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View Full Version : Feeling awful...horse flipped over in side reins



Alter-size Me
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:31 PM
I have a very quiet and laid back 6 year old who is green but going well w-t-c and learning his dressage basics. I'm an experienced rider working with an instructor. I have lunged him in side reins before, starting very loose and gradually progressing to a light contact.

Today in a lesson my instructor increased the contact a little more than before. Not cranking him in by any means, just a steady contact with a bit of bend to the inside. He was going well like this trotting and cantering, but at one point stopped and wouldn't go forward. With little warning, he went over backwards. When my instructor was trying to adjust the side reins after this, he went over again, almost like he was throwing himself over. He was not visibly hurt and was sound (thank god) but was shaken. She decreased the contact to almost none and he finished the session well like this. We gave him a bute and checked him over, and he seemed just fine.

I am feeling horrible about this. He is an incredibly sweet horse who has never resisted going forward under saddle, much less to rear. Obviously the contact was too much for him at this stage, which my instructor freely admitted - she was just as shocked and horrified as I was.

Has this ever happened to anyone out there before? If so, did it cause long term training damage? Does anyone have suggestions on how to minimize the trauma from this unfortunate event? My instructor told me to just longe him for 5 minutes a few times this week with very light side rein contact to let him know that it is OK.

Any advice would be helpful, but I ask that you please do not attack me or my instructor. I am sincerely asking for constructive ideas for the best of this sweet horse. Thanks.

Dalfan
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:37 PM
How much contact do you ride with under saddle? I assume you have had his teeth checked?

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:41 PM
I don't really have anything to offer other than to say that I am sorry this happened to you and am sending jingles for your horse so that he feels better. If it were me, I would have my vet out to look at the horse just for my peace of mind, because sometimes they can really hurt themselves when they flip over, and it is not always readily apparent to a non-vet. I would rather find out that I was being overcautious than to risk overlooking a problem that becomes a big issue later.

mazu
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:43 PM
Is it really necessary to keep working him in side reins at all? I think a better way to "let him know that it is OK" is to stop using whatever's freaking him out so much.

YoungFilly
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:44 PM
There's nothing wrong with using side reins while lunging. I think this was a freak accident, and it sounds like your trainer did the right thing. I would definately get a vet out though to make sure he is ok.

lark_b
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:45 PM
Second that. Call the vet.

When you say "he went over again when she was adjusting the side reins" do you mean "when she was taking them off" or do you mean "when she was loosening them"?

In this situation I would have removed them completely, because now you have an issue where he is associating them with bad things. It doesn't matter how loose they are, you now have lost them as an option. I would not take that risk again, no matter how much remedial training you do. It is simply not worth it.

YOMV.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:46 PM
Yes, his teeth have been checked and done. I ride with a light contact, trying to progress to more as he develops. I would be fine with the idea of not working him with side reins again - I just want to make sure I don't leave him with a permanent issue if I never again used them.

And yes, he did it again when she was loosening them. I appreciate that the comments have been helpful and not accusatory so far.

Elegante E
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:51 PM
With an event like that, you may want to have him checked out by a chiropractor. That kind of event can throw things out of wack.

Since you'd been lunging him in the side reins for a while, the reaction sounds extreme. It may be a pain reaction but it could just as easily be a mental freak out - sense of claustrophobia. If it were me, I just wouldn't use side reins (not key on them anyway). Taking up contact while riding is safer since you can give and take, reacting to the horse.

Do you lunge for a reason or is this just part of your regular training? I don't use lunging except to teach discipline and verbal cues. Once I can ride, I just don't lunge unless I haven't ridden a horse for a while and want to gauge his mental state.

Good luck! Hope your boy is ok and don't go down the guilt path. Stuff happens and all we can do is find a way to recover.

Queen Latisha
Dec. 17, 2006, 04:52 PM
I've seen this happen before and the horse was in pain, hence the refusal to go forward.

mazu
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:08 PM
Yes, his teeth have been checked and done. I ride with a light contact, trying to progress to more as he develops. I would be fine with the idea of not working him with side reins again - I just want to make sure I don't leave him with a permanent issue if I never again used them.

And yes, he did it again when she was loosening them. I appreciate that the comments have been helpful and not accusatory so far.

If he had just done it once, I might try to work in a few good experiences with side reins before retiring them. It's the fact that he flipped over again, in the same session, that makes me think you already *do* have an issue.

Some issues you can work through, with some it's best just to avoid the confrontation if you can. Because flipping over can be so dangerous, and side reins aren't absolutely necessary to training, I would say just can them now. The potential risks (serious bodily injury, fear of contact, claustrophobia) seriously outweigh whatever benefits there might be to trying to "fix" the problem. IMO, of course.

No flames here -- they're horses, things happen.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks, all. I agree with you mazu and I'm going to ditch the side reins. They are certainly not necessary for training and not worth the risk to this horse. I think you hit the nail on the head about it happening twice. To me, it really looked like a panic/claustraphobia reaction.

Now a question - would it be likely that this could ever translate to under saddle, or does it sound more like a reaction specific to side reins which do not give like hands?

Also, does anybody know what kinds of things the vet might look for? It's Sunday and I'm not going to be able to get them out until at least tomorrow and I'd like to double check him myself tonight.

Queen Latisha
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:20 PM
It probably won't happen under saddle. You may want the vet to check his neck and back.

Leena
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:26 PM
That happen to me 20 years ago and I had the fear of my life. It was a very laid back TB mare.

You don't adjust side reins to increase the contact because doing this is just getting your horse feeling caught in something he does not understand. If you want to make your horse feel the contact I place the side reins on the top of the surcincle so he has, the feeling of the reins. Don't tight them since your horse has to reach the contact and not the opposite.

physical.energy
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:29 PM
Sorry, this happened and forgive me if I am echoing any above post as I didn't read them all.
The first thing I think of is yeas give the vet a call and have your horse checked out. A few things that come to mind. First, there may be something pinching him in his neck that causes pain when flexed and he is resisting the steady consistant pressure put on by the side rein being shorter than normal. Perhaps they would have to x ray his neck for any abnormalities. The second thing is teeth but you have had that addressed. Then I would have a chiropractor check him after the vet examination or if you are lucky to have a vet that does chiro work then you can have both things shecked out with one visit. In any case I also would think about trying him in sliding or Vienna side reins rather than the old fashioned type. They will allow him a bit of freedom to move his neck where he is comfortable rather than being in a fixed frame. I usually seek out any pain issues before thinking about behavior problems. Good Luck and I hope he is easy to figure out.

EqTrainer
Dec. 17, 2006, 05:55 PM
It was probably the inside rein being shorter that provoked it. If he's not ready for that, it can really freak them out. Stepping into two even side reins is one thing; dealing with the idea of following them on an arc is another.

You need to do a lot of exercises where you ask him to follow your inside rein and allow with the outside at first. I know, I know.. doesn't sound very dressagey does it? BUT it's real life.. your horse may have not truly learned that very baby step.. or you've moved on past it without reminding him enough. Why is this so important? Because if he freaks at something undersaddle and you need to stop him or slow him or change him by taking your inside rein, HE NEEDS TO FOLLOW IT and not rear from it. A horse that follows your inside rein when things go wrong is a safe horse. Stay safe.

Ditto everyone on the teeth and chiro.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:02 PM
Eq Trainer, that is really interesting and I did not think of it. However, I think he does follow my inside rein undersaddle unless I am misunderstanding what you mean. Could you give an example of what you mean to clarify? As I mentioned in my original post, he has never even given the slightest indication of a thought of rearing or not going forward under saddle.

EqTrainer
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:10 PM
Eq Trainer, that is really interesting and I did not think of it. However, I think he does follow my inside rein undersaddle unless I am misunderstanding what you mean. Could you give an example of what you mean to clarify? As I mentioned in my original post, he has never even given the slightest indication of a thought of rearing or not going forward under saddle.

He needs to follow it around with his entire body, not just his head or neck.. he needs to relax his jaw and quiet when this happens.. he needs to feel good about it. Of course it's not just the rein, he needs to move from your leg at the same time.

This is a baby thing, not a grown-up dressage horse thing.. although I will say that when you start trail riding an advanced horse you find out soon enough if they remember this <LOL>

I ride a lot of babies and it's the first thing I check when I get on them.. hey little one, will you follow my inside rein without flipping out? As they move on/grow up, you can redirect their fear or uncertaintity by just taking a little bit of feel on it, rather than it being the passive rein it is intended to be.

People will want to say this is a forward thing; and in a way, it is.. but it can be more about the horse knowing what to do w/his energy rather than making more of it. Energy has to have somewhere to GO. His, at that moment, wasn't going thru his body.

I recently sent a horse off to get started; it was the first time in a long time that I did not do it myself. I was happy to see he did the same thing with him.

I guess to me it's like anything.. back up until you get to where the issue is. I don't think it's just about sidereins if he's been going in them, and if he's been truly relaxed and forward before, it's not that simple, either. But it really is simple, if it is indeed just that he forgot to follow his inside rein!

BTW, I have seen the second rear thingie happen before, under much the same circumstances. For future reference, it is a better idea at that point to go back to ONE siderein AFTER you send the horse forward with NO side reins.

Renae
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:17 PM
Are you quite positive that the horse did not put his tongue over the bit? Some horses will react quite badly the first time they happen to do this.

I agree with all of the checking for medical reasons listed, but this also emphasizes the need to ALWAYS carry a lunge whip when lungeing. If a horse is refusing to go forward/getting ready to run back or rear and flip he needs a sharp snap to get that thought out of his head so you have time to unhook the side reins and figure out what is wrong. A crack of the whip in the air or even on his bum is a much kinder thing then him flipping over and possibly really hurting himself.

I would not stop working this horse in side reins. I would want to find the cause of this issue and fix it in ground work before I ever got on this horse's back. It is one thing to flip over on a lunge line and quite another to flip over with you on his back. It is very possible that this incident could be indicative of a variety of physical problems, mental problems or training problems- in fact I would weigh more on this incident being the tip of the iceberg of a problem than being a random freak thing.

All of my horses learn to lunge in side reins and long line before I ever ride them. None of them have ever flipped over. When I was an assistant trainer I watched 1 incident of a horse flipping over in long lines and that problem was fixed in long lines before the horse (a 3 year old) was ever saddled and he never again repeated it.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:18 PM
I am no fan of side reins and I use them only with experienced older horses...never with green horses. I watched a friend's horse flip over, crack his skull and die. He is only one a couple I've heard of that died that way or were injured badly. You were very lucky if your horse is not injured. I know I sure wouldn't be putting them back on anytime soon if he were mine.

Definitely call the vet and have him looked over. It is much much safer to ride him into a contact and teach him from his back.

Carol Ames
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:25 PM
I have had that experience :eek: , it is not a positive one.:no: if you're trying to teach him to accept contact, I would use sliding sidereins, they allow the horse to adjust his head and neck to a comfortable position, ;) even stretching down,:yes: The regular sidereins "stop" the horse from going forward no matter how much you "chase " him, trying to move forward is difficult, and uncomfortable.:mad: Since they can't go forward they go up, horses under saddle also do this on occassion, :eek: or, at least throw their heads up violently as for your horse have a chiropractic vet look him over also, a massage therapist:yes:

Alter-size Me
Dec. 17, 2006, 06:53 PM
Daydream Believer, can you tell me how your friend knew her horse's skull was cracked? Did it happen instantly or did this take a while? I checked tonight and he is fine and in no apparent discomfort - eating, rolling, etc., but you got me really worried.




I would not stop working this horse in side reins. I would want to find the cause of this issue and fix it in ground work before I ever got on this horse's back. It is one thing to flip over on a lunge line and quite another to flip over with you on his back. It is very possible that this incident could be indicative of a variety of physical problems, mental problems or training problems- in fact I would weigh more on this incident being the tip of the iceberg of a problem than being a random freak thing.


Renae, thank you for the input. Just to clarify, my instructor was using a lunge whip.

As for physical problems, you can never rule those out, but this horse has never been unsound or detectably uncomfortable under saddle. Mental problems I would argue with. I don't think I've ever ridden an easier and sweeter horse and he has never offered resistance to anything I've asked - especially going forward.

mairzeadoats
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:15 PM
Definitely have the vet check him tomorrow. When my horse flipped, the vet palpated his entire spine looking for pain response and/or swelling. Fractures don't necessarily show up immediately after the trauma. You may find him swollen and sore tomorrow.

One unexpected outcome with my horse was, due to either abrasion or the concussion from landing, he had extensive swelling in his hindquarters and couldn't pass manure the next day. Bute resolved that issue by afternoon and he was fine in a couple days, thank goodness.

I'd also discuss the double freak-out with side reins with the vet. Pain or issues with his teeth, gums, tongue, neck or shoulder could have triggered that response.

