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  1. #41
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    Draw reins can be an effective tool in teaching a rider not to take back, pull, or hang on a horse's mouth. The draw reins can also teach a rider how to have steadier, quiter hands. You keep your hands in one place and kick the horse into the contact. Then the horse is in front of you without any taking back, no cheating. I think they can be an effective tool.



  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by poopoo
    Draw reins can be an effective tool in teaching a rider not to take back, pull, or hang on a horse's mouth.

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



  3. #43
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    I don't think draw reins teach the rider anything at all. The rider has to be taught how to use them. Nobody who does not already know how to ride the horse onto the end of the rein should be using them. That is when they are the razor in the monkeys hand, because they give those people the illusion of the horse being on the aids. But it's just an illusion.

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



  4. #44
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    i use them but only if ahorse is a git and i have done everything i can with out them i have used them twice in 47 years ---i have them and they are in the boot of my car with all my tack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



  5. #45
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    my point-- is drew reins are an aid used wrong can be dangerous to both horse and rider-- but use correctly can be of a help-- but then all aids are only as good as the hands that use them



  6. #46
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    Jan. 14, 2006
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    Ohio
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    Two Simple--

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

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



  7. #47
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Yup, that was what I figured.. when confronted with the option to let the horse decide, you would rather not. God forbid she teach you something.



  8. #48
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equus Caballus
    Please try to respect each others differences, as you are both blinded by your preference of disipline.
    I have alot of respect for EqTrainer from reading on the board here and doing some asking around the horse community in my state. I'd loff to go be her working student this fall or next spring. She's a smart lady.

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

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

    Steph



  9. #49
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    Mar. 13, 2000
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    You know, twosimple, there are a lot of horses that don't really enjoy the academic atmosphere of dressage work. There are also a lot of horses that really do. And there are also a lot of horses in the inbetween, who really appreciate the benefits of the basics, the stretching, and coming over their backs, etc., but just find they don't have the enthusiam to do it every day, and do best with a mixture of things, like trails, jumping, and dressage-oriented flat work. Just like people.

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

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

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



  10. #50
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    Mar. 1, 2004
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    WA
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    Its gotta be "to each their own".... Or we'd all kill eachother LOL

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

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

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

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



  11. #51
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    TwoSimple, you took that *one* sentence totally out of context and put it into the context you wanted it to have. I was explaining WHY I would put a horse in draw reins rather than taking the 6 or 12 months it would take to teach it the same response. Not only did you take it out of context, but you were rude as hell about it.

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

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



  12. #52
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    May. 20, 2005
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    Bravo, knz66! Well said!

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

    Live and let live, for crying out loud!



  13. #53
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    Sep. 12, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beasmom
    Bravo, knz66! Well said!

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

    Live and let live, for crying out loud!


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



  14. #54
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    Nov. 1, 2001
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    Default Maybe this is why most people use them incorrectly

    Their purpose is to force the horse to "give" to the reins. In correct dressage the horse should NOT "give" to the reins.

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

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


    lstevenson, you say a horse shouldn't "give" to the reins or the bit. What is your expectation of what a horse should do in response to an aid from the hand?
    Last edited by nhwr; Jun. 13, 2006 at 01:28 AM.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstevenson
    But you miss the point. For 99.9% of the people who would use draw reins, there is NO constructive use of draw reins for dressage training. Their purpose is to force the horse to "give" to the reins. In correct dressage the horse should NOT "give" to the reins.
    Thank you, first of all, for admitting that perhaps .1% of us might have a constructive use for draw reins. That's probably about how many horse/rider combinations might at some time need draws. Not all the time, not forever, just occasionally, briefly, with one difficult horse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bear with me.

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

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

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



  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr
    What is being described isn't the purpose of drawreins. Draw reins may be used by an experienced rider to help develop proper lateral flexion. They are used by riders at the SRS, the mecca of classical dressage.

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

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



  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beasmom
    Let those with the skills and the need use them.

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

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

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



  18. #58
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    May. 20, 2005
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    Default lstevenson, have you read this?

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

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

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

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

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



  19. #59
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    Nov. 1, 2001
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    Once a horse thinks he is supposed to "give" to the hand, he forever "gives" to the hand by dropping slightly behind it.
    This is only true if the horse doesn't respond to the forward aids (the leg and seat) or the rider doesn't use them.

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



  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr
    This is only true if the horse doesn't respond to the forward aids (the leg and seat) or the rider doesn't use them.

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



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