert your reading comprehension skills are up to par, perhaps you could reference where I argue for their use. The idea I do support is rational assessment of concepts as opposed to ignorant hysteria. I think the real problem for you. lstevenson, is that you don't like being shown for the dressage "expert" that you are :lol:


But that doesn't matter. If the head of Ford Motor company murders somebody, is that the same as saying that murder is commonly practiced and endorced (sic) at Ford Motor Company?

What???? Who said they were commonly used and endorsed by the SRS?


I am just curious since some people here are vehemently defending the idea that draw reins are common training tool of the SRS.
Who is vehemently defending this and where are they doing it???


I think that is the most ridiculous thing I've read yet in these RK and drawn rein threads. Where does one even start to address the absurdity of that comment???
:yes::yes::yes::yes:

I think lstevenson and TwoSimple have spent more time involved in a different sport. Their input sounds more like "fish tales" than anything else. Facts don't need embellishment or exaggeration. Intelligent discussion doesn't need to come down to their level. But when you don't have much to work with, I guess you gotta go with that :winkgrin:

slc2
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:13 AM
no one ever suggested they are a 'common training tool' at the srs. that is total crap. even i didn't say that. podhajsky said they had a pair there, and that if they need them, they WILL use them, and also, that the bulk of the time, they stay right where they are - gathering dust in the tack room. i have been taught that way for 40 years, and it has never changed, and never been any different with any good trainer i've ever worked with.

at the same time, i know a trainer who DOES use draw reins, for 2-3 rides, and with great skill. in france, they are used occasionally to 'save the horse's back' at one excellent school i attended, and they have their use and they have their need and people CAN use them without being burned in hell for all eternity by the god of dressage (named after one of you three, i'm sure). at the same time i have seen people make horses go very incorrectly and get practically unalterable bad habits in how they go. are the horses then going to die a fiery death? probably not.

and i am STILL not willing to go accusing people of KILLING HORSES BY PUTTING THEIR CHINS IN, FOR GOD'S SAKE.

the point nhwr and i are both trying to make is this. you can make training decisions without hysteria, and without accusing people of abuse, and without being a first class behotch to everyone who doesn't fawn at your feet and kiss your a**, simply by using a little common sense, and not being quite so ready to attack everyone who isn't as holier-than-thou as yourself.

not even the greats like mikolka or the spanish riding school are as dilletantish, accusative or ready to attack as you guys are. not even they are as hysterical about training as you guys are - and they STILL stick to the basic, sensible principles of classical riding and have beautifully trained horses.

it is your logic and your method of attack that i find repugnant. and no, i am not using draw reins, not using rollkur, not riding deep, never have, and in fact, am not doing ANYTHING you find so repugnant except questioning how your hysteria and black and white, practically psychotically black and white view of every issue, can possibly be a rational, logical, sensible, ADULT approach to the world.

slc

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:26 AM
Well since you assert your reading comprehension skills are up to par, perhaps you could reference where I argue for their use.




OK, nhwr these quotes are from YOU:



"The comment you refer to is saying it is detrimental to rely soley on draw reins (which I agree with), not that it is bad to occasionally put the horse btv. 2) There other experts whose opinions I respect (like von Ziegner) who say that riding a horse btv can have some benefit, if the rider is skilled and the horse is truly through."

"Regarding the use of draw reins, when used properly, they are more lof a wall than a lever."

"They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. "

"Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper flexion. "



BACKPEDAL MUCH?

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:35 AM
I think lstevenson and TwoSimple have spent more time involved in a different sport. Their input sounds more like "fish tales" than anything else. Facts don't need embellishment or exaggeration. Intelligent discussion doesn't need to come down to their level. But when you don't have much to work with, I guess you gotta go with that :winkgrin:



:lol: Oh, hilarious! Because you now know that I'm an Advanced eventer, you are using the "not really a dressage rider" arguement. Talk about assumptions.

I was an FEI level dressage rider before I became addicted to eventing, a long time ago. So while in the last 20 years, you may have spent more time in the dressage ring then me, it's very obvious from your postings on COTH that I know a lot more about true CLASSICAL dressage than you.

Or are you going to backpedal on your "the horse should give to the bit" comment too?