I'd also leave off the side reins, if not for good then for a good long time. Maybe someday you can try vienna reins, which allow a lot more freedom of movement. Less likely to incite panic and also easier for them to recover should they take a bad step. With youngsters, I recommend leaving side reins long enough that contact is totally their choice -- they can stretch to the bit and experiment with contact if they choose and eventually, usually to sneeze, they do.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:29 PM
Daydream Believer, can you tell me how your friend knew her horse's skull was cracked? Did it happen instantly or did this take a while? I checked tonight and he is fine and in no apparent discomfort - eating, rolling, etc., but you got me really worried.


He was instantly not right. He had blood coming out of his ears and was very unsteady on his feet and tilting his head. He was treated by the vet but had a major stroke or seizure in his stall later that evening and nearly tore his stall apart. He was euthanized that night.

If your horse seems OK at this point, he is probably OK. Again...you are fortunate. Flipping over backwards like that is extremely dangerous to a horse and injuries are very possible. I'd have a chiropractic vet check him out for certain as he's possibly out after crashing over like that too.

RodeoQueen
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:46 PM
Have you ever considered sliding side rein? Much like vienna rein - but more freedom.

My appendix got really nervous in side reins, so my trainer switched to sliding side reins, and has been brilliant.

Best of luck,

l.

evenstar
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:46 PM
I would also check your saddle fit to see if it is sliding forward. If the sidereins are shortened prematurely, the horse will certainly do some pulling on them. The saddle could get moved forward so that the points are pressing on the shoulder. This could certainly cause pain, a reluctance to move forward and in extreme cases the horse could rear and go over.

I use sidereins routinely when I'm starting my horse back in work after a long layoff, and when she is out of shape, I find myself stopping and resetting the saddle two or three times for 20 minutes worth of lunging in sidereins. When she is out of shape, the saddle just doesn't have as well defined a place to sit, so it can get pulled forward as she stretches down and out. And my siderein length is not super short - they allow for a trot with her face nicely in front of the vertical.

lstevenson
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:47 PM
I just a steady contact with a bit of bend to the inside.




I'm taking this to mean that you had the inside side rein SHORTER than the outside? That is VERY bad, and is probably what caused your horse to panic. One of the purposes of side reins for lunging is to keep your horse straight. By having the side reins uneven you force the horse to be crooked and unbalanced. Even if the inside side rein is only one hole shorter, the horse is significantly unbalanced. And turning the nose to the inside is NOT bend.

I would first get this horse checked out to make sure he is ok, and then I would go back to the side reins, make them EVEN and very long. Leave them that way for quite a while (weeks or months) and then shorten them up gradually as he gets stronger in his topline. Make sure his response to your forward aid on the lunge is instantaneous. That way if you see him contacting the side reins, you can send him right foreward. I would also use elastic or rubber donut side reins with this horse, since he will be less defensive when he feels some give in the rein.

Renae
Dec. 17, 2006, 07:54 PM
I'm taking this to mean that you had the inside side rein SHORTER than the outside? That is VERY bad, and is probably what caused your horse to panic. One of the purposes of side reins for lunging is to keep your horse straight. By having the side reins uneven you force the horse to be crooked and unbalanced. Even if the inside side rein is only one hole shorter, the horse is significantly unbalanced. And turning the nose to the inside is NOT bend.

I would first get this horse checked out to make sure he is ok, and then I would go back to the side reins, make them EVEN and very long. Leave them that way for quite a while (weeks or months) and then shorten them up gradually as he gets stronger in his topline. Make sure his response to your forward aid on the lunge is instantaneous. That way if you see him contacting the side reins, you can send him right foreward. I would also use elastic or rubber donut side reins with this horse, since he will be less defensive when he feels some give in the rein.

I agree, my side reins are also always used evenly on each side. If they are cranked so tight that the horse doesn't have the freedom to find a bit of bend naturally they are too tight. Side reins should always be adjusted so that when the horse is doing the correct thing they will not be taunt (meaning sure tey will be asking the horse to develop contact wth the bit, but they will not be forcing that contact).

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 17, 2006, 08:46 PM
I don't think the OP ever said the trainer had the side reins adjusted to be shorter on one side. I think it was Eq Trainer who suggested that IF one was in fact shorter, that could explain why the horse reacted as he did.

Oakstable
Dec. 17, 2006, 08:50 PM
I'd have the horse checked by a cranial sacral therapist.

If you need a referral, Pm me.

Scar Face
Dec. 17, 2006, 09:02 PM
Oh, please do watch him closely! My gelding flipped over in a similar situation. He seemed fine afterward so he didn't get bute. The next day he was swollen in the neck. I gave bute, the swelling went down but he was very stiff. I took him in to be checked just in case.

After physically examining him, they said they thought it was a pull or strain or something muscular but would xray just in case. Well, the xray showed he fractured his vertebrae!

He's been in his stall now for three months. The prognosis is "guarded" as to whether or not I can ride him again.:no:

Bottom line..... get him checked!!! Good luck!

YoungFilly
Dec. 17, 2006, 09:15 PM
I don't think the OP ever said the trainer had the side reins adjusted to be shorter on one side. I think it was Eq Trainer who suggested that IF one was in fact shorter, that could explain why the horse reacted as he did.


Even if the trainer did have one rein shorter than the other, that would not explain why the horse flipped.

Who knows? Not any of us to be sure. It could be anything, I think you might need to be there and witness what happened. Every horse is different. I could crank both of my horses to death with side reins and neither would flip.

I have had horses in the past though, and one would have certianly flipped. He flipped anyway.

Wouldn't it be cool if you could go back in time and steal your horses from back then and have them in your life now? The one that could flip. I would take him back in a minute.

lstevenson
Dec. 17, 2006, 09:24 PM
I don't think the OP ever said the trainer had the side reins adjusted to be shorter on one side. I think it was Eq Trainer who suggested that IF one was in fact shorter, that could explain why the horse reacted as he did.


Well, I hope the OP will come on here and say that that was not the case, but whenever someone says that they adjust the side reins to "create a bend to the inside" this is usually what they mean. And a horse will definately have more of a tendency to fight (and panic) the side reins if they are not even, as they tend to focus on the shorter one. Not to mention that it's not beneficial in any way to do so.

Dazednconfused
Dec. 17, 2006, 10:21 PM
I think it's important for him to be able to accept sidereins. You mention you're working with a trainer so I think it's most important to consult her as she was there and knows the horse. I also agree with those who recommended a chiro.

bweventer
Dec. 17, 2006, 10:41 PM
He was instantly not right. He had blood coming out of his ears and was very unsteady on his feet and tilting his head. He was treated by the vet but had a major stroke or seizure in his stall later that evening and nearly tore his stall apart. He was euthanized that night.

If your horse seems OK at this point, he is probably OK. Again...you are fortunate. Flipping over backwards like that is extremely dangerous to a horse and injuries are very possible. I'd have a chiropractic vet check him out for certain as he's possibly out after crashing over like that too.

One of my horses also flipped over in side-reins and cracked her skull in several places. Like Daydream Believer said we knew instantly she was not ok. she had a seizure. After that we found out she went blind in both eyes which is why she kept running into things and could barely walk. It sounds like your horse seems to be fine and not seriously hurt thank goodness! However, since he flipped over twice I would certainly try to avoid side-reins as somebody that as lost a horse from them I can tell you it is not worth it. Glad he is ok and good luck with the rest of his training!

Sabine
Dec. 17, 2006, 11:26 PM
Second that. Call the vet.

When you say "he went over again when she was adjusting the side reins" do you mean "when she was taking them off" or do you mean "when she was loosening them"?

In this situation I would have removed them completely, because now you have an issue where he is associating them with bad things. It doesn't matter how loose they are, you now have lost them as an option. I would not take that risk again, no matter how much remedial training you do. It is simply not worth it.

YOMV.

Lark- you seem to be on my line...again- I agree 100%. If a horse goes over backwards it is a bad thing. For more reasons than just one. The horse learns that it has a new way out- it undoubtedly pays a physical price- because it wasn't designed to do it in the first place and the mental realization that there is a way out- is not a good thing. Somehow the connection with the horse and the amount asked of him did not match up. After the first time- I would have taken everything off and just gone back to voice/whip training and made sure he stays forward and listens. Going over backward twice in one session is bad. The advice for this week to just lunge for 5 minutes with sidereins not tight- might not be good either. I would try to loose the siderein memory as soon as possible and therefore not go back to using them for a while. Since the horse is 6 and is good in wtc- I would ride him and make it pleasant and forward and not hold his face to much. If he comes into a nice contact- that's great but if he needs some time to chill and just go forward - that is also fine.

Possible problems from turning over backwards: gum and tongue pain,
sacral pain from the rearing, chiropractic problems from falling with a lot of weight onto a bodypart that was not designed to be fallen on, mental fear of being tied or tied down, neckissues with the vertebrae...

I would get a dentist out and an excellent chiropractor, I would ride the horse lightly 20-30 minutes and observe all body parts carefully. Once the chiro and the dentist check it all out- I would get a PT to see about bruising/soft tissue stuff...

Good Luck to you- I am sorry this happened- I can see how bad you feel about it. My advice is trust yourself and build that close relationship with your horse, read up on ground work and do it yourself. A lot of what you can do with a horse on the ground has to do with the trust the horse has in his handler. And they usually give small signs before bad stuff happens...

eqipoize
Dec. 17, 2006, 11:32 PM
I'm taking this to mean that you had the inside side rein SHORTER than the outside? That is VERY bad, and is probably what caused your horse to panic. One of the purposes of side reins for lunging is to keep your horse straight. By having the side reins uneven you force the horse to be crooked and unbalanced. Even if the inside side rein is only one hole shorter, the horse is significantly unbalanced. And turning the nose to the inside is NOT bend.




Yeah, well, believe it or not, at the USDF instructors certification workshop, we were ALL told to shorten the inside side rein. YEP - that is what they are Teaching!!!! Anyone care to tell USDF that their instructors for the instructors are teaching the wrong stuff? I didn't have the guts to argue with them.

As far as this horse's episode - I think the mistake made was not acknowledging his message when he refused to go forward. SOMETHING is amiss, and he apparently didn't think he had any way to express it except to fight. rearing is a desperate measure. I would want to find out what aspect of the training session was so outside his tolerance that he felt it called for desperate measures. DO NOT put the side reins back on for at Least 8 weeks. If you got away lucky with maybe just a hairline facture somewhere, if you have a repeat episode before the bones can mend, you could indeed kill him. I had a close call with a colt this year, just leading him, and he fought and fell and struck the back of his head. Vet said he sees 50=100 cases like this a year, and the majority die, and most of the survivors are severely impaired. We seem to have been one of the very lucky few - no apparent permanent damage - level head, full coordination, etc. but he has not had a halter on him since - I want 100% recovery before we try haltering. It was a freak episode, like this lunging situation. Colt had been led many times, but he didn't like fly spray, and I was leading him over to apply some. He said NO! in a very loud voice.

Anyway, this horse was Also saying NO! in a very loud voice - you need to sort out what he was saying No to.

Hope he is OK! Go easy for a week or so, at least. I am amazed that your trainer wanted you to put him right back into work, and In Sidereins. What is she thinking???

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 17, 2006, 11:37 PM
One of my horses also flipped over in side-reins and cracked her skull in several places. Like Daydream Believer said we knew instantly she was not ok. she had a seizure. After that we found out she went blind in both eyes which is why she kept running into things and could barely walk. It sounds like your horse seems to be fine and not seriously hurt thank goodness! However, since he flipped over twice I would certainly try to avoid side-reins as somebody that as lost a horse from them I can tell you it is not worth it. Glad he is ok and good luck with the rest of his training!

Not to freak out the OP but I know of several horses that fractured vertebrae from flipping, and the fractures went undiagnosed for months because the owners failed to get the horses checked and radiographed.

lstevenson
Dec. 17, 2006, 11:59 PM
Yeah, well, believe it or not, at the USDF instructors certification workshop, we were ALL told to shorten the inside side rein. YEP - that is what they are Teaching!!!! Anyone care to tell USDF that their instructors for the instructors are teaching the wrong stuff? I didn't have the guts to argue with them.



:eek: OMG, that is just wrong! I wonder who we need to alert?

Rockfish
Dec. 18, 2006, 05:40 AM
Not to freak out the OP but I know of several horses that fractured vertebrae from flipping, and the fractures went undiagnosed for months because the owners failed to get the horses checked and radiographed.

or he even could have compressed a few vertebrae together if he hit them just right, which will take months of physical therapy to seperate.

haymaker
Dec. 18, 2006, 06:14 AM
I have seen this happen on the lunge. It eventually became a problem when ridden also. It was eventually discovered that the horse had beginnings of ringbone/sidebone in one front leg and was unable to cope with work on the circle.

