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View Poll Results: Draw reins are:

Voters
208. You may not vote on this poll
  • A gadget not to be used as it harms the horse

    45 21.63%
  • A training or learning (rider) tool and not harmful if used correctly

    150 72.12%
  • I really don't know and would err on the side of safety -- not useing them.

    11 5.29%
  • What are draw reins?

    2 0.96%
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Results 1 to 20 of 166
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    1,092

    Default Draw Reins: Cruel Gadget or training tool?

    Ok, I need a general gauge on the public opinion of this, please. I really only am looking for the poll results, not a heated debate on the subject.
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,539

    Default

    Can't use the poll...

    My response is: Helpful tool in the right hands (i.e. quality horse trainer), instrument of torture in the wrong hands (i.e. harsh or uneducated rider).

    Also, draw reins are NOT a tool for the "rider." They should only be used as a training/fitness tool for the horse. (Won't go any further, as don't want to start heated debate. )

    Seb
    Aca-Believe it!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,776

    Default

    I would add another option. A training tool for riders/trainers who don't have the knowledge or skills to train a horse without them.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,790

    Default

    Same here. To be used in the right hands, but most of the time they are in the wrong hands for the wrong reasons. I own a pair. Mostly it collects dust. Though the other day when I was working a horse that had been raced from 18months to last November, he is now 8, and he has no idea what give or flex means. He would pull and pull (I have reschooled, well I can't even count the amount anymore race horses) so I grabbed my draw reins, put them on to the D rings and the ONLY time they ever came into play was when he would really really pull. A few mins of asking him to bend and go level, not collected not behind the bit, at the w/t I never had to use them again. They had no contact on his mouth at all. Used like that as a TRAINING tool when needed (I did not want to make his mouth hard by having him fight for hours) I say they are not abuse. But I have seen/met people that are proud to say, "my horse goes in draw reins great! I use them all the time!"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,604

    Default

    It totally depends on the horse and rider. (I think there should be an option like - To be used in extremely experienced hands only and only in special cases)

    I think a lot of gadgets have a place when used with very educated riders and used sparingly. There are some horses that have been spoiled by bad training in the past that can really benefit from a "gadget." That being said, I don't really like draw reins, and I think I've used them on maybe one horse ever? And she was a big tough old mare that had her mouth ruined by years of bad riding in nasty nasty bits.

    In general, I think there are options (gadgets even) that are a bit easier to fine tune than draw reins. This will sound foreign to some people, but I'd much rather use a saddle seat type set up on one that might benefit from draw reins - two reins attached to the snaffle with one through a running martingale (where the rings are attached around the neck - more saddle seat style). It is usually a more forgiving set up than draw reins and safer for inexperienced hands. Something I picked up from the saddle seat world, certainly, but I think the option is much less harsh than draw reins. Also, whenever I've used draw reins or seen people use draw reins in a useful way, they usually attach another rein to the bit so that you can quickly switch to a straight back pull when the horse is responsive.

    Anyway, I like that the dressage world tends to avoid gadgets. I think it creates a better horse in the long run. But I think there is sometimes a place for certain gadgets when you run into issues with certain horses. Overall though, I'd say draw reins (and gadgets) are overused and generally improperly used. Most people should avoid them.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,911

    Default

    When asked what he thought of draw reins during an interview, Dr. Klimke stated: "Some people may have good enough hands to use them. I, myself, do not".



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    3,257

    Default

    I am another one that thinks in the right hands they can be a useful tool.
    Unfortunatly they end up in the wrong hands more often than not.
    My mom leased a 20 YR old horse that had been ridden his whole career in draw reins, the only time they were off was when he entered the jumper ring. I call that a crutch and plain ole cruel!!!
    Needless to say we took them off and never used them again.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    West
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    I agree with Sebastian. They can be appropriate sometimes, but only with a very experienced rider.

    I personally don't like draw reins or any "device." I don't even like running martingales. I would much rather have my horse up and forward and take my time to get them reaching for the bit. I like my horse to learn from my legs and hands by themselves. I feel like if I am not careful, draw reins can put them behind the bit and/or on their forehand quickly.

    P.S. Good luck trying not to have a "heated debate!" You could post that your favorite color is blue and have a heated debate here!
    ******
    "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
    -H.M.E.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2008
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Will put a pair on a very young horse that is being trail ridden(away from the farm) for the very first time.. Safty for other riders/horses and horse.Never drawn "used" unless the horse would bolt. As my trainer use to say, "they are like a razor blade in the hands of a monkey". Also, "drawreins begin where training ends.".