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:47 AM
These are just statements of established fact, not aurguement. And why don't you quote me completely, lstevenson?
What is being described isn't the purpose of drawreins. Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper flexion. They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. If I remember correctly, originally they weren't supposed to be used through the bit, though that is how you see them configured most commonly. By applying pressure with the inside draw rein and giving with the outside, the horse may be encouraged to soften at the poll and in the jaw. Draw reins should not be used on both sides at the same time. To do so creates a pulling match between the rider and the horse's poll. Many people think they can be used to force a horse on the bit or into a frame, but it doesn't work and is not their intended purpose.

Personally, I have seen more harm than good come from their use and I don't like to use them myself. But in the hands of knowledgable users, they aren't a problem. The problem is not with them as a tool. It is with the people who think they know what they are for and how to use them.
I know as much about you as you know about me, lstevenson. You say you are an advanced eventer? More power to ya. But you do have a hard time getting you info right or even making a reasonable arguement without attack. To quote you, "well, that says a lot right there."

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 11:02 AM
OK, nhwr these quotes are from YOU:



"The comment you refer to is saying it is detrimental to rely soley on draw reins (which I agree with), not that it is bad to occasionally put the horse btv. 2) There other experts whose opinions I respect (like von Ziegner) who say that riding a horse btv can have some benefit, if the rider is skilled and the horse is truly through."

"Regarding the use of draw reins, when used properly, they are more lof a wall than a lever."

"They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. "

"Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper flexion. "



BACKPEDAL MUCH?



:rolleyes: I guess I have to explain each one to you.

In the first quote, you say that riding btv can have some benefit.

The second and the fourth quotes show that you DEFINATELY think that draw reins have a beneficial use. And I guess I missed this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again! "But in the hands of knowledgable users, they aren't a problem."

And the third one, well that's just self explanatory.

You had recently asked: "Who said they were commonly used and endorsed by the SRS?"

Well, YOU DID, my dear.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 11:04 AM
But you do have a hard time getting you info right


:lol: Nope. My info is right on. You just don't like it.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 14, 2006, 11:04 AM
and i am STILL not willing to go accusing people of KILLING HORSES BY PUTTING THEIR CHINS IN, FOR GOD'S SAKE.


Clearly, then, you are a minion of Satan, and therefore a gadget abuser. I knew a woman whose neighbors' uncles' horse died with it's chin in, and had been ridden the day before in draw reins. How does it feel to have this death on your hands? I could string together dozens of incomplete quotes linking the train of events if you'd like...

cyberbay
Jun. 14, 2006, 11:39 AM
NHWR- I think if you took a moment to hear what I've posted on this thread, you'll see that I'm in the camp of 'draw reins can be a useful, couple-of-time tool on a particular horse in the hands of a skilled rider." Mine may even have been the first post in the defense of dr's in this usage.

And, yes, I'll stand by the use of the word "fill" instead of using the word "give." But, I was trying mostly just to help in conveying what might have been differing imaging of the word "give" and to put some water on the heat and fire that was looking to build up around the interpretations. It was my sense that the poster not comfortable with the word 'give' may have been thinking of how a horse can snap his head toward his chest if the rein pressure isn't in sync with the forward aids when she protested that word and its perceived outcome. So, I offered the word 'fill' to maybe shed some light.

To me, a horse who is coming over his back can give the sensation of filling up over his topline. OK-dokey?

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 12:47 PM
I guess I have to explain each one to you.

In the first quote, you say that riding btv can have some benefit.
What I said is that experts like von Ziegner say the techinique can be beneficial in certain situations. Read his book. Oh wait, never mind. I forgot about your reading disability :lol:


The second and the fourth quotes show that you DEFINATELY think that draw reins have a beneficial use. And I guess I missed this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again! "But in the hands of knowledgable users, they aren't a problem."

I stated pretty clearly, that I don't find them useful. But I'll allow for the possibility that a better rider than I might use them with some good results.


And the third one, well that's just self explanatory.

Evidently, it isn't self explanatory to you since you take a statement that something is "used" to mean that something is used commonly and endorsed. But that is the type of stretch you need to make your arguement work ;)


You had recently asked: "Who said they were commonly used and endorsed by the SRS?"

Well, YOU DID, my dear.
Again, I'll ask you where I (or anyone) said that? You seem to know how to post a quote when it suits you, so please do.