PiedPiper
Dec. 18, 2006, 07:10 AM
I realized with my new guy he couldn't be lunged in side reins. We started him in VERY loose side reins tied with baling twine so they snap under duress and got him used to on rein. Worked on the one rein being the inside and then the outside. He seemed to be okay with it and a few sessions later we tried both side reins. Regardless of them being extremely loose he could not get that he was to go forward into it and panicked and went up.

Luckily didn't go all the way over but we scrapped the lunging idea and just went undersaddle. I do want to reassess this with this horse at some point as a lot of physical therapy has happened from that point till now and the horse is a different one both mentally and physically. I still believe there is alot a horse can get out of being lunged in side reins.

I too have worked with multiple trainer, including Gillian Clissold, who as the horse advanced in their work had the inside rein shortened.

Trixie's mom
Dec. 18, 2006, 07:42 AM
I also say how sorry I am...scary situation for sure. Jingles to your horse and you who must be horrified. Try not to feel guilty...take this situation and learn from it. You have been given an opportunity to teach your horse in a new way...

You know, the arabian training theory gets a lot of heat but the one thing we DON'T do is put a green horse in two solid side reins EVER.

We teach our young/green horses with one rein only when lunging then long line so the horse always has 'somewhere to go'...they never feel trapped.

Only when they are really trained will we put them into to two reins...rarely though. For the above reason.

rileyt
Dec. 18, 2006, 08:00 AM
First, I am sooo sorry this happened to you. Its so scary, but I don't see anything here that I think you or your instructor did "wrong". I think this is just a freak accident, so please don't beat yourself up about it. And, while being cautious is wise, he's PROBABLY just fine. I agree that I think after flip #1, I would've moved to immediately take the side reins OFF, but hindsight is always 20/20.

As to the inside rein shorter thing... before we all get up in arms about things being WRONG or RIGHT... Some very notable instructors (including, I think, Klimke) note that having the inside rein shorter is acceptable. But its usually reserved for more advanced horses doing smaller circles where there is more bend in the body.

I agree, if the USDF is teaching that the inside rein should always be shorter... I think that is truly stupid. Especially on very green horses who have not established straightness, and fluid contact with the outside rein, I think putting the side-reins off-set is a huge mistake.

Is there any way to notify and/or get an "advisory opinion" from USDF on this? I can't imagine that the higher-ups support this idea. Is it possibly just one instructor with a particular method/opinion that she should not be passing on?

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:13 AM
Hope he is OK! Go easy for a week or so, at least. I am amazed that your trainer wanted you to put him right back into work, and In Sidereins. What is she thinking???

Probably thinking about the possibility of ever riding or working the horse again if she just untacked, patted Poor Baby, put him back in this stall, and called the vet. I agree with her decision to keep working the horse if he was showing no overt pain issues. I would probably have removed the sidereins and galloped the horse for 15 or 20 minutes, then started back to work.

While you may all gasp, how the instructor responds to such a violent evasion could impact the rest of the horse's riding career. No matter how much he hurts or what his physical issue is, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It puts the rider's life on the line. If he is rewarded for the behavior, it becomes a lifelong habit, always lurking in the background. If he is punished for it, it reduces the chances of happening again.

Most people who have started a lot of horses will have had one or two go up and over in sidereins. It's not good. It happens. The horse can get hurt. He could get killed but so could the rider.

Call a vet and have him checked out. If he is cleared to work, start the horse over on the longe without sidereins, and find out why he had a failure to go forward. Work him in hand where you can give instantly to teach him acceptance of the snaffle.

My six year old is teething, by the way.

merrygoround
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:42 AM
Haven't read all the posts,but I start all my horses in side reins, prefernce being for the ones with the donut. I never shorten one rein, and I start out with longer reins in the beginning.

I make it a point to do the inside rein up last, and I also make it a point to be ready to move them off immediately.

I have had a horse that would go up in side reins, he did it several times in his life time. He died of old age.

Horses that shut down (that is halt and won't move forward) on the longe, after working well,are telling you that they've had enough.

SandyUHC
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:03 AM
I did read all the posts, and I think the "tongue over the bit" idea is interesting as my first thought was about the bit. Make sure it isn't pinching his lips or tongue. Also, I like the method where you have a siderein on the outside but run the lungeline through the bit ring and attach it to the girth on the inside. That way the longeline acts as a sliding siderein and it is easy to adjust the contact, particularly if they trip and scare themselves.

EqTrainer
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:07 AM
I did read all the posts, and I think the "tongue over the bit" idea is interesting as my first thought was about the bit. Make sure it isn't pinching his lips or tongue. Also, I like the method where you have a siderein on the outside but run the lungeline through the bit ring and attach it to the girth on the inside. That way the longeline acts as a sliding siderein and it is easy to adjust the contact, particularly if they trip and scare themselves.

I use this method also, but ONLY on an advanced horse who is not likely to panic. When the S*** hits the fan, that inside longe line can get you in trouble.

fargo
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:18 AM
I use side reins with my youngster and in one of the first sessions he thought he couldn't move either. Normally when I change something I first walk next to him to make him relax and let him see that nothing is the matter.
I have always learned that both side reins should always be on the same length. When you ride him you also have reins on the same length eventhough you ask for a bend on the inside. Making the inner reins shorter puts strain on it and that is the opposite effect that you want. Because you want to learn the horse to give and to be able to relax. If you keep on using them (after checking him out by a vet or manual therapist) I would always use 2 with the same length. The bend will then give him relatively more space on the inside to give and relax. My horse relaxed when I walked next to him after I made adjustments to the rein.
I hope your horse is alright! Take care!

MeredithTX
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:25 AM
I've started quite a few horses, and have only ever had one do this. It was a 6 year old mare and the side reins were fairly loose and even on both sides with her moving forward nicely, but when we went to change directions she just went up and over without much warning. Her owner was quite shaken up understandably, but I completely agree with Kathy about the instructor needing to address this immediately. When it happened to me, I made sure the horse was not injured or in pain and we continued to work. The vet checked her out the next day and she got some bute and liniment that week, but she was just sore and stiff. She's never done it again and I am able to work her in sidereins, although we very slowly worked back up to that.

To the OP, these things happen, and I hope your horse is just a little banged up and not hurt. I wouldn't stop using the side reins, but I would exercise a lot more caution since he did this once. Good luck in your situation!

MyReality
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:39 AM
I've said many times on this board already, side reins not for every horse. I personally don't use them, NOT because I don't believe in them... BUT the horses I train are very average in way of going and natural balance. You push them on the lunge line, the best they could do is track up, but most of the time, they are on the forehand... you put side reins on, they can't move forward... they stop, they fling their heads, or compress their neck and hold it up (then you thought oh I need one of those neck stretchers or Passoa system. <sigh>).

For my average horses, lunging is just for days when I don't want to ride, or to teach them walk/trot/canter/stop, or I lunge over poles to help them move better. Everything else, I must ride them so i can actively work on their balance.

IMO, sidereins are most useful on horses with some natural balance and with more uphill conformation... horses when you push forward, they are really forward, under themselves and inclined to engage from behind. In those cases, horses do figure out what contact means on their own and they are wonderful tools. Many people use side reins religeousely... I don't blame them cuz a lot of these people either they themselves work with well bred horses exclusively, or they train with people who work with well bred horses exclusively.

If your horse is progressing well, and you're not going to do your 5 year old FEI test, don't worry about side reins, or Pessoa system or Vienna reins or German reins or draw reins. When a horse moves correctly, forward and balanced, you can teach the horse contact in 10 minutes.

eqipoize
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:08 AM
I was referring to the fact that the trainer told the horse's owner to work the Same Week In Side Reins! I agree, after an episode like this, the trainer needs to get SOME form of agreement before ending the day. I would have worked without the side reins, and just gotten some sort of Yes, and then quit a winner. But for the weeks following, I would be very cautious, and NOT tackle the side rein issue until the horse had a full check up by a vet and at least a couple weeks recovery. Doesn't mean I would sit him in the stall, but I would NOT work in side reins - again the chance of a repeat flip is very high, and if there is a mild injury, you will make it major if you make him fall again. Err on the side of caution in my opinion. But again, given the situation, I agree, make the horse do some sort of decent work before he gets to go home. Just wanted to clarify.

Kerrysmom818
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:19 AM
I have a very quiet and laid back 6 year old who is green but going well w-t-c and learning his dressage basics. I'm an experienced rider working with an instructor. I have lunged him in side reins before, starting very loose and gradually progressing to a light contact.

Today in a lesson my instructor increased the contact a little more than before. Not cranking him in by any means, just a steady contact with a bit of bend to the inside. He was going well like this trotting and cantering, but at one point stopped and wouldn't go forward. With little warning, he went over backwards. When my instructor was trying to adjust the side reins after this, he went over again, almost like he was throwing himself over. He was not visibly hurt and was sound (thank god) but was shaken. She decreased the contact to almost none and he finished the session well like this. We gave him a bute and checked him over, and he seemed just fine.

I am feeling horrible about this. He is an incredibly sweet horse who has never resisted going forward under saddle, much less to rear. Obviously the contact was too much for him at this stage, which my instructor freely admitted - she was just as shocked and horrified as I was.

Has this ever happened to anyone out there before? If so, did it cause long term training damage? Does anyone have suggestions on how to minimize the trauma from this unfortunate event? My instructor told me to just longe him for 5 minutes a few times this week with very light side rein contact to let him know that it is OK.

Any advice would be helpful, but I ask that you please do not attack me or my instructor. I am sincerely asking for constructive ideas for the best of this sweet horse. Thanks.


WOW! You are ever so lucky . . . last summer the same thing happened to a fellow boarder, her mare went over backwards in side reins, slammed her head into the floor of the indoor. She was bleeding from her mouth and ears. Had some brain damage, but did eventually recover enough to be ridden lightly - not sure what the full outcome is/was as the mare was moved
rather unexpectedly to another facility . . .

If it were me, I'd probably re-think using side reins at all, I'm not sure it would be worth the risk.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:26 AM
Thank you, everyone. My vet came and checked him this morning and sees no signs of any trauma. He is sound at all three gaits, has full range of motion of his neck and no pain upon spinal palpation. He's bright, alert and normal in all respects. At this time my vet did not feel that radiographs were in order, but said to keep an eye on him. If I did wind up doing the radiographs I would need to take him to the local medical center as the portable machine would not get good enough views.

As for the side reins, you all raise interesting points. Above all I have learned that side reins are not a tool to be taken lightly! I've never had a horse with issues with them before, so this has been a real eye opener to me. I agree with those who said that my instructor did the right thing in continuing to work him for a little while so that the behavior did not create a permanent bad lesson.

However, my decision with this particular horse is to never use side reins again. He's not going to go Grand Prix - just a fun and sweet lower level guy. There is something about them at a certain length that makes him feel trapped, and I just don't want to ever take the risk with him again. Since he has NEVER done anything remotely like this, or even suggestive of this under saddle I do feel that it is isolated to this training tool. These side reins were web, with little give, which may have contributed to his panic, and the inside was one hole shorter than the outside. These factors may have been what pushed him to panic, but I'm not going to try again with different side reins/adjustment to find out.

Thank you again for all the advice and help and for keeping this discussion civil.

Renae
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:31 AM
:eek: I just have one more comment here- what are all you people doing that has your horses flipping over in side reins and killing themselves or causing brain damage or spinal injuries? I use side reins in my trainng EVER SINGLE DAY and have never even remotely had problems like this!!!!! Maybe a few steps backwards from a greenie who is testing them at first but a flick with the whip and we're on our way no problem. All I have to say is all these incidents scare me, not about a simple device like a side rein, but at the incompetancy of people who can not read their horses well enough to tell that there is a problem and they need to change what they are doing (especially when said people refer to themselves as trainers).

mp
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:36 AM
No matter how much he hurts or what his physical issue is, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It puts the rider's life on the line. If he is rewarded for the behavior, it becomes a lifelong habit, always lurking in the background. If he is punished for it, it reduces the chances of happening again.

I was going to let this pass, but I just can't ...

This may be just a matter of semantics, but punishing a horse for a panicking? Continue working (if he's OK) to assure him, to show him there's nothing to fear and end on a good note, yes. But working a horse with the attitude that you're punishing him when you pushed him a little too hard, nope. Not never. Not no how.

Horse's minds just don't work that way. Only humans' do. As I said, could be just your choice of words because I usually agree with your POV.

To the OP -- stuff happens. I hope you're both just shaken up, and you can figure out what happened and go on.

