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Ok... question: draw reins for lunging? Also called "Vienna reins"?

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  • Ok... question: draw reins for lunging? Also called "Vienna reins"?

    Hi, at the risk of bringing up the trainwreck that was the thread about draw reins used when riding: what about on the lunge?

    My trainer has started this with my mare and I am wondering the pros and cons?


  • #2
    Let's get this straight from the start Vienna side reins are NOT draw reins.

    Draw reins are used when a rider is on the horse. When shortened, they pull the horse into a position. That is what they are for. That is how they are used.

    Vienna side reins are at a set length (should NOT be short--never for a truly collected frame on a horse on the lunge), they are meant to allow the horse more room to stretch down and round than with normal side reins. They are encouraging for contact as well since the horse can more easily move around and find a comfortable position--when they are used correctly.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


    • Original Poster

      Ok thank you. I guess these are Vienna reins then. Are they ok to use?


      • #4
        Yes, Vienna reins are fine to use for lunging. They function differently than draw reins.


        • #5
          Yes. They are a very useful tool for lunging young horses.
          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


          • Original Poster

            Thanks. When I saw the draw reins thread I got nervous. I'm glad these are ok.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                My young horse is lunged for like 10 minutes before riding in Vienna reins. He is just learning how to give and use himself. He gets so locked up in his little brain that they are helping him figure it out.
                Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                • #9
                  My young horse is lunged for like 10 minutes before riding in Vienna reins. He is just learning how to give and use himself. He gets so locked up in his little brain that they are helping him figure it out.
                  Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                  Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                  Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                  • #10
                    The question always is: why use a piece of equipment/what was its traditional use?

                    Side reins: are used to teach a horse to work into a connection. Hopefully they are attached to a surcingle to allow height to be suited to horse. They should be introduced methodically, first onto the caveson, and then onto the bit after the horse has learned about pressure/bending. They allow the horse to work into pressure on a curved line, usually inside on is a hole or two shorter (depending upon the individual horse's needs). THe horse should not 'give to the side reins' but work into the connection. And because they are used on a curved line, the horse is introduced to the concept of lateral flexilbity which then leads, over time, to longitudinal flexion (but that is NOT their main use). They should be attached generally about what would be the height of the rider's knee or slightly below (but never near the elbows which would create chatter on the mouth). The horse should NOT 'give' to the bit other than to chew/mobilize its jaw. Ideally too the horse works mostly in trot in them since sr do not allow for bascule of walk or canter.

                    Draw reins: traditionally they were used for ONE reason, and that is lateral flexibility (on a curved lines) and they were used only on a caveson (never on a bit) with pulsations. (And in those days horses did not wear snaffles, but only curbs, so first light lateral flexibility/balance/then more finesse with the curb.) They are rarely used that way any longer, now they are used to induce longitudinal flexion, and rarely with pulsing aids. IF one is going to use draw reins then ideally it is only for a few rides, for lateral flexibility with pulsed aids, and move one (they are said to be razors blades in the hands of monkeys, and only an expert should use them, and if an expert then rarely!)

                    Vienna reins: traditionally they were used to sustain a connection/create upper limits (so the horse is still connected) within work in hand (i.e. piaffe). Now they are used for lungeing. But for what purpose? how are they to allow forward/down/out if they set limits (limits which create pressure on the bars since the horse is closed if they are at or below horizontal). If they are attached between the legs, the horse can only go so low, then the throat latch is closed and the bars take the action of the reins. If they are attached by the horse's elbow they pull r/l as the horse trots which is even more problematic. IF they are used, one has to use halt halting vibrations onto the caveson, and be very careful they do not create longitudinal flexion first (which straightens the hind leg and the horse just pushes). It is more difficult to adjust vienna reins to be shorter on one side.

                    The only difference between draw reins and vienna reins is that a draw rein is one piece of leather with rider's hands connected to them which can ASK and ALLOW (fdo), and vienna reins are two connected to a surcingle w/o rider's hands (and continue to ask for a closing posture). So, take care about using something that should only have an expert. IF the horse is too high/open, then perhaps they have a purpose; but very quickly they should be dispensed with once the horse works into a connection. For me, it is more expedient to either drive the horse in long reins (which has great intention) or to restart the horse with sr onto a caveson.

                    So, with any piece of equipment ask its purpose. How does their used contribute to future training? Are you in search of longitudinal flexion first (which makes the correct use of hh (to keep horse up/open/actively folding the hind legs/self carriage) more difficult. NO device should create a 'rounder' 'frame'.