TwoSimple , you say

I have a problem with the "SRS uses draw reins" thing because you a limited number of references to one or two people claiming that they use draws. And so you are assuming that since these people are (were) SRS riders, that that means the SRS obviously endorses their use.
You have this partly right but are inferring something that won't stand up to even casual examination. The assumptions are being made by you. The quotes you list were responses to posts that said a classical rider would never, not even once, use draw reins, not statements that they are used commonly and endorsed. I have been to the SRS 4 times. I have seen draw reins on a horse there twice. So you can make what you want of that. But I wouldn't say that makes it common :rolleyes:

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 12:51 PM
Again, I'll ask you where I (or anyone) said that? You seem to know how to post a quote when it suits you, so please do.




OMG, you are obtuse! THIS IS YOUR QUOTE:


"They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. "

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 12:59 PM
I stated pretty clearly, that I don't find them useful.





Once again I will say (I feel I should speak more slowly to you) that THESE ............ARE ..............YOUR............ QUOTES:




"The comment you refer to is saying it is detrimental to rely soley on draw reins (which I agree with), not that it is bad to occasionally put the horse btv. 2) There other experts whose opinions I respect (like von Ziegner) who say that riding a horse btv can have some benefit, if the rider is skilled and the horse is truly through."

"Regarding the use of draw reins, when used properly, they are more lof a wall than a lever."

"They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. "

"Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper flexion. "

"But in the hands of knowledgable users, they aren't a problem."




You can't have it both ways! You either think they are not useful, or they can be useful and beneficial.

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:08 PM
I guess I am missing how you get commonly used and endorsed out of that. Please explain.

Given your level of (mis)understanding of basic concepts, I am not surprised that this is what you take away a discussion despite clear statements to the contrary. To make it really easy for you; I don't find them useful personally. But I have seen other good riders achieve positive results with them.

Maybe you'll want to email Mikolka about it. He usually takes the time to respond to polite inquiries. Good luck with that :D

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:31 PM
Boy nhwr, you would make a good lawyer. The crooked kind, that is. You like to have a statement on each side of a debate to cover your a$$. The funny thing is that I think you think it makes you look very clever. Well, I've got news for you. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.;)

First you say good riders can acheive positive results with them, and they are useful for developing proper flexion, and then you say that you don't find them useful. ????

And you say "They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. " But then you ask who said they were commonly used and endorsed. Well, to use IS to endorse, and I don't know where the word commonly got added to this, but again, it smells of you covering your a$$ and backpedaling. Only because you can't take back your quote.

DMK
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:42 PM
lstevenson, you take the phrase "a poor ability to think logically" to a whole different level. And really, that's no small feat when you are talking about draw reins on the dressage forum.

We may have to sign you up for one of those year end awards.. I think you are a shoo in even though it's only June...

Hairshirt, Jeannete. Did'ja have to remind me about hairshirts???

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:54 PM
lstevenson, you take the phrase "a poor ability to think logically" to a whole different level.


:lol: Ha! What a WONDERFUL arguement from someone who obviously believes in draw reins! (make sure you hear the sarchasm)

Actually I aced logic in college, so you don't have to worry about my skills.


I challenge you or nhwr to take an IQ test along side of me anytime!

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:58 PM
Brains and common sense are, of course, two totally different gifts. Communication skills are a third.

Lisamarie8
Jun. 14, 2006, 02:32 PM
Jeannette and DMK,

I was about to send this out en masse to every e-mail address in the universe, but thought it better to post it here... it so logically applies.


*PLEASE READ* DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!

I have never used draw-reins, I have, however, always been curious. I mean you hear so many stories of success and the majik, you would have to be dead NOT to be curious. While I have never really felt the siren call of peer pressure, my horse needed help, and I had tried everything.

First I tried the double twisted wire with the tie down. While that provided for head set I desired, I was lacking impulsion

Next I went with the German martingale. This was fantastic, but I got confused with the d rings, and the snaps and the hey-hey. It was like a game of Jenga everyday.

Finally, some freak from the SRS called me and said “You must use more LEG lisa! PUSH him into zee contact!”

And honestly… that sounded like work. F-That.

So I fell victim to the draw reins and it was like a bad after school special. Granted my horse is a gelding, so there was no fetus to abort, but he did founder, contract COPD, EPSM, and Periodic Ophthalmia. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse? His penis fell off.

Please forward this on to ANYONE you know who might be THINKING about using draw reins. Furthermore, I am starting up an online petition to send to my congressional representative to get draw-reins declared inhuman and therefore illegal. If you’d like to be apart of this campaign and join me in my attempt to champion the over-bent huddle masses, reply to this e-mail and I’ll keep you posted.

