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  1. #1
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    Default draw reins and side reins questions

    Question #1: recently called about a horse for sale. I googled to find a video of it, and it showed the horse with one draw rein to the side, and one to between the legs. When I asked the trainer about it her reply was "I thought you showed dressage??! This is a common fix for a horse with a soft side". Not only had a never heard of this, I cannot comprehend how it would help. Is there merit to this technique and if so, how/why?

    Question #2: I started my Red Headed filly under saddle without lunging due to an injury, so she has never worn side reins. She is doing well, so I thought she could now learn about lunging and today I put the side reins on (albeit loosely). She looked horrid, so I went back to inhand work; pressure up on the corners drop her head, whereas the lower pressure of the side reins made her invert and argue.

    This made me wonder if side reins are perhaps counter productive in general when starting horses. is this perhaps why I see so many soft, but inverted horses in the baby classes? I have seen horses look good in side reins, but typically those were naturally uphill horses or older/balanced horses.



  2. #2
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Default

    Question #1: I haven't the foggiest

    Question #2: It's not the tool that's the problem, its how it is constantly being incorrectly used.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  3. #3

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    I don't normally use side reins with my horses so i can't answer the second part. As to the first? She sounds pretty rude and slightly unprofessional to me. I have never used draw reins like that or heard of it but I'm not going to claim to be a DQ either.
    Last edited by vbunny; Jun. 22, 2011 at 09:40 PM.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
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    Default

    Number one, what plantet is she on, in my 15 yrs doing dressage never ever heard of it

    Number 2: horses need time to adjust to it, assuming all else is equal. They often do need to sort out the new feeling. Just keep the horse moving forward and they should figure it out. You might experiment with different rings on a surcingle to see what is most realistic as far as the positioning. You might also try balancing reins/triangle reins. they slide along. Unlike draw reins they don't go under the legs but stay on the same side of the surgincle as traditional side reins. They don't create the effect on the bars since there is nothing to pull against.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2011
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    How loose were your side reins? If they're too loose, they provide inconsistent contact that oscillates from nothing to a bop on the bit (something like a green rider). That can create an inverted neck in even forgiving older schoolmasters.

    Alternatively, are your side reins too low?

    Not even gonna touch the draw reins question. No sirree, not me.



  6. #6
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    Default

    I am relieved to know that I am not the only one who thought the draw reins used in this manner were odd. her comment made me not want to go look at her horse though!

    I also heard that a recent dressage clinician had riders riding with one side rein on...I don't get that one either.

    regarding the side reins, i don't really care if this filly can go in side reins, I just thought her reaction was odd considering she does know to give to rein pressure when pressed on her corners. I had the side reins set above her point of shoulder, and a tightness that should have been comfortable for her based on her natural head set (low).



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2009
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    I had a draftX mare that was a bit short necked and could be a bit tough in general. Supple was not her middle name. She stumped alot of trainers and clinicians and it seemed everyone was always trying to put something new on instead of addressing the lack of suppleness. I had 1 trainer (I won't use names, but she's very popular and a top judge) put 1 draw rein on to the stiff side. I felt like, "Not again, why does everyone keep putting crap on her?" But, it helped tremendously and within a few rides we were even getting an understanding in the canter. That single draw rein came off within a month and never went back on.

    Sidereins are not for every horse. The BO where I board goes crazy because I don't use them on my current horse. She's one of those that thinks what she was first taught on her first horse applies to every new horse and situation-you can see the disastrous results almost daily. Anyways, I have put them on her, because she may be for sale some day and I want her to be well rounded. They are not the right tool for her, at least not at this time.
    Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  8. #8
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    Nov. 10, 2010
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    Default

    1. the woman is smoking crack, 21 years, working for some BNTs, training in some well run, profeesional barns and then being on my own, never seen or heard of such a thing.

    and

    2. many horses don't need side reins. Does your red head carry herself at the trot in a forward, balanced manner? I use vienna reins or side reins on a baby only if they are reaching for the sky and inverted by themselves. I prefer vienna reins but out of the 6 I have bred, only 2 have used them, the rest balance themselves and use their backs better with out the crutch. When I do use them on a youngster, I use a cavesson instead of the bit. I do use side reins on a well schooled horse for lunge lessons for the students sake, mostly so the student doesnt have to worry about connection, just their seat and balance.
    bad decisions make good stories



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2011
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    Side reins are useless and indeed counterproductive if used incorrectly -- just like every other training aid. The side reins are only helpful when used on a horse that is going consistently on the end of the lunge (and by consistent, it is for several weeks to months, not days...) and only when they are consistently (see above definition) reaching and seeking contact. The are used to teach the horse to work within the contact, come up and underneath himself and should not constrict the horse in any way. The side reins should be long enough that the horse must still "reach" slightly, and not so short that the are put in a false frame. If the reins are too long, if can counteract the positives of using the side reins.