But you are lucky. A good friend's mare flipped in side reins, hit her poll and died almost instantly. This particular horse was not green and had never shown the slightest inclination to rear under saddle. She just wasn't used to side reins.

Anyway, good luck.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:42 AM
mp, don't want to speak for the other poster but I do think it was just semantics. IN NO WAY did my instructor punish my horse. She simply worked him gently at the trot on the longe for 5-10 minutes after determining that he was not lame or visibly harmed so that he would not get put away frightened and learning that rear/flip=no more work. I think that was all the other poster was suggesting.

SandyUHC
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:44 AM
Renae -- have you ever considered counting your blessings? I cannot tell if you are arrogant or ignorant but perhaps you haven't been all the way around the block enough times to realize that horses are unpredictable at times.

EqTrainer, good point about the sliding inside side rein, I would never use it with a horse that wasn't a quiet, confirmed longe-er. I'll have to give some thought as to whether it is more or less dangerous than a fixed side rein on a horse in a panic though.

Renae
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:46 AM
Renae -- have you ever considered counting your blessings? I cannot tell if you are arrogant or ignorant but perhaps you haven't been all the way around the block enough times to realize that horses are unpredictable at times.

It doesn't alarm you that so many people are posting incidents like this happening in side reins as a common place occurance when in fact it is not nor should it be?

BTW- I worked as an assistant trainer at big barns with 30-40 training horses for 8 yers (so probably 200-250 individual horses total- green colts through old broke kiddie toters). Like I said, not once did I witness a horse flipped over because of side reins and the one time a horse went up and over in long lines the head trainer who was working him realized he was asking to much and stepped back a notch on what he was asking and fixed the problem to where he was able to ask for as much as he wanted in long lines. I have my own barn now, a small breeding brn, so yes, fewer horses, but I can see when I am pushing a horse to hard and for the most part remedy it before i push the horse into doing something this dangerous.

thoroughbred06
Dec. 18, 2006, 11:51 AM
I personally have never had this happen to me but my horse flipped over in the cross-ties once. she had some neck probelms and i would recommend you have your horse checked with a chiropractor. But training damage wise nothing happened except her neck was all jointed weird.

mp
Dec. 18, 2006, 12:02 PM
It doesn't alarm you that so many people are posting incidents like this happening in side reins as a common place occurance when in fact it is not nor should it be?

I don't think anyone implied that flipping over in side reins is commonplace. Just that it can happen and can happen quite suddenly. The fact that you've never had it happen doesn't mean everyone else is incompetent.

Navy
Dec. 18, 2006, 12:05 PM
Probably thinking about the possibility of ever riding or working the horse again if she just untacked, patted Poor Baby, put him back in this stall, and called the vet. I agree with her decision to keep working the horse if he was showing no overt pain issues. I would probably have removed the sidereins and galloped the horse for 15 or 20 minutes, then started back to work.

While you may all gasp, how the instructor responds to such a violent evasion could impact the rest of the horse's riding career. No matter how much he hurts or what his physical issue is, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It puts the rider's life on the line. If he is rewarded for the behavior, it becomes a lifelong habit, always lurking in the background. If he is punished for it, it reduces the chances of happening again.

Most people who have started a lot of horses will have had one or two go up and over in sidereins. It's not good. It happens. The horse can get hurt. He could get killed but so could the rider.

Call a vet and have him checked out. If he is cleared to work, start the horse over on the longe without sidereins, and find out why he had a failure to go forward. Work him in hand where you can give instantly to teach him acceptance of the snaffle.

My six year old is teething, by the way.


I agree with kathy....this is very dangerous and very unacceptable behavior..happened to me once with a horse I had lunged MANY times in side reins...I was just asking the horse at a walk to take ONE lateral step...she went up and over sooo fast..I could not have done anything...I went back to double lunging with long lines..but she had to learn that this was an unacceptable evasion and reaction. to contact...fortunately she was fine and scared the daylights out of herself and never did it again. Don't beat yourself up!

hunter-eventer-hunter
Dec. 18, 2006, 12:25 PM
I started using 'European' balancing reins instead of side reins about 2 years ago. I saw them used in Denmark and lovved them. They attach to a saddle D or a surcingle point at that place, the bit ring, and either between the legs of near the billet area (lower flank near elbow). The lines all have sliders and hooks that that as you shorten the lines the horse can move between three points on contact. I have used these on 2 1/2 year olg AQHA filly not yet under saddle, my 18 yeear old ex Prem Event Mare, my 6 year old greenie and have seen them used on just about everything in between.

I have NEVER seen a horse go up and/or back in them. They will get spooked by the contact and stop but as soon as they move their head, they slide between the contact and do not get so claustorphobic (sp?). Dover sells them, I have to say it again, I have seen these work wonders.

I have a 7 year old TB mare I took on as a project. Sweet and nice, great confirmation, but had a trot like a racking horse, knees were everywhere, and she had no idea of how to use her back end. I worked her in hand with the balancing reins for about a week before I moved onto the lunge in them. I am at one month later and she has made DRAMATIC improvement. The improvement has translated to her flat work and her jumping (she is an event prospect.)

lstevenson
Dec. 18, 2006, 02:16 PM
I agree, if the USDF is teaching that the inside rein should always be shorter... I think that is truly stupid. Especially on very green horses who have not established straightness, and fluid contact with the outside rein, I think putting the side-reins off-set is a huge mistake.

Is there any way to notify and/or get an "advisory opinion" from USDF on this? I can't imagine that the higher-ups support this idea. Is it possibly just one instructor with a particular method/opinion that she should not be passing on?



Perhaps we should start a new thread on this, but does anyone know of who we could contact at USDF to discuss this?

It's sad that some instructors are being told to say this. For it shows that they don't understand what bend really is.

As you said rileyt, someone like Klimke might be able to make this usefull in some situations, such as lunging in smaller circles. But he would also be actively asking the horse to move into the outside rein while on the lunge, and the horse would already know how to do so (because of the ridden work).

But in your average training session, what will happen is that the handler shortens the inside side rein, and the horse is doomed to travel with his nose tipped to the inside and his outside hind leg falling to the outside, destroying his balance. Horses ALREADY tend to do this, and that is one of the puposes of side reins!! To keep the horse straighter!

Just another one of those :eek: :no: things that is happening to dressage nowadays.

mazu
Dec. 18, 2006, 02:39 PM
I was going to let this pass, but I just can't ...

This may be just a matter of semantics, but punishing a horse for a panicking? Continue working (if he's OK) to assure him, to show him there's nothing to fear and end on a good note, yes. But working a horse with the attitude that you're punishing him when you pushed him a little too hard, nope. Not never. Not no how.

Horse's minds just don't work that way. Only humans' do. As I said, could be just your choice of words because I usually agree with your POV.

Not Kathy, but nowhere did I see a suggestion that she would punish the horse for panicking. Rather, she wouldn't give him the reward of stopping work, provided there was no injury, so that he wouldn't learn that panic=get out of work free pass.

I'm sure we've all seen horses that freak out on a regular basis. And their owners tend to be the type who end work after any major "incidents." It's learned behavior.

The only thing I'd argue with Kathy about is the suggestion that anyone here thought the horse *should* have just been put away for the day. No one said that. Side reins definitely should have come off though.

lstevenson
Dec. 18, 2006, 02:46 PM
But only 1 or 2 holes to encourage a slight inside bend.


And how do you think this bends a horse exactly? It bends his neck which is NOT a productive bend. Unless that bend is EVEN THROUGH HIS BODY, it will unbalance him and make him crooked.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 18, 2006, 02:57 PM
With all due respect, please create another thread about off-set side rein adjustment if you want to argue about it, USDF's position towards it, etc. Everyone has been so helpful to this point, and I don't want to see this deteriorating any further into arguments and insults about people's opinions on this subject. There is nothing I can do now about how my horse's side reins were adjusted yesterday and reading people's discourse on bend or crookedness is not going to help his situation further. Thanks.

2DogsFarm
Dec. 18, 2006, 03:01 PM
I haven't read any of the replies to your post, so at the risk of being flamed:
Don't beat yourself up - if he finished the lesson okay he s/b fine when you repeat as long as you keep the side reins loose enough so he is just balanced and not pulled offbalance to the inside

FWIW:
I once saw a horse longed who so did not want to go forward he bowed completely to the ground before tipping slowly over onto his side.
Got up and was fine - apparently he figured out forward was better than on the ground

Ja Da Dee
Dec. 18, 2006, 03:28 PM
I agree with kathy....this is very dangerous and very unacceptable behavior..happened to me once with a horse I had lunged MANY times in side reins...I was just asking the horse at a walk to take ONE lateral step...she went up and over sooo fast..I could not have done anything...I went back to double lunging with long lines..but she had to learn that this was an unacceptable evasion and reaction. to contact...fortunately she was fine and scared the daylights out of herself and never did it again. Don't beat yourself up!


I agre with kathy also, I've seen horses (not dressage horses) under saddle who have learned this little 'trick" and it's terrifying.

Long, long ago, when I was starting horses (not in dressage) I was told to teach them to longe, then ground drive (double longe) then sidereins. These were little pistol arabs, and we didn't have any problems with them getting tangled up. it does take a bit of coordination from the handler though. I'm sure in my old age, if I tried it, I would be completely wrapped up in the lines.

mp
Dec. 18, 2006, 04:21 PM
Not Kathy, but nowhere did I see a suggestion that she would punish the horse for panicking.

She did use the word "punish" and since I've never seen a horse flip who wasn't in panic mode, I made the assumption that the horse had been pushed a little too far and lost his mind. My bad.

mazu
Dec. 18, 2006, 05:03 PM
She did use the word "punish" and since I've never seen a horse flip who wasn't in panic mode, I made the assumption that the horse had been pushed a little too far and lost his mind. My bad.

There goes my interpretation. Maybe I should have re-read her post first? :lol:

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 18, 2006, 05:50 PM
Actually, I do think there are mortal sins that horses should be punished for, no matter how much they are panicking, how much they hurt, or what seeming reason they had for their behavior. A new tooth coming in? Pushed a little too hard, longed a little too long, tightened the inside siderein two inches longer than the outside? Oh, my goodness, Poor Baby, it was my bad. You can rear up, flip over, and squish me dead.

In my book, rearing should always be punished, not babied, not ignored, not condoned. As I said, I would have galloped him a good long time. I likely would have applied a whip to the rear end as well, if necessary. Rearing is an evasion to going forward. Logical consequence? Go forward. Until the horse thinks twice about rearing the next time. They do think like that. They have brains.

These are life and death decisions trainers must make very quickly. Not only is the rider's life at stake, the horse's is too. The horse might kill himself the next time he goes up and over. Or without consequences, he might become a confirmed rearer and eventually end up unrideable and in a dog food can.

fvw
Dec. 18, 2006, 06:55 PM
I started using 'European' balancing reins instead of side reins about 2 years ago. I saw them used in Denmark and lovved them. They attach to a saddle D or a surcingle point at that place, the bit ring, and either between the legs of near the billet area (lower flank near elbow). The lines all have sliders and hooks that that as you shorten the lines the horse can move between three points on contact. I have used these on 2 1/2 year olg AQHA filly not yet under saddle, my 18 yeear old ex Prem Event Mare, my 6 year old greenie and have seen them used on just about everything in between.

I have NEVER seen a horse go up and/or back in them. They will get spooked by the contact and stop but as soon as they move their head, they slide between the contact and do not get so claustorphobic (sp?). Dover sells them, I have to say it again, I have seen these work wonders.

I have a 7 year old TB mare I took on as a project. Sweet and nice, great confirmation, but had a trot like a racking horse, knees were everywhere, and she had no idea of how to use her back end. I worked her in hand with the balancing reins for about a week before I moved onto the lunge in them. I am at one month later and she has made DRAMATIC improvement. The improvement has translated to her flat work and her jumping (she is an event prospect.)


Totally agree!!!! I LOFF, LOFF, LOFF my german sliding reins which I've had for at least 10 years. Won't use anything else for lunging. I think they're available @ Dressage Extensions.

EqTrainer
Dec. 18, 2006, 06:59 PM
I do agree w/Kathy.. rearing is the ultimate no-no and how a horse is handled the first time he rears is very important as to how it will end.

Queen Latisha
Dec. 18, 2006, 07:43 PM
I do agree w/Kathy.. rearing is the ultimate no-no and how a horse is handled the first time he rears is very important as to how it will end.

Come on, horses just don't flip over for no reason. Either the horse was in a state of severe panic, or severe pain.
I doubt this horse flipped because he just didn't want to work.
I'm wondering how long the OP has been using side reins?
Was the horse's muscles build up enough, to carry himself in this manner?
Punishing a horse for flipping over in side reins and not knowing why, is wrong.

mp
Dec. 18, 2006, 07:52 PM
Rearing is an evasion to going forward. Logical consequence? Go forward. Until the horse thinks twice about rearing the next time. They do think like that. They have brains.