DMK
Jun. 14, 2006, 02:47 PM
Ha! What a WONDERFUL arguement from someone who obviously believes in draw reins! (make sure you hear the sarchasm)

Actually I aced logic in college, so you don't have to worry about my skills.

I challenge you or nhwr to take an IQ test along side of me anytime!

This quote stands alone, in its entirety, as quite possibly the most glorious monument to lstevenson. Some people truly are their own reward.

Meanwhile I'm off to check the diety of my choice. I can't exactly recall what the position is on draw reins is, so I think I need a bit more research on the matter before I affirm something as serious as a "belief" in draw reins. I dunno, that could involve something like catechism. That might be a bit much.

Lisamarie8
Jun. 14, 2006, 02:55 PM
Meanwhile I'm off to check the diety of my choice. I can't exactly recall what the position is on draw reins is, so I think I need a bit more research on the matter before I affirm something as serious as a "belief" in draw reins. I dunno, that could involve something like catechism. That might be a bit much.

DMK, I'm certain you meant circumcision. Which really? In light of the story I just shared, is down right brutal.

And I know that you meant circumcision instead of catechism, because I took a psychic intelligence test, and I would GLADLY put my score of "super majik and insightful" up against yours (which is probably below that of Dionne Warwwick) ANYDAY!!!!

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:08 PM
Lucifer's Small Catechism, in contrast, is written to accommodate the understanding of a small child or an uneducated person. It begins:

A. The First Commandment

You must not have other gods before drawreins.

Q. What does this mean?

A. We must fear, love, and trust drawreins more than anything.

Lisamarie8
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:10 PM
I will put nothing before, nor love anything more than my penisless, sunken/rotated, muscle-sore, blind and wheezing steed!

HeyYouNags
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:36 PM
Lisamarie, the same thing happened to my gelding, but I blamed it on the Quest dewormer. Or the West Nile vaccine, because I know that caused my other gelding to abort. I never considered that it could have been the drawreins.

That totally blows my trainer's theory that it was really the Santeria.

I never took logic at all in college, so I'm staying out of the IQ Challenge. :sigh:

DMK
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:44 PM
Nags, are you sure you weren't riding in draw reins just before you gve the quest wormer? Or maybe it was just you didn't worshp the right deity in the right way with your draw reins? (Buddha likes to eat them, Shiva prefers many sets of draw reins...) One could certainly see how that might lead to problems with a vengeful god.

I mean, I have it on good authority from someone who is Very Smart and aced logic that I beLEEEVE in draw reins, so I am safe from that sort of thing.

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:45 PM
Nags,
How are ya!

DMK, Lisamarie8 and Jfp

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Sheesh, the internet. It's like placing razor blades into the hands of monkeys :eek:

Oh wait, that was something else :p

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:47 PM
None of my geldings has ever aborted, (though a few may have stopped suddenly a time or two) AND I've never used drawreins on my geldings
SO lstevenson and TwoSimple must be right, right?

DMK
Jun. 14, 2006, 03:53 PM
Logically, I think you may be on to something...

PiedPiper
Jun. 14, 2006, 04:07 PM
Just a side note but has anyone else noticed that a person's true colours seems to comes out when on the internet? There are quite a few people, here on COTH and other boards, that I know and the nice ones are truly that way, here and in "the real world".

Now the ones that are :eek: in the real world are looking :eek: :eek: :eek: . . .

Just an observation; back to worshipping at the feet of the dalhi draw rein. :winkgrin: :cool:


Oh and to clarify college education, you know, just for the sake of this argument, how many have GRADUATED college? Just thinking taking a few classes shouldn't allow someone to use that in their argument on their debating skills or the ability to know whether the great Draw Rein still reigns supreme. :lol:

Even better, how many people actually know how to debate, participated in debate, was on the debate team, etc? That way we can separate the wheat from the chaff. ( To clarify, yes I did do the debate team in college as I was pre-law :yes: )

Of course we can just continue with the name calling, mud-slinging, cat fighting, etc way of fighting that many here like to call debating and logic. :rolleyes:

HeyYouNags
Jun. 14, 2006, 04:15 PM
It's like placing razor blades into the hands of monkeys

nwhr, are you my trainer? He uses that phrase all the time during my lessons. Darned if I know what he's talking about. :confused:

nhwr
Jun. 14, 2006, 04:55 PM
Nags,

Col. Podhajsky supposedly said that having most people use draw reins was like "placing razor blades in the hands of monkeys" :lol: ;)

Of course, it was fine for him to use them when he thought it was necessary. I do wonder if it ever caused him to lose a foal or an appendage though :lol:

Lisamarie8
Jun. 14, 2006, 05:32 PM
Lisamarie, the same thing happened to my gelding, but I blamed it on the Quest dewormer. Or the West Nile vaccine, because I know that caused my other gelding to abort. I never considered that it could have been the drawreins.