                    What creates 'rounder' is what the hind legs are doing which should be compressing the hind leg joints are lifting and arching the neck up/open/in front of the vertical (this is in the RULES). If the horse is problematic in bit acceptance, the rider must look to what they are asking of the horse which creates this resistance. If the horse is being held at or behind the vertical, or with the neck low or throat latch closed (all of which causes the bit to act on the bars), then the horse has a REASON to tell the rider of its displeasure! Certainly there are horses which will give in (literally and figuratively) to the rider's desires/rein attachments (we only have to look to western to see that), but that does not make it right if we are training toward collection, nor according to the directives.

                    Ask WHY this (or any) piece of equipment.
                    I.D.E.A. yoda


                    • #11
                      i would say that depending on the horse and the ability of the handler, vienna reins are fine if used correctly and set at appropriate length, with the horse first taught to lunge correctly , stay out on the circle etc.

                      as with anything - it really depends on who is doing it


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by catbird321 View Post
                        My trainer has started this with my mare and I am wondering the pros and cons?
                        What did your trainer say about why she/he wanted to do this? what is your horse doing that the reins are going to assist with? (or correct?)

                        You might print out ideayoda's response & ask your trainer to discuss ...


                        • #13
                          I use a set of draw reins jury-rigged into Vienna side reins for my fussy mare. She can't have donut see reins because she leans and pulls and really tends to go behind the vertical. She is able to stretch with the jury-rigged set I have and can't jerk/lean on them as easily because the rein slides and they are solid - no elastic. I really like them for this particular horse. Used properly I think they are great because the horse is allowed to find their own balance point and stretch down or up without as much constriction as donut side reins. If they are too tight, the purpose is basically negated because the horse can't stretch or balance themselves as easily.


                          • #14
                            Viennas are fine. I don't get the argument that they do not allow the horse to stretch forward, down and out. I've used them on several horses. So does my coach. They encourage the horse to find his own comfy place and work over the back and neck. As sterling 2000 said, without the constrictions of side reins.

                            Consider that some people fear and loathe anything that was "invented" since the time of Grisone...


                            • #15
                              And some people look to reasoning behind a piece of equipment. There is constriction in any piece of equipment, including bits/reins/saddes/etc and even the rider's hand connection. For me the point is intention in training and its application as to what will be the impact on future work. The use of DR was ancient, but with clear intention for lateral flexibility.

                              Equipment is developed for specific application, what does the rider want, what 'bill' are they willing to 'pay' for using it. If one wants longitudinal flexion above all, then go for anything (bits/devices/postures/etc) that creates it, and the devil be damned as to what the rest of the body says.

                              Traditionally, VR were for upwards limits (connection is sustained when higher) within in hand work. DR for lateral flexibility. SR for a connection in the first place, and not for use onto a bit. Neither were designed for closing the throat latch or for use onto the bars (a fact most riders tend to ignore, although it is the most sensitive part of the horse). Most of the time horses resist SR because they are too short/too low/or onto the bars, those are things which the handler should be able to fix through (initial) use onto a caveson, use of (vertical) half halts onto the caveson, taut connection with lunge line (sustaining bending), and/or proper activity level from the driving aid. mho....

                              VR can allow lowering within limits, but they do not allow much 'stretching' (if of course we are talking of carrying forward/out/down as seeking the connection/hand (as proper chewing fdo would allow) rather than down and closing the throat latch as the horse lowers). As soon as the throat latch closes the hind leg joints push the load rather than carry the top line. The 'comfy' place may simply be one of no resistance, but it is part of developing self carriage or a basis for collection. This takes a very intentional 'eye' for what is created in the entire body, just as the use of DR does laterally.
                              I.D.E.A. yoda


                              • #16
                                I disagree with ideayoda on this one. She does not find them useful, I do...in certain situations with young horses or in retraining horses that have been incorrectly shortened up in side reins for years by bad trainers.
                                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                                • #17
                                  They are very useful in allowing freedom when the horse is going properly, and for setting limits for hell raisers.

                                  Not for every day use but longeing is an art, sometimes very misunderstood.
                                  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.


                                  • #18
                                    Vienna reins can have their finite action altered simpley by the Way the are set up on the horse. They give the trainer a lot more options to "shape" the horse than static side reins. Of course they can turn into Draw Reins, with very close to the same action if set up as such. I really only use such things to show a horse a new way to use his body, a new shape and how to move within that shape. Once the horse understands what is being asked the auxillary reins should come off. 10-20 minutes in such devices taxes the muscle such that too much longer is a detriment to training.