If you can handle the correction within seconds, yes. Otherwise, I think not. Take the time to remove the reins and get on the horse, he won't associate 20 minutes of galloping with the cardinal sin of rearing. Their minds really don't work that way. You may work off the excess energy and reduce his anxiety. But that's no guarantee that the next time he's fresh and gets panicked, he won't go up again.

And again, punish is never a word I'd use in advising anyone in dealing with a horse. That's where the "show 'em who's boss" mindset can creep in. And when that happens, 99% of the time, the handler will overdo it.

The horse the OP posted about is not a confirmed rearer. He is a green horse that was pushed too far and panicked. Twice in the space of a few minutes. I'm thinking that's more the fault of the handler than the horse. Maybe a different, more gradual approach to his training, instead of "punishment." Just a thought ...

EqTrainer
Dec. 18, 2006, 08:11 PM
Come on, horses just don't flip over for no reason. Either the horse was in a state of severe panic, or severe pain.
I doubt this horse flipped because he just didn't want to work.
I'm wondering how long the OP has been using side reins?
Was the horse's muscles build up enough, to carry himself in this manner?
Punishing a horse for flipping over in side reins and not knowing why, is wrong.

Apparently you didn't read my previous post on this subject.

time fault
Dec. 18, 2006, 08:50 PM
Silly boy was evading contact. I have to go with the same thing with my three year olds I start on the lunge. They are started loose and gradually brought up as each session shows the necessary progress. With your horse it can be one of two things:
1) it was too much too soon meaning he was not ready for that much contact or your position was off enough he felt blocked from moving forward and you didn't drive him enough at his hindend when he did stop.
2) he just wasn't up for that much that day

More than likely it's senario two as its difficult to say anything of the sort without actually being there. I don't care who you are.

YoungFilly
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:07 PM
Actually, I do think there are mortal sins that horses should be punished for, no matter how much they are panicking, how much they hurt, or what seeming reason they had for their behavior. A new tooth coming in? Pushed a little too hard, longed a little too long, tightened the inside siderein two inches longer than the outside? Oh, my goodness, Poor Baby, it was my bad. You can rear up, flip over, and squish me dead.

In my book, rearing should always be punished, not babied, not ignored, not condoned. As I said, I would have galloped him a good long time. I likely would have applied a whip to the rear end as well, if necessary. Rearing is an evasion to going forward. Logical consequence? Go forward. Until the horse thinks twice about rearing the next time. They do think like that. They have brains.

These are life and death decisions trainers must make very quickly. Not only is the rider's life at stake, the horse's is too. The horse might kill himself the next time he goes up and over. Or without consequences, he might become a confirmed rearer and eventually end up unrideable and in a dog food can.

Kathy, you can't be serious! There are a bunch of reasons on why this could have happened. I am in agreement that some behavior that is intentional needs to have a very strong reaction, but this doesn't sound like the case at all! You and I are usually thinking along the same lines, but in this case there had to be something that caused the horse to do this, whether out of fear, some kind of a history, but I would be trying to find a kind and gentle way to fix this particular issue, not severly punish him.

None of us know whats happened to this horse in a prior life. It could be anything. There is a horse that I know who is awesome, just awesome, sweet, never does anything wrong at all. Until that is, you go to lunge him, and then he comes unglued and literally runs in a blind panic. We think its something in his past where they tried to teach him piaffe/passage and somehow got pushed beyond the limit. Now that its known, retraining him in a gentle manner to be lounged is on his menu. Not chasing him with the whip until he practically falls down.

Edited to add: I totally agree with a regular rearer who is doing it as an evasion should be pushed very forward, and "get in trouble". Just not in this case. Just wanted to clarify.

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:12 PM
If you can handle the correction within seconds, yes. Otherwise, I think not. Take the time to remove the reins and get on the horse, he won't associate 20 minutes of galloping with the cardinal sin of rearing.

Within seconds, yes. Remove the sidereins, no, not until there has been a punishment. Get on the horse? No. Horses are quite capable of galloping on the longe line. It is a method I have used several times to re-train rearers, as it is much safer to correct a rearing horse on the longe line than on his back. Because of the timing issues, it is always best to have a professional deal with a horse who rears.

I use the term punishment very specifically in terms of operant conditioning: to decrease a behavior. Positive punishment is the most effective way to stop an unwanted behavior. You can use the word correction, but punishment is the correct word. I do understand it has negative connotations for most people.

I agree with time fault that the horse probably wasn't pushed too hard or that anything was necessarily wrong with him, but we can't know from here. To blame the handler isn't right. Very likely, the horse felt blocked and went up. When he hit the sidereins going up, he went over. It is the reason I do not advocate using any form of gadgets, devices or rigs on horses who rear. They tend to go over when they don't have their head and necks to balance them.

Hony
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:19 PM
Today in a lesson my instructor increased the contact a little more than before. Not cranking him in by any means, just a steady contact with a bit of bend to the inside. He was going well like this trotting and cantering, but at one point stopped and wouldn't go forward. With little warning, he went over backwards. When my instructor was trying to adjust the side reins after this, he went over again, almost like he was throwing himself over.

I don't want this to come off as nasty so please remember it is just my humble opinion:)
If I had a horse who decided to go over backwards after being perfectly reasonable, and then to go over again I would say that he was intentionally trying to get out of work. In my ever so humble opinion this is not a horse I would want to be friends with. In fact, I make a point of never being friends with horses who are willing to hurt themselves. My feeling is that if they are willing to hurt themself, then they are willing to hurt me and that's not good at all.
This does not mean that I avoid all rearers, if I did I'd be out of a horse! IMO if a horse half rears, loses balance and falls over that's one thing but if a horse deliberately flips themself over backwards they are probably going to find themself looking for a new home.
I hope your horse learned from this experience that it's no fun flipping because it hurts. I would hate to find out down the road that you took up contact and he squashed you!

Karoline
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:36 PM
:eek: I just have one more comment here- what are all you people doing that has your horses flipping over in side reins and killing themselves or causing brain damage or spinal injuries? I use side reins in my trainng EVER SINGLE DAY and have never even remotely had problems like this!!!!! Maybe a few steps backwards from a greenie who is testing them at first but a flick with the whip and we're on our way no problem. All I have to say is all these incidents scare me, not about a simple device like a side rein, but at the incompetancy of people who can not read their horses well enough to tell that there is a problem and they need to change what they are doing (especially when said people refer to themselves as trainers).

That's uncalled for. A friend of mine's mare spooked in the arena, reared, lost her balance and fell back, hurting her tailbone in the process. It happened in a matter of seconds. This was a mare in her teens with lots of lungeing experience. S*(*_ happens. She was wearing velcro release side reins that did not release. Horses can and do get hurt without the rider being a fault and it is unfair to imply otherwise.

aikenhorses
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:40 PM
Very sorry that your horse flipped over.Can be traumatic for owner and horse.
I have had experience with a horse that reared and in the end it was the death of him.
At 6 years of age I was his 8th owner.
I owned him for 8 yrs and was able to work thru most issues ,but one day he reacted,lost his footing reared up and flipped.hit head and died at the end of my leadrope.
Anyhow..the bottom line is..horses rear or panic or flip out ...whatever it was..because they do not feel they can move their feet.

I only wish that I had learned natural horsemanship earlier in my riding career..it would have enlightened my knowledge level much sooner and I would have done many things differently..yet I am thankful that I have seen many types of training methods....I am able to develop my own mix with what works for me..
I strongly support the recommendation that you have a vet give him a very solid exam..you said he was sweet ...etc etc..sometimes horses are very sweet ..till u ask them to accept something we expect then to do willingly..


he might have whacked something really out and then you will experience training resistence ..I have had success,with acupuncture,magnetic therapy blankets,chiropractor and massage therapist..now many vet services offer all modalities.
Best of luck to you ,your horse and trainer.Merry Christmas and god bless you and your horse.

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:49 PM
So for those that think that the fix for rearing under the circumstances the OP described is to make the horse gallop on a longe line immediately after flipping over, regardless of whether the horse is injured, how do you explain this training method to the owner if the horse ends up paralyzed or worse if it turns out the horse fractured a vertebrae? And never mind the fact that I would question anyone that makes a horse gallop on a tight circle, I fail to see how a horse would connect being terrorized on the longe line with its earlier act of rearing.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 18, 2006, 09:49 PM
In my experience, horses do not flip over backwards without cause. I've never seen one flip over to avoid work. I've seen them flip over to avoid pain or if startled and frightened and in a panic. I had a horse go over backwards on me once...an old campaigner that we found had a sore back... I have seen badly spoiled horses rear up in a balky manner as a bully but this is not the case with this horse from the sound of it. This was a willing happy young horse who suddenly freaked out and went over backwards. I do not agree that punishing this horse was the right answer for his flipping over in sidereins. I would instead try and understand why he did it...what hurts or if it was simply fear. Check his teeth, his saddle, his equipment and have him gone over by a good chiropractic person. Horses very very rarely do things like this to just get out of work. I sure as heck would not have galloped him around in circles if I was not certain he was not injured!

Sometimes it takes a while to put the pieces together and understand why when a horse does something unusual like this so watch him for clues as to what might be his issue. Lunge him again without the sidereins and watch his attitude. See if he's the same as usual under saddle also. If he does offer to go up again than I'd say you have a serious problem but if not, figure it was the sidereins and move on with him.

mbm
Dec. 18, 2006, 10:53 PM
just a note to the OP: i have a mare that was VERY dramatic anytime she was lunged with side reins.... so much so that she would spend much of her time leaping bucking etc while on the lunge.... it was very dramatic to watch and sometimes scary.

to make a long story short: she now lunges wonderfully and also works into contact both on the lunge w/side reins and under saddle.

I also am someone who thinks lunging w/side reins is a life long tool to use for as long as the horse is in training.

what i did was to let the horse deal with learning to tolerate contact under saddle where i could control her better.... and once day - (months later) she "got-it" and hasn't reverted yet to the old behaviors... i am a fairly good rider and so wasnt worried about riding through this... maybe if he shows signs of resistance let your trainer deal with it.... (?)


i guess what i am trying to say is:

1) side reins are very useful and horses should know how to deal with them
2) give him time and hopefully he will learn to handle contact and then accept side reins
3) let your trainer deal with it if it is beyond your skill set.

and finally:

what happens if you sell this horse and he has not been taught to deal with this issue?

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 19, 2006, 12:15 AM
regardless of whether the horse is injured, Nope, Yankee Lawyer, you misread. I said that if there is no overt injury. The trainer has to make a snap decision if the horse is injured or not. A capable trainer ought to be able to tell in about 2 steps if there's something seriously wrong. If the horse has to gallop when he's a little stiff or sore from throwing himself on the ground, oh well.

I am a somewhat surprised that some of you think that there is a kinder, gentler way of dealing with a horse's most dangerous behavior. Rearing and falling over, with a rider, or beside a handler, can be lethal to horse and human. A little gallop on a longe line never killed a horse. A little whip to the hiney never killed a horse.

I have seen horses who learned to go up and over to get the rider off and stop the work.

You can deal with all the mechanics and the excuses and the reasons after the fact, but if you don't face the facts and do SOMETHING with the horse, it will happen again. To ignore a horse who rears over backward is negligent on the trainer's part, something I REALLY wouldn't want to explain to my hospitalized student or her grieving family. "Oh, I didn't do anything the first two times he reared and threw himself over. I thought he might have hurt himself. Sorry about that." I would far rather explain the worst case scenario Yankee Lawyer wrote up. At least I would know I did the right thing.

Going forward is the only way to cure a horse who rears. Ask anyone who's done it. A horse can not rear when he is moving forward. Interestingly enough, I was recently talking to an Olympic eventer, probably the bravest rider on earth, and he said he would never again ride another horse who rears. He would deal with bucking, bolting, anything else, but never another rearing horse. Too dangerous.

I do think the OP has a realistic attitude and understands that there is some danger of it happening again, with or without sidereins. If I were in her shoes, I would be feeling bad that it happened, not that I necessarily did something to make it happen. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that it doesn't happen again.