That totally blows my trainer's theory that it was really the Santeria.

I never took logic at all in college, so I'm staying out of the IQ Challenge. :sigh:

Wait a second Nags... was there a chicken's foot on your draw reins? I ask because something similar (draw reins+Quest+Chicken's foot) happened to my trainer's best friend's dog walker's neighbor. Apparently her horses ears turned into rowled spurs and it's tail into a chambon!

TOOLS OF THE DEVIL I TELL YOU!!!!!!:mad: :mad: :mad:

Indie
Jun. 14, 2006, 05:47 PM
So I fell victim to the draw reins and it was like a bad after school special. Granted my horse is a gelding, so there was no fetus to abort, but he did founder, contract COPD, EPSM, and Periodic Ophthalmia. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse? His penis fell off.

HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT YOU DIDN'T SEND THE EMAIL TO SEVEN MAJIKAL FRIENDS.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 05:59 PM
Even better, how many people actually know how to debate, participated in debate, was on the debate team, etc? That way we can separate the wheat from the chaff. ( To clarify, yes I did do the debate team in college as I was pre-law :yes: )



:lol: :lol: :lol: ROFL, OMG, now we have our resident beginner novice, training level test one expert chiming in! With her "expert" advice on every subject!

PiedPiper, if you were on the debate team, no wonder you switched colleges so much. They probably kicked you off the team at every one. You have to converse like an adult to be good at that. You usually sound and act like you're about 12 years old.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 06:01 PM
Col. Podhajsky supposedly said that having most people use draw reins was like "placing razor blades in the hands of monkeys"



And what do you think he meant by that? Hmmm???

Why would he say such a thing?

DressageGuy
Jun. 14, 2006, 06:39 PM
He meant that in the wrong hands, they can be very harmful. However, in the correct, educated hands, they can be a beneficial training aid. lstevenson, I was agreeing with you on some other threads, but damn, I sure regret that now. You've shown your true colors, and man, are they uuuuugly. You do nothing but twist peoples' words around on them. You come off as very ignorant about some things, and that's kind of sad, since you say you're so smart and well-educated. I'd NEVER go on a board and spout off about my IQ, tacky to the extreme. You are way to high on yourself.

ETA: I have in fact used draw-reins a handful of times on my horse under careful supervision to solve specific problemsd. In hands that know what they're doing, they can be quite useful in certain situations.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 06:59 PM
You do nothing but twist peoples' words around on them..

DressageGuy- I think you should read the whole thread before making your decisions.

Twist peoples words???? I was using their actual QUOTES!

How can it be logical for someone to say that draw reins can be useful to achieve proper flexion, and that good riders can get positive results with them, and ALSO say they don't find them useful????

And how can someone say this:

"They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage. "

And then ask who said that the SRS uses or endorses draw reins.

I am not twisting anyones words, I'm just quoting what they say.


And if you are talking about what I wrote about PiedPiper, well, I will apologize if I offended anyone. But she is an extremely immature, umm.... shall we say challenged personality that I have a personal history with.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:03 PM
you say you're so smart and well-educated. I'd NEVER go on a board and spout off about my IQ, tacky to the extreme. You are way to high on yourself.


Hey, I was only defending myself. Again READ the whole thread. A few people were out and out saying that I couldn't read well for comprehension, and that I had poor logic skills. I was just telling them to put their money where their mouth is.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:11 PM
He meant that in the wrong hands, they can be very harmful. However, in the correct, educated hands, they can be a beneficial training aid.


And did you notice that Podhajsky wouldn't let anyone but himself and the chief rider use them? That should tell you that he thought that they would be beneficial in very, very few hands. Yet every other person on this board seems to use them, even if only at times.

And I would still love to know, from the people who think draw reins are beneficial to their training, what do you think they do for you exactly? That correct training without draw reins wouldn't do???