    As far as #1...??? I think they should ban the sale of draw reins unless someone can answer the question as to their proper use. IF (big IF) this particular horse were SO inverted it needed a brief use of draw reins to break the resistance (and this should ONLY be done by a trainer who understands the use and misuse of this tool), and then need not be used again. This sounds like a yahoo trainer with a Dover catalog... poor horse...



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Behind the 8 Ball View Post
    1. the woman is smoking crack, 21 years, working for some BNTs, training in some well run, profeesional barns and then being on my own, never seen or heard of such a thing.

    and

    2. many horses don't need side reins. Does your red head carry herself at the trot in a forward, balanced manner? I use vienna reins or side reins on a baby only if they are reaching for the sky and inverted by themselves. I prefer vienna reins but out of the 6 I have bred, only 2 have used them, the rest balance themselves and use their backs better with out the crutch. When I do use them on a youngster, I use a cavesson instead of the bit. I do use side reins on a well schooled horse for lunge lessons for the students sake, mostly so the student doesnt have to worry about connection, just their seat and balance.
    Red Head is pretty balanced, but definately trots better in hand than on the lunge (or with me on her for that matter). Of course she hasn't lunged much, but I am thinking the lunging in side reins step isn't as important as i thought it was. It was weird for me to start a horse without lunging, so I guess I worry I missed steps I need to now go back and redo!

    Glad to hear I am not the only one who had not heard of using mismatched side reins on a horse.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 30, 2010
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    Default

    #1 - Gadgets never make for classical dressage IMO.

    #2 - Never used them



  12. #12
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    Nov. 10, 2010
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    I dont think you missed a step - some horses dont need lunging. I have some babies that I started by ground driving instead and they were so level headed that I just hopped on and started. Every horse has their own path adn I think many of us get on the rails of lunge, then work in the arena then start on little jaunts out.
    I have started my sensible ones by ground driving, then ponying then hacking, a winter off, then more hacking then voila, start training.
    Others, ground drive ( peel my self off the pasture ) lunge, more pasture skiing, lunge, pony ( call neighbors to see if my red monster was in their cow pasture ) move to indoor, lunge, lunge, lunge, ride. then hack with body armor. Sell

    ps, anyone need a new horse ( just kidding)
    bad decisions make good stories



  13. #13
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    Default

    Classical dressage incorporates side reins. However, they are sort of like riding the horse on the bit without the rider there so the horse works into the bridle - - THAT MEANS from the hind - up through the back into the bit. If the horse is worked correctly, there should not be pull or bang but rather he find support. They are NOT a head set gadget - if the horse is being tied to a frame and trotted around like that - someone is using them wrong of course and also maybe think that they are a gadget - to me gadgets are when a device is used instead of training. Side reins used correctly are a tool like a bridle. IMO The person using them has them there as support for the horse to stretch into and the TARGET is training the horse's body.

    Spiralling in and out on the lunge a bit to get the horse to stretch into the rein and the horse stepping into the inside hind - transitions to get the horse using his hind - side reins are a great tool IMO. But as someone said - they are not for every horse. My opinion is that if used correctly, they are not a gadget.

    A lot of people just use an outside side rein. I did this with 2 horses I trained because they were really hot - I wanted them to seek the outside rein on the circle and with them it was better achieved with just that rein.

    I also trained a horse I took to third level and never used side reins on him. I never used anything but a lunge line and halter when lunging because he was absolutely nutty. I had people try to give me unsolicited advice all the time because I obviously did not know how to lunge due to the fact I only used a halter and lunge line - no whip - no side reins etc. I used my body posture and transitions and could get him to stretch into his outside and use his hind power up through the back.

