I'm going to firmly zip my my flame suit before I even start this post.
Recently I have seen draw rens being used Thursday before Friday dressage. Is there a rule I am missing about the use of draw reins at HT? Or are people just riding before the 3pm show start time and hopeing no one says anything.
I have recently been using draw reins *as a training aid* and it would be beneficial if I could ride her once with them.
If I remember correctly, draw reins can be used prior to the start of dressage. I'd have to look at the rules specifically, but I've seen them up to the day before....so, I deduce that they are fine for a Thursday school if dressage starts on Friday.
I'm sure it is clearly written in the rule book, though
1. EXERCISE AREAS. The following restrictions begin at 3:00 p.m. of the day prior to the start of the entire competition and continue throughout the duration of the event. The following are compulsory: an English type saddle and any form of bridle, including double bridle, snaffle, gag or hackamores. Running martingales with rein stops, Irish martingales, bit guards, boots, bandages, fly shields, nose covers, and seat covers are permitted. Side reins are permitted only while lunging an unmounted horse, as are running reins and chambons. Other martingales, any form of gadget (such as a bearing, running or balancing reins, etc.) and any form of blinkers, are forbidden, under penalty of disqualification.
So as long as *no* dressage starts until Friday morning, you are fine with draw reins up until 3 p.m. on Thursday. If there is Thursday and Friday dressage, you are only OK until 3 p.m. on Wednesday regardless of whether your division goes on Thursday or Friday
People who know horses and training should know not to flame people without having the facts and info. I have trained a lot of horses - a lot of exracers - a lot of horses poorly trained and I had to un-do the training etc. And truth is - you have to be allowed to think outside the classical box - you NEED TO KNOW THE CLASSICAL way FIRST - you need to respect that even a BIT is an artificial aid if you think about it. The bottomline is - you just have to know there are evils with things when used to replace proper training. But if you KNOW proper training and have good hands, legs, seat - character - draw reins have their place in the right situation. Whenever I see flaming on tools - I think- better to CAUTION people in case they don't know proper training but don't immediately think the person is a bad trainer. In the right hands - they are fine in the right situation.
That said - I have worked for trainers who made them a staple tool for all horses. And if you want to stay at low levels or if you want the horse to learn to pull, go ahead. If you know how to train though - you wont use the draw reins to that extent - you will use them for what you need and no farther.
I am just chiming in because though I try to use them very little - I hate to hear flaming without context and I am sad to hear people have to start out a post with a defensive statement. EVEN if someone is in error - we should not start out spitting knives. No one HEARS when their ears are being cut off!!!!