DressageGuy
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:11 PM
I DID read the whole thread, every single page of drivel. So spouting off about your IQ is defending yourself? Interesting way of putting it. You DO have poor logic skills, you've proven that several times on this thread alone. About the SRS: Karl Mikolka, former Chief-rider, stated that they had them and occassionally used them. I'd count that as the SRS using draw-reins on OCCASION. You use selected quotes to "prove" your points, instead of reading what the person is actually trying to say. Very reminiscent of Michael Moore who I despise.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:31 PM
About the SRS: Karl Mikolka, former Chief-rider, stated that they had them and occassionally used them. I'd count that as the SRS using draw-reins on OCCASION. You use selected quotes to "prove" your points, instead of reading what the person is actually trying to say. Very reminiscent of Michael Moore who I despise.



Sorry you feel that way.

For the record, I was not the one that said that nhwr said they were using them A LOT. I just thought it was funny when she started backpedalling and saying she never said the SRS uses draw reins.

And when someone makes a statement, that statement stands. Even if they then go back and waffle about it. I should be able to "prove my points" by selecting quotes. Especially when there are many that I can quote.

I heard nhwr when she said she doesn't believe draw reins to be useful. But the other statements she wrote makes me not BELIEVE that thats how she really feels.

Does no one else think that she was contradicting herself?

Lisamarie8
Jun. 14, 2006, 07:54 PM
ROFL, OMG, now we have our resident beginner novice, training level test one expert chiming in! With her "expert" advice on every subject!


PiedPiper, if you were on the debate team, no wonder you switched colleges so much. They probably kicked you off the team at every one. You have to converse like an adult to be good at that. You usually sound and act like you're about 12 years old.

majikal chicken feet aside... I must say:

lst, I don't know who you are and I wish you no ill will. That said, based on the impression you supply via your posts, I'm thinking I would be well served if I continued to not know you. Your reply to Pied Piper was childish, insecure, and pedestrian.

At it's VERY best it was unnecessary, it was unfunny, and it was unflattering.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 08:05 PM
Your reply to Pied Piper was childish, insecure, and pedestrian.

At it's VERY best it was unnecessary, it was unfunny, and it was unflattering.


Again, I apologize to everyone but PiedPiper, for that post. We have a personal history, and I am very sick of her chiming in with her own personal attacks in her own immature way.

I certainly don't mean to offend any other lower level riders by that comment. But most beginner riders don't come onto bulletin boards with the attitude that they know everything about everything.

DMK
Jun. 14, 2006, 08:25 PM
Again, I apologize to everyone but PiedPiper, for that post. We have a personal history, and I am very sick of her chiming in with her own personal attacks in her own immature way.

I certainly don't mean to offend any other lower level riders by that comment. But most beginner riders don't come onto bulletin boards with the attitude that they know everything about everything.

OK, honest question. Did you mean to insult everyone with that back handed apology or are your communication skills just that lacking?

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 08:34 PM
OK, honest question. Did you mean to insult everyone with that back handed apology or are your communication skills just that lacking?


Insult everyone how?

DressageGuy
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:18 PM
Seriously now, do you just post to see your name in type? Because that's the impression I get. It takes you three posts to answer different parts of one post. So either you don't read the post in whole before responding, or you're just post-whorring. Which is it?

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:36 PM
Seriously now, do you just post to see your name in type? Because that's the impression I get. It takes you three posts to answer different parts of one post. So either you don't read the post in whole before responding, or you're just post-whorring. Which is it?


:lol: So, I like to address each statement individually. What's wrong with that?

I have usually enjoyed reading your posts, in the past. But I will say that now I think that YOU don't seem to be a very nice person. So if you think the same of me, I guess we're even.:D Do you have PMS tonight or what?

DressageGuy
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:45 PM
Well bless your little heart! I used to enjoy reading your posts too, until I realized how much you twist and turn what others say. You can think whatever you'd like about me, I couldn't really care less. And sorry, PMS is one of those things that one doesn't have to deal with as a male :-D.

lstevenson
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:49 PM
And sorry, PMS is one of those things that one doesn't have to deal with as a male :-D.


If you say so.:winkgrin:

egontoast
Jun. 15, 2006, 09:14 AM
razor blades in monkeys' hands

I just wish people would stop with the constant dissing of monkeys. Monkeys can ride just as well as humans. That should be clear to everyone.

This is speciesism at its worst and highly offensive to dressage monkeys everywhere.