    The draw rein thing..... the only time I have used them is when dealing with a horse with some sort of really bad training issue from their past and it was a lesser evil to use it for ten minutes to show the horse they can just hang their neck at the shoulders and nothing bad was going to happen. I think if you are using it for something like that and you know what you are doing - and not actually pulling the nose towards the chest - its an outside the box lesser-evil type of thing for that retraining issue. But of so many horses - I think I used that on 3 horses - each horse for one time for 10 minutes. The point was gotten and we threw them back to the bottom of the trunk. I know people who go on draw reins 2-3 times a week and go for 45 minutes. I think that is not right - I know people who JUMP in them. I know a trainer who trains piaffe in them. I have not felt the need to do any of that!



  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Feb. 12, 2010
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    Oregon
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    I've seen draw reins used like that to help a horse understand and keep them aligned - for a short period of time.

    While i'm not a fan of using draw reins, they can be helpful in brief situations to help with focus and balance IF the horse is taught with the leg to hand aids so that when they're removed the aids are still consistent.

    wrt lunging, i usually start with the balancing reins and then move to straight side reins when the horse is consistently searching for the bit.
    www.TackMeUp.com
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  16. #16
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    Jan. 31, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Give and Take View Post
    I've seen draw reins used like that to help a horse understand and keep them aligned - for a short period of time.
    ....
    \can you explain how the uneven attachement of the draw reins would help (one to the side, one between the legs)?



  17. #17
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    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    Question #1: recently called about a horse for sale. I googled to find a video of it, and it showed the horse with one draw rein to the side, and one to between the legs. When I asked the trainer about it her reply was "I thought you showed dressage??! This is a common fix for a horse with a soft side". Not only had a never heard of this, I cannot comprehend how it would help. Is there merit to this technique and if so, how/why?

    Question #2: I started my Red Headed filly under saddle without lunging due to an injury, so she has never worn side reins. She is doing well, so I thought she could now learn about lunging and today I put the side reins on (albeit loosely). She looked horrid, so I went back to inhand work; pressure up on the corners drop her head, whereas the lower pressure of the side reins made her invert and argue.

    This made me wonder if side reins are perhaps counter productive in general when starting horses. is this perhaps why I see so many soft, but inverted horses in the baby classes? I have seen horses look good in side reins, but typically those were naturally uphill horses or older/balanced horses.
    #1. This horse was ridden under saddle this way? Were these draw reins accompanied by simple snaffle reins like a double bridle? Without seeing the video I do not think I would purchase a horse from this person because you will have to spend time retraining it.

    #2. Side reins should be introduced slowly and are a rein aid. If the horse does not understand rein aids how can it understand side reins? Beginning sessions and newly started horses should see the side reins very long. Flopping and contacted only with an outstretched head. Freshly started horses can not hold themselves with shorter side reins and will learn to dislike rein aids and work. Newly started horses also can not use their hind end to fill out the side reins. As the horse becomes stronger and understands the training you will shorten the side reins without resistance. Inverted horses in baby classes are caused by bad trainers using aids and tools incorrectly, not side reins. Your mare arguing with loose side reins suggests a problem in the training or her body, not with side reins. The goal is not to drop the head, as you say, but to raise the back.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 12, 2010
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    Oregon
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    CHT - some think that the draw rein to the side helps keep the shoulder aligned while the one to the girth helps with softening and flexion on that side.

    in my experience they can be helpful with hotter, athletic horses who can loose focus - but again it's a short-term tool to confirm the aids, not a constant crutch.
    www.TackMeUp.com
    'What's in your trunk?'
    Free tools for Trainers and Riders



  19. #19
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    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Behind the 8 Ball View Post
    I have started my sensible ones by ground driving, then ponying then hacking, a winter off, then more hacking then voila, start training.
    Others, ground drive ( peel my self off the pasture ) lunge, more pasture skiing, lunge, pony ( call neighbors to see if my red monster was in their cow pasture ) move to indoor, lunge, lunge, lunge, ride. then hack with body armor. Sell

    ps, anyone need a new horse ( just kidding)
    THIS had me rolling with laughter!!!! My sides are in stitches!!!!! Is that proper phrasing? Who cares! It was funny!!!!
    When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

    My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life



  20. #20
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    Nov. 10, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassynIvansMom View Post
    THIS had me rolling with laughter!!!! My sides are in stitches!!!!! Is that proper phrasing? Who cares! It was funny!!!!
    funny - yes, true? sadly yes as well! I try to look at life with humor. glad you appreciated the humor!
    bad decisions make good stories



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