Hony
Dec. 19, 2006, 12:31 AM
I agree with Kathy to the utmost extent that a rearer is a major issue and I definitely believe that horses will rear to avoid working, stay with the heard, even to get attention from an owner. Horses are smarter than we give them credit for.
As an example, I used to ride 14-16 race horses a day and periodically a particular horse or two would decide that he didn't want to go out for his morning work and would do everything he could to get me off including flip over. I am not affraid to admit that there were times when he was going over that I would push off to get out of the way instead of being smushed.
Perhaps we might attribute his desire to stay in the barn to him not wanting to leave his heard but the way I see it is that this is not enough of an excuse for him to try to kill the two of us.
My own mare is a good example of a horse who sometimes just doesn't feel like it. Unfortunately for her, that's not her decision to make by being rude. If she's just not feeling right, I'll put her away. If she decides to be nappy and fling herself in circles and half rear, we are going to have a bit of an argument and it's going to last until we are going in the direction I choose. Because I have made it very clear to her that I'm in charge these are usually short lived spats. Not only that, my horse looks out for #1 and would never put herself in a position to get hurt. This is something that I truely appreciate!
I guess what it comes down to is that it is up to us to determine whether there are other issues at hand, such as pain, fear etc. When it comes to a dangerous, potentially life or death situation though, the horse doesn't have a vote!:)

Sabine
Dec. 19, 2006, 12:36 AM
Nope, Yankee Lawyer, you misread. I said that if there is no overt injury. The trainer has to make a snap decision if the horse is injured or not. A capable trainer ought to be able to tell in about 2 steps. If he has to gallop when he's a little stiff or sore from throwing himself on the ground, oh well.

I am a somewhat surprised that some of you think that there is a kinder, gentler way of dealing with a horse's most dangerous behavior. Rearing and falling over, with a rider, or beside a handler, can be lethal to horse and human. A little gallop on a longe line never killed a horse. A little whip to the hiney never killed a horse.

Sorry, folks, no excuse, NONE, for that kind of behavior. I have seen horses who learned to go up and over to get the rider off and stop the work. It's no different than a horse who learns to buck a rider off. Do you all believe that every buck is an honest pain issue? Every rear has a huge physical reason? You can deal with all the mechanics and the excuses and the reasons after the fact, but if you don't face the facts and do SOMETHING with the horse, it will happen again.

Going forward is the only way to cure a horse who rears. Ask anyone who's done it. A horse can not rear when he is moving forward. Interestingly enough, I was recently talking to an Olympic eventer, probably the bravest rider on earth, and he said he would never again ride another horse who rears. He would deal with bucking, bolting, anything else, but never another rearing horse. Too dangerous.


good one Kathy. In my experience all rearers were horses with strong personalities and IF paired with a weaker human would rear to gain control. If it becomes a control game - get the strongest, most fearless trainer and work with that horse exclusively. If the horse has gone to that place- rarely do they come back.......

merrygoround
Dec. 19, 2006, 08:30 AM
I did read all the posts, and I think the "tongue over the bit" idea is interesting as my first thought was about the bit. Make sure it isn't pinching his lips or tongue. Also, I like the method where you have a siderein on the outside but run the lungeline through the bit ring and attach it to the girth on the inside. That way the longeline acts as a sliding siderein and it is easy to adjust the contact, particularly if they trip and scare themselves.

I have heard of this. It didn't make sense then, and it doesn't now. You are essentially overbending a horse to the inside to the limit of the outside rein.

There are more talented ways to put a horse into the outside hand.

Beam Me Up
Dec. 19, 2006, 08:54 AM
Just a couple thoughts:

1) Not sure I would categorize this horse as a "rearer" based upon this story. Yes, for some reason she got scared and flipped, but that doesn't mean she will consistently avoid contact in this way. A lot of (most?) wild baby moments do not translate into a lifetime habit. And lunge mistakes/tendencies may not represent future u/s behavior.

2) I've never seen a horse actually flip on the lunge, but I do think there is a "moment" when the horse finally registers the side reins that can be hard to predict. You put them on very loosely at first, the horse goes around with almost no contact. All good, put them up a hole, horse still fine and happy. You think the horse is getting the picture. Up one more hole, all of a sudden horse realizes that his head is tied to his neck and suddenly isn't sure about forward anymore. Most of my babies have not gone so far as to rear over it, but definitely there is a moment of realization that can be hard to predict. Maybe for your horse it was just a really big shock?

Kerrysmom818
Dec. 19, 2006, 09:09 AM
Just a couple thoughts:

1) Not sure I would categorize this horse as a "rearer" based upon this story. Yes, for some reason she got scared and flipped, but that doesn't mean she will consistently avoid contact in this way. A lot of (most?) wild baby moments do not translate into a lifetime habit. And lunge mistakes/tendencies may not represent future u/s behavior.


Beam Me Up - I agree with you. This horse doesn't sound like a "confirmed" rearer to me - I guess time will tell.

I am sure I got my mare because she had a bit of a rearing problem at first. When she decided she didn't want to go forward, she'd stop and pop up. Must have scared some previous owners (thus she ended up at auction) but, it never progressed passed popping up (maybe a foot off the ground) with me. Once she realized I would have none of it - she quite trying to do it and hasn't done it since.

Just My Style
Dec. 19, 2006, 10:05 AM
Nothing new to offer here except some support. My trusty hunter/ eq horse flipped with me while wearing draw reins, something he had done hundreds of times before. I was tuning him up at home, his last time before shipping to eq finals. Well, I ended up with a sore horse and a broken arm in 4 places. No horse show. It still makes me sad. Freak accidents happen. :(

Alter-size Me
Dec. 19, 2006, 10:19 AM
Just a couple thoughts:
1) Not sure I would categorize this horse as a "rearer" based upon this story. Yes, for some reason she got scared and flipped, but that doesn't mean she will consistently avoid contact in this way. A lot of (most?) wild baby moments do not translate into a lifetime habit. And lunge mistakes/tendencies may not represent future u/s behavior.


I don't want to be overconfident as I agree that rearing is public enemy #1 for dangerous habits. But I just have to say that I have ridden horses with rearing tendancies and I have NEVER seen anything even remotely suggesting the thought in this horse before this happened. He is always obedient and forward on the lunge (w/o side reins) and under saddle. I ride with light contact and have progressively asked for more contact and he has never reacted negatively in the slightest. I put him on the lunge briefly yesterday without sidereins and he was just perfect, as usual.

I think that he felt tied down and claustraphobic with the tighter, non-giving reins and pulled himself over backwards in a panic. It was certainly not OK for him to do that, but I still feel that it was isolated to the side reins. I could probably re-introduce them slowly and carefully as some have suggested, but I'm not going to risk it.

Just My Style
Dec. 19, 2006, 11:57 AM
And I should add that the horse I mentioned above had no history of rearing. I got him as a 5 year old. He is now 27 and that was the one and only time that he ever reared. I wouldn't be quick to label the OP's horse.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 19, 2006, 12:47 PM
Just My Style, thank you. :) I sent you a PM.

Dune
Dec. 19, 2006, 12:59 PM
I've stayed out of the fray, but feel the need to jump in now. :cool: First of all, there are rearers and there are flippers (not just the kind on dolphins). My opinion is that the latter are horses with claustrophobic tendencies. (for lack of a better term) Whether or not these are inherent or trained, I don't know for sure because I've never owned one of these types from babyhood. My opinion is that some horses are just born a little quirky, just like people. ;) When I was a kid, we bought a horse that would NOT tie. I don't care what you did to train him, you would think that he "got it" and then one day he would be tied and something would panic him and he would just mentally check out and fly back until he was free. This came even at the cost of bodily harm to himself. Another horse that I had a similar experience with was a 6-7 year old that I was riding her for a friend. She was a lovely kid's hunter but the day I put loose side reins on her, she felt them and immediately flipped over. She is the only horse that I've even had this happen to. It was totally random, she was basically a quiet horse and I never saw the panic side of her before then. When you gave her the freedom in front, she was lovely, when you didn't look out! I would not be quick to blame the trainer or the owner, she especially sounds like she's doing the best she can to ensure the best treament of her horse. :yes: Have a side rein a little shorter on one side or another shouldn't have had any bearing on the horse's reaction, heck who of us hasn't put them on and then realized, "Hey stupid, I didn't check the length and they are uneven!" :o Who of us rides perfectly straight for that matter? :no: I have worked with other horses since the two I mentioned that have milder claustrophobic type issues. For those, the sliding types reins/Vienna reins or even gasp! draw reins tend to make them feel (if properly adjusted) like they have room to move. Best of luck to the OP and let us know what happens.

lark_b
Dec. 19, 2006, 02:45 PM
I would probably have removed the sidereins and galloped the horse for 15 or 20 minutes, then started back to work.

While you may all gasp, how the instructor responds to such a violent evasion could impact the rest of the horse's riding career. No matter how much he hurts or what his physical issue is, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It puts the rider's life on the line. If he is rewarded for the behavior, it becomes a lifelong habit, always lurking in the background. If he is punished for it, it reduces the chances of happening again.

Most people who have started a lot of horses will have had one or two go up and over in sidereins. It's not good. It happens. The horse can get hurt. He could get killed but so could the rider.


I know people that have been permanently disabled because they were forced to do something when they were injured. I would rather deal with a long-term training issue than incapacitate my horse physically. I agree that the response can affect the rest of the horse's career, but I don't think "running" a horse is EVER a good idea, especially when there is a pretty good possibility that the horse is hurt. By the time you get the horse up and the sidereins off and get him galloping around, the horse has no conception of what they are being punished FOR. You have three seconds MAX to implement a punishment, and after that whatever you do is disconnected in the mind from the event. So if you do this, you are risking serious further injury to your horse for basically no reason. I would never do this, especially when I do not know the reason behind the original behavior. Why punish a horse who very well may have been reacting to pain? I think that the horse has a right ot tell us when he is in pain without being punished for that.

Using side reins is not so essential to training that this is EVER a risk that the OP needs to take again. Why mess with it? Isn't the potential for the treatment to be worse than the cure worth balancing in here? She seems to have been lucky this time around, but if this happens again--which it might, even if they do it slowly and in little steps--she might not be. Not worth it, if it were my horse.

I disagree that going over in side reins during one session will automatically translate to under saddle work. What this says to me is that the horse has a training hole about giving to pressure OR has a pain issue. It does not spell doom for the horse's career to note this and work on it without putting the horse back in side reins.

petitefilly
Dec. 19, 2006, 02:54 PM
Haven't read all the posts,but I start all my horses in side reins, prefernce being for the ones with the donut. I never shorten one rein, and I start out with longer reins in the beginning.

I make it a point to do the inside rein up last, and I also make it a point to be ready to move them off immediately.

Horses that shut down (that is halt and won't move forward) on the longe, after working well,are telling you that they've had enough.

I'll add this: Your instructor IMHO is an idiot. Any person being paid to work a horse and teach you should have enough knowledge to see a horse in the beginning of panic mode and be able to avert such a problem as flipping out on a lunge line. Where the heck is your brain? YOU let her do this?

I'm sorry, this is just WRONG. There are procedures for using side reins and all instructors should be aware of the propensity of the TB to feel trapped with them adjusted under any contact. In fact, using only one on the inside for a long time is the correct way to start a hot animal, and even colder bloods would benefit from a slower introduction to side reins. Also, rarely do you shorten them to contact length, they should ALWAYS have some slack in them for any horse. The higher the education of the animal dictates the length you use them at, and I suggest only horses working on correct contact should have shortened to contact. At this point a rein with a donut or dog bone rubber insertion is correct. Usually at second level you can use side reins as a tool for contact.

I see so many of you on this board doing dumb things, it makes me cringe daily and I rarely speak up. Where are these lousy instructors coming from? Crap, get a clue, anyone who would let your horse flip over is not worth paying. She could have injured your horse beyond anything you can imagine, dead injured. How would you feel today if the horse had broken his back, or twisted his poll? This IMHO is inexcusable.

Alter-size Me
Dec. 19, 2006, 03:10 PM
petite filly, what a rude and tactless post yours was. I asked specifically in my original post that any replies did not attack me or my instructor, both of which you did. What did you think your words would accomplish other than to anger and insult me? And by the way, my horse is not a thoroughbred.

I'll add this: IMHO you are an idiot.

Keep1Belle
Dec. 19, 2006, 03:42 PM
I'll start by saying I have only read the first page and last page(6) of this topic.

I am not going to start a fight, Petite Filly.

I understand feeling that some are not training as you would deem appropriate, and at times it can be a bit ridiculous to see some of the post.

However, I completely disagree with calling the trainer an idiot for not being able to prevent the flipping over.

Sometimes as well all know things happen in just a split second, and cannot be predicted, this is life.

Also as trainers/riders/experts in any field/etc, make mistakes all the time which, does not make us any less competent it makes us HUMAN.

Try to be a bit more forgiving assuming you are not familar with trainer and/or student in mind, we should not be judgemental.

Kerrysmom818
Dec. 19, 2006, 03:44 PM
petite filly, what a rude and tactless post yours was. I asked specifically in my original post that any replies did not attack me or my instructor, both of which you did. What did you think your words would accomplish other than to anger and insult me? And by the way, my horse is not a thoroughbred.