HeyYouNags
Jun. 15, 2006, 10:55 AM
Oh sure, eggy, show up now and act all monkey-loving. You've shown your true colors on other threads. You're a monkey-spanker, through and through. :mad:


But most beginner riders don't come onto bulletin boards with the attitude that they know everything about everything.

:uhoh: lstevenson, do you give lessons? I need a helping (razor) hand to lift me out of this eternal low level slump.

Danged Olympic riders wanted to put my horse in draw reins. That's just not classical, now is it? :mad:

DMK
Jun. 15, 2006, 11:05 AM
Insult everyone how?

Well... my question was certainly answered! :lol:

Now I'm off to drag my sorry low level self off to a show... I can only hope I overcome my curse. Not much hope for you nags. Nor Jeannette... Nor Lisamarie. You are doomed. Doomed, I say!

PiedPiper
Jun. 15, 2006, 12:46 PM
Goodness, what a reaction.

Just one question? Where did I give my opinion on draw reins? Hmm? I gave no opinion. :cool:

But then I don't see the point of coming on a public board and make a spectacle of myself especially when one is attempting to promote a business especially in a new state. To each their own I guess.

I just asked some questions as possible determining factors to the ability to debate in general, which was being discussed. If you felt like they were attacks then that is something you need to deal with. I never referred to you in anyway. Goodness that is quite a complex you have going! I guess that means you didn't graduate, huh? Sorry, didn't know that or forgot.

Oh and to clarify, I did transfer schools, and yes quite proud of four schools in four years. I did transfer the first three semesters so did spent 2 1/2 years at MWC and that is where, yes, I was on the debate team. So no, was never "kicked of" as you surmised. But bless your heart for actually having listen to something I said. :D It was such a rarity.

No honey, as amazing as it may seem, I do not just refer to you when on COTH. It was an across the spectrum question since some of the arguing, as of late, as been exceedingly juvenile.

But then you just ran with it and well, I guess make it all about you. Congrats! You know, if one were to make a wild guess, if I WAS trying to make a point about someone in particular, maybe even you perhaps, you may have just proved it. Hmm, crazy thought I know . . . I am probably way off base. :winkgrin:

Back to my low level so must not have an opinion on anything status! :lol:

yepanotheralter
Jun. 15, 2006, 01:51 PM
Now in this post we've had proponents and opponents of the draw rein, but who sticks up for the little guy....the draw rein itself? Imagine if you spent most days just hangin' somewhere or drooped in a dark box with a bunch of smelly wraps. Sometimes you get nicely folded but other times you're just thrown in a corner, fibers aching and bent all which way....the only exercise you get is when your owner has read something convincing on this BB to warrant actually using you.....just to find the next week you're back in the dark box b/c your owner read another post and is now convinced you're nothing but a waste of money and space.......

It's the little guy that I feel sorry for...please people...just remember the REAL victim here, ok?

:)

nhwr
Jun. 15, 2006, 01:57 PM
That is where the monkeys with razor blades come in muawhahahahahahaha

It is abuse, I tell ya ;)

egontoast
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:02 PM
squeeze box- useful instrument or razor blade in human hands?

dressagemonkey clique

nhwr
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:04 PM
depends on whether you prefer the vertical or horizontal polka :lol:

dauntless
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:06 PM
edited because being snotty on the internet is like the special olympics.

summerhorse
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:19 PM
LOL

summerhorse
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:21 PM
That was a good one though! My poor draw reins got buried with my horse (not this one who's not buried) because by then they'd reverted back to their original form, long soft rope...

kkj
Jun. 15, 2006, 02:37 PM
I have used draw reins with success before. I do not like riding with them however. I would not used them on my current horse. She was started right and has very good dressage conformation. She just doesn't need them. If you can get away with out them, you are better off. However occassionally, they can be very helpful for a horse with some conformational or behavior shortcomings or training problems. I like to go slow and avoid gimmicks, but think sometimes draw reins are OK. Of course a lot of people use them who shouldn't and a lot of people use them way too much.

I cannot imagine using them of a hot green horse out on the trail. That to me seems like a recipe for disaster, but maybe in certain knowledgable hands it works.