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2001
    Location
    Between the Medina River and a hay field
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    9,894

    Default

    I dont need them or use them
    www.spindletopfarm.net
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    50,037

    Default

    What I was told in Europe, when learning about what they are and their use, is that they are like a razor on a monkey's hands, a great tool for the job, if you have the hands for it and the knowledge how to use them properly.
    Draw reins were always used as a second rein and they were made thinner than regular reins, so you could feel which one they were all the time when learning to use them.

    We were warned a million times that, as we had been told repeatedly, getting a horse behind the bit was a cardinal sin and one of the hardest bad habits to correct on a horse and that draw reins could do that in a few minutes when misused without the right knowledge of how to use all our aids to keep the horse coming thru, that is why they were a very dangerous tool, working on a thin edge of getting a horse to give properly or having a horse learn to avoid the bit with them.

    We learned how to use them in a way that it was for us to learn the feel and give we were after and then, once we had that feel of a horse giving without resistence and us giving back, we could do so with our aids, didn't need them any more.

    In a way, they were used to educate the rider, not that much the horse.

    In all the years there, only one our instructors felt the need to use them on one Trakehner mare, that came to us with a terrible mouth, very bracey and a dangerous bolter, although a very talented jumper.
    Draw reins were added to her warm up for a few days, but not in a way she fought, just to gently help her understand and get again more responsive, without the rider having to get stronger with her.
    They were then taken off and the training progressed without them and she started working well.
    They were never used again after the first two or three days.

    Once in the SW of the USA, I have seen many, if not most western performance trainers use them very often, at times as the only rein.
    Then, western horses are not really trained to respond to contact, but go directly from some contact, so they don't object to an active rein, to start training them to right off learning to back off any bit, to the point of being behind the bit, although still light and in self carriage.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Somewhere between Here and There
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackhorse6 View Post
    Will put a pair on a very young horse that is being trail ridden(away from the farm) for the very first time.. Safty for other riders/horses and horse.Never drawn "used" unless the horse would bolt. As my trainer use to say, "they are like a razor blade in the hands of a monkey". Also, "drawreins begin where training ends.".
    S/he must have been reading George Morris, who used that exact term in several articles (one in COTH) to describe incompetent riders trying to get the horse "on the bit" but riding front-to-back. He specifically referred to seesawing or wig-wagging the head down, and draw reins in the description. That article has stuck with me to this day.

    Back to the issue at hand... I think that in the hands of a very experienced, kind /sensitive rider, they are a good tool for occasional usage. I think they should never be normal equipment, and are never a learning tool for the rider.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2008
    Posts
    408

    Default

    I have not witnessed Western riders using them but the hunter/jumper ring is full of them.. I have watched a certain trainer throw them on every and any young horse to teach them to "round" over a jump.. Oh, and then I would hear from the students, "I need to develop my horses topline".. I tried to explain that is NOT the correct way but certainly to them it was the easy way and what they were lead to believe.... the path of least resistance. I think you can all picture just how these horses jumped after being restrained with drawreins...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    840

    Default

    Great tools in great hands. Horrible torture device in most hands.

    I watched a man run a barrel pattern while he held the horses face to his chest with those draw reins. Can't blame the horse for finally bucking him off.
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    for we have not deserved it.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2008
    Location
    The Wild West
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    630

    Default

    I would say "in the right hands" AND "with the right horse".

    The right hands can train a horse from the start without them. In my direct experience they are useful in the right hands and as a retraining tool. I knew two horses in my life that benefitted greatly from draw reins and they were both significant retraining projects.

    There is no option in the poll for this response.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    2,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaluna View Post
    I would say "in the right hands" AND "with the right horse".

    The right hands can train a horse from the start without them. In my direct experience they are useful in the right hands and as a retraining tool. I knew two horses in my life that benefitted greatly from draw reins and they were both significant retraining projects.

    There is no option in the poll for this response.
    Exactly That is the only time I use them, and it is a very rare situation that I do. I never use them on a horse that does not come into the stable with real issues that they will help, not hinder, the horses training



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
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    6,144

    Default

    Since they were first used for lateral flexability (on a caveson) and are for lateral flexability (or to set upper limits in hand) I would say they are rarely used properly. So, my vote is generally razor blades in the wrong hands which use them for direct longitudinal flexion.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    My answer was not in the poll: Cruel gadget or training tool? That depends on the hands that hold them. In educated hands they can be useful, in uneducated hands they can be dangerous and cruel.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    I think they make great holders for house plants. Martha Stewart did a piece on it.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2005
    Location
    in the saddle
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    4,149

    Default

    Draw Reins: Cruel Gadget or training tool?
    It's a legal gadget as of March 2009!



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