I'll add this: IMHO you are an idiot.

Well said and I agree 100%!! Sometimes things just happen, no matter how careful you are; no matter what your level of expertise . . .

YoungFilly
Dec. 19, 2006, 04:02 PM
See, this is why people do not want to post here. I can't believe petitefilly. :(

The trainer did not do anything wrong. Shit happens. There could be a million reasons why this happened. It sure doesn't sound like the trainer acted at all inappropriately and you didn't do anything wrong either.

Brady'smom
Dec. 19, 2006, 04:13 PM
Because if he freaks at something undersaddle and you need to stop him or slow him or change him by taking your inside rein, HE NEEDS TO FOLLOW IT and not rear from it. A horse that follows your inside rein when things go wrong is a safe horse. Stay safe.


I do agree with this - the first thing we do with a runaway horse is to circle to one side or the other, and use a pulley rein with the other hand braced on the neck. Heaven forbid a runaway stop and then flip back onto you.

WOW. Very much sympathies to you, and yes stuff like this does happen in the real world. IF you do go back to side reins for some reason (you must have been trying to accomplish something) for myself I'd ensure there was absolutely NO contact at first. If that was okay, again for myself I'd avoid having one shorter than the other.

Hope you are both okay.

mp
Dec. 19, 2006, 05:10 PM
Horses are quite capable of galloping on the longe line.

Curiouser and curiouser ...


Originally Posted by EqTrainer
Because if he freaks at something undersaddle and you need to stop him or slow him or change him by taking your inside rein, HE NEEDS TO FOLLOW IT and not rear from it.

A bolting horse has the opposite problem of a rearer. If your speeding horse won't follow the inside rein, he may lose his balance and even fall over, but he can't rear. Because he's going forward (or at least trying to).

Just My Style
Dec. 19, 2006, 06:37 PM
I'll add this: Your instructor IMHO is an idiot. Any person being paid to work a horse and teach you should have enough knowledge to see a horse in the beginning of panic mode and be able to avert such a problem as flipping out on a lunge line. Where the heck is your brain? YOU let her do this?

I'm sorry, this is just WRONG. There are procedures for using side reins and all instructors should be aware of the propensity of the TB to feel trapped with them adjusted under any contact. In fact, using only one on the inside for a long time is the correct way to start a hot animal, and even colder bloods would benefit from a slower introduction to side reins. Also, rarely do you shorten them to contact length, they should ALWAYS have some slack in them for any horse. The higher the education of the animal dictates the length you use them at, and I suggest only horses working on correct contact should have shortened to contact. At this point a rein with a donut or dog bone rubber insertion is correct. Usually at second level you can use side reins as a tool for contact.

I see so many of you on this board doing dumb things, it makes me cringe daily and I rarely speak up. Where are these lousy instructors coming from? Crap, get a clue, anyone who would let your horse flip over is not worth paying. She could have injured your horse beyond anything you can imagine, dead injured. How would you feel today if the horse had broken his back, or twisted his poll? This IMHO is inexcusable.

Wow. I would love to be you and have never made a mistake with a horse. Perfect people are hard to come by and you are lucky enough to be one of them. Pat yourself on the back. And honestly, I don't think OP makes a habit of this type of thing. It was an accident, plain and simple.

EqTrainer
Dec. 19, 2006, 07:03 PM
Curiouser and curiouser ...



A bolting horse has the opposite problem of a rearer. If your speeding horse won't follow the inside rein, he may lose his balance and even fall over, but he can't rear. Because he's going forward (or at least trying to).

Freaking out doesn't always mean bolting or running away. For a lot of horses it means getting stuck between forward and fear. Following your inside rein gives the horse something proactive to do that he finds reassuring (if he was trained to do it properly in the first place). I have defused MANY a freaked out, wanting to rear up horse by bringing them around w/my inside rein.

It's just good common horse sense, which is often lost in the dressage world.

Dalfan
Dec. 19, 2006, 07:20 PM
bringing them around w/my inside rein.

Would this be similar to what Clinton Anderson does?

EqTrainer
Dec. 19, 2006, 07:22 PM
Curiouser and curiouser ...



A bolting horse has the opposite problem of a rearer. If your speeding horse won't follow the inside rein, he may lose his balance and even fall over, but he can't rear. Because he's going forward (or at least trying to).


Would this be similar to what Clinton Anderson does?

I don't know... I have never seen him in action.

My original dressage trainer taught me that, while backing babies. She probably thought the initials NH stood for "No Horses".

sid
Dec. 19, 2006, 08:10 PM
None of us "old timers" didn't learn what we know now without making mistakes. Lucky for me, I never did so with a horse being injured or traumatized.

Most really skilled trainers of all disciplines make few mistakes because they "read the horse" long before the reaction happens. It's about knowing when to push and exactly the right moment to back off to avoid what happened to your horse.

Horses seldom overreact without showing subtle signs first...somewhere in their way of going, their way of behaving or their way of just not being themselves (the individual one knows them to be-- whether it be pain induced, pushed to fast, or mental immaturity despite the calendar age).

The tactful and skilled trainer can see it instantly -- it when most other people don't. They are few and far between --- thus mistakes are made. Anyone call call themselves a "trainer", as nice as they may be, or as nice a rider as they can be. Observing the horse on the ground and on side reins, lungelines, long lines, etc. can tell you a lot about the horse's tendencies both mentally and athletically.

I for one no longer use side reins -- but rather use sliding side reins or balancing side reins -- for the very reason that was posted here. The rubber donut has give, but can still panic some idividuals with not enough give. I think elastic side reins are awful...that goes to the other end of the spectrum (a horse cannot balance themselves with no pressure "in the bridle" at all.)

I think in your case, someone (your trainer) missed seeing something that a truly educated and attentive eye would have seen a nanosecond before it happened. I'm sure she/he feels horrible, but they should have seen in coming in order to call themself a "professional trainer".

Don't punish yourself...we've all made mistakes with horses as we learned to train. But this mistake should not have happened with a qualified, skilled, observant and tactful trainer that you hired (so you didn't make mistakes yourself).

Just MHO..and experience from the school of hard knocks many years ago when I was in your position.

mp
Dec. 19, 2006, 10:47 PM
Freaking out doesn't always mean bolting or running away. For a lot of horses it means getting stuck between forward and fear. Following your inside rein gives the horse something proactive to do that he finds reassuring (if he was trained to do it properly in the first place). I have defused MANY a freaked out, wanting to rear up horse by bringing them around w/my inside rein.

It's just good common horse sense, which is often lost in the dressage world.


You mentioned the need to stop or slow the horse, so I assumed you meant a horse that was going forward.

I know what you mean by following the rein. If you've shown it to the horse properly, it becomes a safe place to go if a horse starts to lose his mind.

Nootka
Dec. 19, 2006, 11:02 PM
None of us "old timers" didn't learn what we know now without making mistakes. Lucky for me, I never did so with a horse being injured or traumatized.................Just MHO..and experience from the school of hard knocks many years ago when I was in your position.

Very well said sid:yes: I could not agree more with this. I have been watching this thread but not posting. I have made mistakes and not one had ever been hurt. That being said, I learn from each thing i have done.

Most horses do warn us even if it is only very slight. We must read those signs.

YoungFilly
Dec. 19, 2006, 11:37 PM
Very well said sid:yes: I could not agree more with this. I have been watching this thread but not posting. I have made mistakes and not one had ever been hurt. That being said, I learn from each thing i have done.

Most horses do warn us even if it is only very slight. We must read those signs.


Me too sid, but even great trainers can not prophecies every single event.

Sabine
Dec. 20, 2006, 12:26 AM
None of us "old timers" didn't learn what we know now without making mistakes. Lucky for me, I never did so with a horse being injured or traumatized.

Most really skilled trainers of all disciplines make few mistakes because they "read the horse" long before the reaction happens. It's about knowing when to push and exactly the right moment to back off to avoid what happened to your horse.

Horses seldom overreact without showing subtle signs first...somewhere in their way of going, their way of behaving or their way of just not being themselves (the individual one knows them to be-- whether it be pain induced, pushed to fast, or mental immaturity despite the calendar age).

The tactful and skilled trainer can see it instantly -- it when most other people don't. They are few and far between --- thus mistakes are made. Anyone call call themselves a "trainer", as nice as they may be, or as nice a rider as they can be. Observing the horse on the ground and on side reins, lungelines, long lines, etc. can tell you a lot about the horse's tendencies both mentally and athletically.

I for one no longer use side reins -- but rather use sliding side reins or balancing side reins -- for the very reason that was posted here. The rubber donut has give, but can still panic some idividuals with not enough give. I think elastic side reins are awful...that goes to the other end of the spectrum (a horse cannot balance themselves with no pressure "in the bridle" at all.)

I think in your case, someone (your trainer) missed seeing something that a truly educated and attentive eye would have seen a nanosecond before it happened. I'm sure she/he feels horrible, but they should have seen in coming in order to call themself a "professional trainer".

Don't punish yourself...we've all made mistakes with horses as we learned to train. But this mistake should not have happened with a qualified, skilled, observant and tactful trainer that you hired (so you didn't make mistakes yourself).

Just MHO..and experience from the school of hard knocks many years ago when I was in your position.

nice to hear from you Sid- and I agree 100% as well...we just use draw reins- because they are cheap and can be adjusted similarly...
The biggest piece of info is really in the relationship between the horse and the handler. To do really meaningful groundwork - a trainer has to be able to quickly establish a relationship and a 'read' with the horse and go from there.
The more experience the better. I have been lucky to watch this type of work for years with my trainer and I am now lucky and confident enough to do this work with my horses- without fear of problems- because I know that I know my horses reactions really well- and being cautious by nature- I seem to have an antenna for problems. But I have had my share of pain and accident. And again - although no apparent signs are now visible- a sad accident comes to mind that a friend of mine experienced about 2 years ago when her horse arrived from Denmark. She put him in a turnout for a quick run and he jumped out trying to get to her and got caught with his front feet- somersaulted and landed on his hip. No apparent lameness- no issues for 2 years. For the past 4 months- she reported tenseness in the back and problems going to the right. In the middle of a major workup- it turns out that some damage did after all occur and now the powers to be are scratching their heads how to fix it...although they are huge animals- they are fragile all the way!

Lora
Dec. 20, 2006, 02:44 PM
I'll add this: Your instructor IMHO is an idiot. Any person being paid to work a horse and teach you should have enough knowledge to see a horse in the beginning of panic mode and be able to avert such a problem as flipping out on a lunge line. Where the heck is your brain? YOU let her do this?

I'm sorry, this is just WRONG. There are procedures for using side reins and all instructors should be aware of the propensity of the TB to feel trapped with them adjusted under any contact. In fact, using only one on the inside for a long time is the correct way to start a hot animal, and even colder bloods would benefit from a slower introduction to side reins. Also, rarely do you shorten them to contact length, they should ALWAYS have some slack in them for any horse. The higher the education of the animal dictates the length you use them at, and I suggest only horses working on correct contact should have shortened to contact. At this point a rein with a donut or dog bone rubber insertion is correct. Usually at second level you can use side reins as a tool for contact.

I see so many of you on this board doing dumb things, it makes me cringe daily and I rarely speak up. Where are these lousy instructors coming from? Crap, get a clue, anyone who would let your horse flip over is not worth paying. She could have injured your horse beyond anything you can imagine, dead injured. How would you feel today if the horse had broken his back, or twisted his poll? This IMHO is inexcusable.


Are you a certified trainer? If so, what is your certification?

Dune
Dec. 21, 2006, 12:45 PM
It's just good common horse sense, which is often lost in the dressage world.

You said a lot right here with few words. :yes:

Pippigirl
Dec. 21, 2006, 01:05 PM
over backwards. When my instructor was trying to adjust the side reins after this, he went over again, almost like he was throwing himself over. He was not visibly hurt and was sound (thank god) but was shaken. She decreased the contact to almost none and he finished the session well like this. We gave him a bute and checked him over, and he seemed just fine.
I am sincerely asking for constructive ideas for the best of this sweet horse. Thanks.

I was reading through all the posts and didn't see it anywhere but...when your instructor was trying to adjust the side reins again...did she unhook them or was she trying to do this when they were still attached? I was taught to keep the standing still with the side reins attached to a minimal and that once the side reins were attached that they immediately go forward.
If the side reins need to be adjusted, the side reins are unhooked, adjusted, then reattached with the outside rein first, followed by the inside...followed by immediately moving forward. I keep my side reins at equal lengths but attach my lunge line through the bit and attach it to the lunging surcingle. That way I can ask for the horse to give on the inside rein and release. This seems to work good for my tb mare who does feel trapped in draw reins.

petitefilly
Dec. 21, 2006, 09:51 PM
Yep, you all can jump up and down, spin, and spit. It will not bother me, because some things have to be said. Life ain't easy and riding is harder, but flipping a horse over with side reins is something I would NEVER do, nor would I even think of hiring someone who would do this.