The fact that some of the most successful dressage horses are so hot and on the verge of exploding isn't necessarily because they have had anything but the best training. The top riders often prefer this type, feel they work out better for FEI and seek out such prospects. (obviously however you feel about it, current judges highly reward this type. A lot of breeders breed for top movement and presence over a quiet amateur type dispostion) I think a lot of Ankys horses would fit in this catagory and most of us would not want to be riding a young hot electric horse out on the trail. No Brettina isn't like that. Debbie Macdonald has said some things to the effect that she is little and not super strong and does not want to deal with a big, strong crazy horse. I don't blame her but it doesn't make those who do any better or worse riders for it. I have a lot of respect for people who can ride a horse like Weltall (a horse that couldn't be sold because it was too hot). Very few people can do that and when I see a horse like that perform I am often in awe of the horsemanship. I rarely think, that horse is looney due to bad riding but rather wow look at him beautifully ride that borderline looney horse that would have most good riders in the dirt.

pawsplus
Jul. 6, 2006, 10:49 AM
I believe Mikolka's quote is something along the lines of, "Those who know how to use draw reins properly don't need to use them."

Interesting! B/c I've seen him use them (i.e., riders in his clinics riding in them under his direction).

cinder88
Jul. 8, 2006, 01:10 PM
I was once at a clinic with a BIGnametrainer who told our local Dressage (WannaBe) Queen, that she had a lovely horse but, unfortunately, she rode like a Monkey.

Now...English being his SECOND language...perhaps she shouldn't have gotten all pissed off when really he was just telling her to get a set of draw reins???

Insult or miscommunication?

YOU be the judge.

Cinder

egontoast
Jul. 8, 2006, 01:45 PM
Perhaps it was intended as a compliment. Monkeys have excellent balance and often excel at the lower levels. Look closely, next time you are at a show. In Europe, almost all the lower level horses are ridden by monkeys now. They also make fabulous inexpensive working students.

EqTrainer
Jul. 8, 2006, 09:36 PM
Perhaps it was intended as a compliment. Monkeys have excellent balance and often excel at the lower levels. Look closely, next time you are at a show. In Europe, almost all the lower level horses are ridden by monkeys now. They also make fabulous inexpensive working students.

Damnit Eggy you've given away my secret... "How To Train Horses On A Budget". Now the Monkey Union will be after me to pay them more money and have their lice picked by lesser mammals. Thanks a lot.

Beck
Jul. 9, 2006, 04:53 PM
Perhaps it was intended as a compliment. Monkeys have excellent balance and often excel at the lower levels. Look closely, next time you are at a show. In Europe, almost all the lower level horses are ridden by monkeys now. They also make fabulous inexpensive working students.

In Europe, you say? Hmmm...I could have sworn I have been seeing them this side of the pond too.

Wait 'til PETA gets ahold of that one...

Shiaway
Jul. 9, 2006, 05:21 PM
I'm probabkly about to shoot myself in the foot but...

My trainer is not well known herself I think but she has trained several people who went on to FEI levels and she has also trained under several really well known people. She is of the "up and open" school and "push them forward" etc. She trains a lot of horses and I have only seen her use "draw reins" on one horse---mine.

Let me be specific: She actually uses the rein as a sliding rein and she only uses one. She attaches it to the girth like a side rein and then through the bit and to her hand.

My horse has some left over baggage from my crappy riding and also other people who rode him when he used to be at the other barn (my old trainer). Plus his head attaches to his neck in not that great of a way--he has this tight muscle right behind his jaw and not much room for any kind of looseness in the jaw. As a result of these two things he has developed a very tight jaw and also he leans on the right rein which is a combo of the jaw problem and his right hind which is weaker.

My trainer is also 60+ years old and has some physical baggage of her own. She's not physically strong enough to deal with how hard he will pull. She of course doesn't let him pull but often she will have too much trouble.

That is when she will put on the sliding rein just on the right side mostly when she is going to do a left lead canter. She uses it only for a short period of time.

We're actually looking in to getting him a different bit, one that will help him loosen his jaw. A olympic clinician recomended a bochet--snaffle mouth piece but with a tiny bit of leverage. It's not more severe than the bit he is wearing (a loose ring) but the action is slightly different and should help encourage him to loosen his jaw.

He already is on the aides, he uses himself very well now. My trainer has been working a lot on his lateral movements asking for very slight collection to help him use himself and carry better. But despite all of her best efforts his conformation makes it very difficult for him not to lean on you. It's almost like he would just go better in a double bridle.

Just my example of "gadget" usage in what I consider the right circumstance. I myself have never used draw reins or other gadgets like that. And I would be opposed to my trainer using the sliding rein if she used it all the time, but she doesn't. She's very careful about it.