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Rein Lameness

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  • Rein Lameness

    I came across this term recently and I was hoping to learn a little bit more about it.
    It was briefly described to me as kind of a psycological thing. That a horse used to very heavy hands begins to show lameness.
    Can anybody here tell me any more about this phenomenon?
    "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume

  • #2
    It is not really a phenomenon...nor psycological.

    It is a real physical effect of busy and hard hands. A horse with tooth problems may also demonstrate lameness due to being sore from the bit.

    More simply, a horse who's in pain from its mouth will try to avoid the bit and the pain and will start working crooked and/or will look lame. And could eventually become really sore from travelling crooked and not being muscled properly.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app


    • #3
      Do a google search and you will find some discussions about it and the short/long term impacts. It is a real physical response, a form of resistance from the horse; the longer it goes on, the more difficult to correct.
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • #4
        A horse can be rein lame with one rider and not another. It all has to do with how that particular rider is balancing the horse and using their aids. They can cause the horse to take a short step with one diagonal, or one hind leg.
        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


        • #5
          I've always thought this is included, but others can correct me if I'm wrong... Ever see those riders whose hands move as they post? Typically almost any horse takes uneven length strides as their reins change length on them from the rider posting, and you switch directions/diagonals - switched effect. I've always thought of this as sort of minor, not a concern, rein lameness.
          Originally posted by Silverbridge
          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


          • #6
            I think rein lameness is a real, physical reaction to either hard, set hands or simply an imbalance in the rider's seat. The rider may block one or both hind legs, or cause a horse to resist the rein pressure making the horse look lame. Even a rider being crooked can cause the horse to be crooked which can disrupt the natural rhythm of the stride.


            • #7
              Can be caused by lots of things - not all of them bad riding.

              Horse having a energy block - and when not 100% through on both sides = rein lame

              Or crookedness. Or a stiffness in the topline, back, neck, shoulders, etc.

              Definitely can be caused by bad riding, but this is not always the case. I.E. if the horse is tense and therefore backed off or uneven in the contact (by nature) this could cause rein lameness.

              When I use the term, it means a horse that is not "hurting" but if not ridden through on both sides will appear uneven or unlevel, neck bob, etc.


              • Original Poster

                Thank you guys!
                I am now satisfied that this is a real thing. What you guys have said fits very well with the situation where I heard the term applied.
                "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


                • #9
                  Years ago an international level jumper rider pointed out a horse-rider combo to me and remarked "there is a great example of rein-lameness". The rider's hands and body were so restrictive that the horse appeared to be uneven. He was just struggling to survive. Another horse would have dumped the rider out of the arena.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                    A horse can be rein lame with one rider and not another. It all has to do with how that particular rider is balancing the horse and using their aids. They can cause the horse to take a short step with one diagonal, or one hind leg.
                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                    • #11
                      I have an 11 year old CSH, who I just purchased in Feb. He came to me very cheaply because his previous owner couldn't keep him sound. He was what I would call bridle lame, which I think is the same thing you are talking about. He wouldn't be uneven all the time, but some times he was. Most of the time he worked out of it as I rode him. He was tense and could be difficult to bridle.

                      I had the dentist look at him and found his mouth to be terrible. The dentist commmented that he thought the only way his teeth could get like that was a tight nose band, heavy hands and and ill fitting bit. Voila, after his teeth were looked after he is happy in his work, sound and easy to bridle. Thankfully the previous owner only had him for 18 months, so he should be able to go back to work to 3rd level, as he was doing previously. Their loss is my gain, but it was a gamble.
                      The greatest gift you can ever give is taking their pain away and making it your own. Wear that pain like a tribute to the love you shared. Laurierace


                      • #12
                        I posted a video on here last winter. I had several folks jump on me for riding my "lame" horse. Others suggested that my horse was "rein lame" and provided constructive criticism to help us improve. I sent the video to my vet who is very familiar with my horse. He agreed that she was just "rein lame". He pointed out that when we did our trot diagonals that she was moving out evenly because I was more relaxed in my body/hands. I'm sure his opinion didn't change the minds of those who thought my horse was "lame", but it sure made me feel better. I can always work on improving my riding.