Oh well, go ahead, do what you do. Don't give me no sleepless nights, and I have all the 'credentials' I need to do a dang nice job without side reins.

<shaking head> I know others felt the same way and did not say anything, or else the world is going to hell in a basket.

Ya'll go back to doing the nice big back patting now.

YoungFilly
Dec. 21, 2006, 11:01 PM
Yep, you all can jump up and down, spin, and spit. It will not bother me, because some things have to be said. Life ain't easy and riding is harder, but flipping a horse over with side reins is something I would NEVER do, nor would I even think of hiring someone who would do this.

Oh well, go ahead, do what you do. Don't give me no sleepless nights, and I have all the 'credentials' I need to do a dang nice job without side reins.

<shaking head> I know others felt the same way and did not say anything, or else the world is going to hell in a basket.

Ya'll go back to doing the nice big back patting now.


Riding in dressage is hard. Training them is even harder. If you have never experienced a horse flipping, well then you haven't been training very hard. My experience with horses flipping were with race horses and barrel horses. In every dicipline horses will flip.

petitefilly, you seem to have no more 'credentials' than I have. which means none.

Alagirl
Dec. 21, 2006, 11:19 PM
Well said!


From the get go I wa sreminded of what my Dad would tell us if something went wrong with a goofing horse:

*He shouln't have learned horse!* So, there you have it. With the best of intentions, things go wrong. The horse goofed and fell...now that the innitioal shock wore off chalk it up to experience. Don't feel bad about it.

One of my cousins went riding one time when the mare spooked, jumped out of the arena (no fence) onto the black top and slipped and fell. She was a bit scratched up, my cousin, 13 at the time, shaken and guilt ridden...non of the men where there, just my Aunt and I. We patched up the horse and comforted the girl, heck, that's what happens at times...

There is no need to get an attitude about it!

Brady'smom
Dec. 22, 2006, 07:56 AM
Yep, you all can jump up and down, spin, and spit. It will not bother me, because some things have to be said. Life ain't easy and riding is harder, but flipping a horse over with side reins is something I would NEVER do, nor would I even think of hiring someone who would do this.

Oh well, go ahead, do what you do. Don't give me no sleepless nights, and I have all the 'credentials' I need to do a dang nice job without side reins.

<shaking head> I know others felt the same way and did not say anything, or else the world is going to hell in a basket.

Ya'll go back to doing the nice big back patting now.

Petitefilly, are you saying that this was intentional?

If you are, were you there? Or do you know this trainer personally and have evidence that she's done this before? Mayhap you were in her brain that day??

If not, then why on earth would you conceive that someone set out intentionally to do this because that is exactly what you proposed? What an accusation! For such, there does need to be proof. So start digging and post some videos and get some affadavits from horse-owners who've had this trainer flip their horses in side reins.

OP stated quite plainly in the first post that the horse had worked and had gone normally for some period of time. If a horse has gone well hither to, there is no indication that such an occurence could happen. Should all trainers be precognitive? If so, then you must have predicted you'd hear something about such a short-sighted and unsympathetic statement.

Oh yeah, you did.

You figured we'd spin and spit. Or more likely, you knew as you wrote them that your comment had no grounds, were in fact illogical and unfair, and knew enough to know you'd get some backlash.

This trainer could be me (certainly not you, who are the lauded summit of all things equine) - with the exception that I don't shorten one side rein more than the other.

With a record of going well and no fuss, with a horse who seems to accept what is being asked, I would take up contact on side reins after a period of time. That's the point of side reins.

Still, unpredictable things happen.

Now I was not there either. And I might have seen something in that horse's eye, or tilt of ear, or tail or muscle tension that would have told me he was going to rebel or was mortally afraid.

I might not have.

Sometimes you can't see it till the second it happens. And if you are not Supergirl or the Flash, you just can't move fast enough to prevent it. You can only pick up the pieces and go forward from that point. In addition, every person (except you) is constantly learning as a trainer. Not everyone can afford one of Olympic-calibre. Even if we could, those trainers would tell us that each horse is an INDIVIDUAL and since they don't talk (will I assume yours do??) not every moment of transition from calm to mental freak-out can be seen coming.

My, such altitude thou dost sit upon thy high horse at! You must be nauseated from lack of oxygen. Or just plain dizzy....:rolleyes:

Oh I feel better. Never sounded off like that before.

CrUsHpOnY
Dec. 22, 2006, 11:17 AM
The mare i lease did that very samething last year except her owner was riding her! It was horrible, she was a mess for about a month afterword and hurt her hind end pretty badly! I had to go out and take her for walks a couple times a day to keep her from colicing...it was awful so jingles to you both!

chisamba
Jul. 15, 2007, 08:41 AM
After you have established that there is nothing wrong with the horse, and are ready to continue working him, I would suggest that abanding the side reins is not fixing the problem. I have seen a horse thow itself over with a rider on, because they took a light contact. If the horse is reacting to contact in the side reins, it is likely to react to contact when the rider asks for it. It can be safer to deal with the problem on the ground.

However, it is not uncommon for horses to panic if they feel confined by the side reins and the contact. One way to mitigate this is to take the contact on only one rein, with a little suppling bend so the horse always feels that it has somewhere to go ( through the outside shoulder). Once it is comfortable with the contact you can start to add the outside rein. You can do this from the ground, working both sides until the horse is relaxed and comfortable. Then you can try it mounted.

good luck

Moll
Jul. 15, 2007, 09:59 AM
Use side reins only at trot, otherwise the natural movement of the head and neck at walk and canter will be prevented and can cause problems. With the OP:s horse, skip side reins altogether. And OP - if you're able to ride with a light contact now, why would you want to "progress" to more contact later? It sounds completely unneccessary. The lighter the contact, the more comfortable for the horse.

Carol O
Jul. 15, 2007, 10:06 AM
I don't like sidereins either. I use a chambon. It encourages a horse to stretch, but forces nothing and allows movement in all directions. I was happy to see the price has come way down. I always made my own, but now they are under $30.00 at Dover.

Ghazzu
Jul. 15, 2007, 11:30 AM
You know, the arabian training theory gets a lot of heat but the one thing we DON'T do is put a green horse in two solid side reins EVER.



What's "arabian training theory"?

Sannois
Jul. 15, 2007, 11:53 AM
have always had elastic or a donut. That said I am working with a young horse now. He is quite good, However he flipped on the husband a week ago, because the husband was off balance and took too big a hold, he threw himself off balance threw his head up and went over, well not all the way over more on his butt. It is scary!:eek:

dylans_mom
Jul. 15, 2007, 05:57 PM
Wow--this just happened to a teenage I know. Had the horse in side reins, he spooked or something and got his head/neck all tangled and ended up flipping over. The teenager (I believe) broke her leg/pelvis and is now on bedrest for the rest of the summer. You're very lucky you were not hurt.

hitchinmygetalong
Jul. 15, 2007, 06:05 PM
Wow--this just happened to a teenage I know. Had the horse in side reins, he spooked or something and got his head/neck all tangled and ended up flipping over. The teenager (I believe) broke her leg/pelvis and is now on bedrest for the rest of the summer. You're very lucky you were not hurt.

Was she RIDING with sidereins? How did she break her leg?????? :eek:

bjrudq
Jul. 17, 2007, 07:00 PM
i've known some people to attach sidereins with little loops of baling twine, so they break more easily. the downside, of course, is that the horse could learn that they break TOO easily. (i know that some do the same thing with crossties. i don't use crossties; i think they are a dumb idea and can't be madae better by making them easy to break.)

as far as one side rein shorter-sometimes i do it and sometimes not. klimke indeed instructed that the inside should be shorter, with no qualification that it was for advanced handlers and horses either. see p. 109 of basic training of the young horse. otoh, some top trainers are appalled at the very idea.(dekunffy, for one, i think. not sure.)

as far as op's horse goes-if you ever plan to sell this horse, you probably shouldthink about fixing his aversion to sidereins. because if he moves on, someone is going to try to lunge him, and hurt him or themselves.

if this is your forever horse then it doesn't matter as much-although no one can fortell the future, and if he someday needs a new owner, this hole in his training might be a problem.

what a scary thing to happen!

trailhorse1
Jul. 17, 2007, 07:16 PM
Never ever ride a horse in side reins. They are used for ground training purposes only. It is amazing that more people don't get hurt with horses. There are sooooo many that do not have a clue. :o

Thomas_1
Jul. 17, 2007, 07:35 PM
I'd suggest you ditch the side reins.

I personally never use them at all on a horse until I'm 110% certain they're balanced and have learnt to engage. So this means only on older schooled horses that is already well balance and doing work properly collected.

He's just 6 and IME youngsters or those which might not be fit can be harmed by cantering with sidereins.

Young horses tend to go on the forehand and they must stretch their topline and begin to engage through the hind hind legs, and then relax and lift their backs. Only then will they carry their front ends in a more elevated fashion.

IME it doesn't make any sense at all to ride with side reins. It totally defeats the object of the rider having contact and communication and it does nothing to improve the horse or the rider's ability to communicate through the reins.

There's several reasons why this accident could have happened and including :

incorrect adjustment of the side reins and in particular if they're too tight - and IME this is all too common a problem and I'd say I've seen more wrongly adjusted that correctly in my life time.

pain - either teeth or back

hitchinmygetalong
Jul. 17, 2007, 08:26 PM
Has anyone noticed the date of the original post? I can't understand why this old (old old old) thread was dredged up. :confused:

Thomas_1
Jul. 18, 2007, 09:40 AM
Whoops no I never!

I so hate it when folks resurrect ancient postings for no reason!!!

Ah well the horse will be older and trained by now ;)

purplnurpl
Jul. 18, 2007, 10:02 AM
it is a panic RXN.
they don't want to be restricted and horses are stupid- hence the throwing themselves on the ground.

the only horses I have had do this were as*holes. but they are few and far between.
My one [very very nice] mare went up but she was very uneducated and it was the first time she showed resistance intraining. When she hit the ground I stood there and looked at her like she was a dumbas*. she was embarassed and never did it again.

and when they stop and show resistance (if they give you time to process what is about to happen) you really have to attack that QUICK to avoid something stupid like rearing.

don't feel bad. with animals that we have domesticated stuff happens. we live and learn, as do they.

try a neck stretcher/bungie instead.
you just need to find what works for each individual.
I believe lunging is a must. especially for dressage/jumping horses.

cuatx55
Jul. 20, 2007, 01:51 PM
Again, I want to point out there are breakaway side reins

Tack in the Box

elastic and non-elastic

Very nice to use, only break under extreme stress. http://secure.tackinthebox.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=594&osCsid=ceb6b432053f8bcfa125d3f68dc1efaf

Would avoid the potential situations mentioned above.


NOTE THAT CONNIE (of TITB) HAS HAD A VERY BAD YEAR, she is getting back on her feet after her husband's death. Please be patient with orders.




These sidereins feature a unique velcro breakaway "link" designed to tear apart under sufficient stress. If you haven’t witnessed your horse fall on the lunge and try to get up with his foot stuck through the siderein, you just haven’t been treated to one of life’s little adrenaline rushes! These sidereins give me great peace of mind, knowing that they will tear away before my horse’s jaw breaks. Once Twinkle Toes has regained his feet and composure, you have only to reattach the two sides of the "broken" siderein and go on with the lesson. The attachment of the Tear-Free tabs is strong enough to put up with normal horse rough-housing, but makes a link just weak enough to give way when it’s important.

michcheypen
Jul. 22, 2007, 01:31 PM
Hi,I'm so sorry.It is scary to see things like that especially when it is your horse.I have maybe a few ideas that my trainer gave me.1st before you even put side reins on does your horse soften? She had me take both sides of the horses mouth softly with both reins and ask her to lower her head and give.2nd -practice this walking also she had me take both reins-the outside rein is over the mane and you have independent reins the inside rein must be shorter obviously and ask the horse to walk and halt and turn both ways and see how they adjust with the contact from the ground and you give with your elbows as you are doing it.It is hard and akward at first but it seemed to work and help my Trakehner mare who is very sensitive.
Also where did you have the side reins attached to.Some other poster suggested to put them higher on the surcingle and this is not correct.I made the same mistake and my trainer gave me **** for it.She said to put the reins just above the girth not on any ring!!!!The rings are used for upper level horses that are used to collection and more contact.My trainer is very good with the babies and I trust her.I am a lower level trainer and not as experienced as her so it's nice to have someone to go to.Sometimes I feel stupid asking but what the heck you know.hope this helps you:)