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Jumping in Draw Reins?

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  • #21
    It does not necessarily take three months to teach a horse to engage from behind (which, I must point out, the DR's do not do anyways)... If it does, then maybe the rider is approaching it wrong. I can only speak personally, but because I agree with Zenyatta's statement for the most part (as evidenced by my post), I just wanted to add my .02 cents.

    I'm not teaching the headset per se, so the real ahah! moment would come as he learns to engage from behind, lift the back and neck at the base of the withers, and in doing so, happen to drop his head. The DR's do not teach that engagement from behind. So the ahah! moment is derived of him learning to work from behind...not his learning where to put his head. I don't care about the head and do not want to manipulate it before the horse is ready physically or mentally; it will fall into place as our work progresses. When it is supposed to, as a result of our work. Since the DR's do not teach him to engage, they are not the ones to deliver the ahah! moment, unless they are being used to teach him to keep his head low...which I do not want him to learn in the first place (like I said, it will just happen as a result of where the rest of his body is at).

    Progressive schooling doesn't have to be repetitive and nagging whatsoever! In fact you CAN'T be with most horses (and certainly not any of mine!!!). Progressive schooling exercises that also engage the mind and increasingly engage the body as the horse's mental and physical fitness increases are always key. None of it has to be monotonous. It is not one ahah! moment, it is a natural progression of learning.

    It should not take any additional time to teach a horse to work from behind as with the use of DR's though, for the most part (except under special circumstances), if the horse is being taught to correctly engage from behind... because DR's do not teach engagement from behind, directly. The progressive schooling exercises to teach a horse to engage cannot be rushed mentally nor physically, tools aside. You might be able to cut out an extra couple weeks MAYBE, on a severely inverted horse as you just tip the poll a tiny bit via the DR's and thus encourage the horse to think about working a little more through, but that's about it imo. There is no way to rush a horse's learning (ie, it's mind) nor its physical strength - you can only go so fast if you are to do so correctly and without gaps.

    Nothing against DR's really though, as I said above, to each their own. I do not use them personally but if someone else does and it works for them, so be it when it is not hurting the horse. There are a few riders I know and respect who do use draw reins in some of their work - not for an ahah! moment or anything, but just to keep the horse from only going so far inverted whilst they simultaneously work on progressive schooling exercises to engage the horse and naturally drop the head. In this case, the DR's are not used to keep the head down per se, just to limit the horse's level of inverted-ness.

    I don't believe it is ultimately about the tools though. Yes tools can help support, teach, refine, etc, but it is more about the horse and rider. I strongly believe the best horsemen is one who keeps their tools to a minimum. They might choose to use certain tools for certain jobs, as certain aids, support systems, etc, however they do not need said tools and their use is as limited as possible. As the horse is allowed to progress, the use of tool increasingly fade away (to the extreme point of being able to ride the horse at liberty - bridleless even, and accomplish all the same as previously with the tools... that would be the epitome).

    ETA: Just a thought, but aren't the old German schools of thought (etc) that one should establish a solid foundation on a young horse, one that takes at least two years to build? I think if one takes the time it takes, they're not going to need to worry about a couple "extra" weeks or months.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


    • #22
      I am not a big fan of draw reins because I think you have to be very careful to use them correctly and many people just don't. I bought a horse that had been incorrectly schooled in them and it took forever to get him to stop floating behind the bridle.

      I have ridden a few horses in draw reins because it just made sense for them. I had one mare off the track that my trainer thought they would help and it definitely did -- in two or three sessions she was working more correctly and we took them off.

      I have also jumped in draw reins (way back when) when riding with a BNT. For that particular horse, I think it was a good idea.

      However, most people ride too much with their hands and not enough with their legs which is the kiss of death with draw reins, especially when jumping.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


      • #23
        bad, bad idea

        If the riders' hands are educated enough to use draw reins properly; they should be educated enough to follow horses' head/ neck/ mouth in the air, so, horse and rider land in balance and under control. linput, everyone! It's cool to see what everyone has to say. Martingales work entirely differently, independent of a horses' mouth
        breeder of Mercury!

        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


        • #24
          Originally posted by Alterrain View Post
          My Trainer says that all young horses should be jumped in draw reins until they can learn to carry themselves properly without them.
          Who is this trainer? Need to stay far, far away!

          I was always taught that if you were skilled enough to use draw reins correctly, you wouldn't need them. I buy into that...
          * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


          • #25

            Now people are posting on two year old threads to carry on this argument?


            • #26
              Originally posted by HD2008 View Post
              Draw reins are a training tool that most horses should never need if ridden/trained properly. They were not meant to be used regularly on any horse. If someone is using them that frequently, then they are using them as a crutch. Either they are "over-horsed" and can't ride their horse without them when the horse is fresh or they don't understand how to properly put a horse on the bit (impulsion comes from behind people, you don't "pull" a horse round). I think they are over-used in most cases. Rarely do you see someone who is using them because they really need the help they provide and then you don't see them used daily.

              We have barrel racers who use a German Martingale style device (that IS what it is, but they got it from some "big name" barrel racing trainer in Canada who supposedly named it after him, but, its a german martingale).

              Anywho, they use it EVERY time they ride.

              A tool is only a tool when you use it when needed; when you use it all the time, it becomes a crutch.
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


              • #27
                Originally posted by Zenyatta View Post
                I hate draw reins and feel it's using a short cut in the horses training.
                What's wrong with teaching a horse without gadgets?
                Your bit, bridle, stirrups, etc are also "gadgets". Actually, if we are talking au natural....his water bucket is a gadget.
                Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Silk View Post
                  Your bit, bridle, stirrups, etc are also "gadgets". Actually, if we are talking au natural....his water bucket is a gadget.
                  That should close this thread. No one could possibly have a stupider answer than this.
                  * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                  • #29
                    Draw reins are a lot different than a saddle or bridle..
                    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Madeline View Post
                      That should close this thread. No one could possibly have a stupider answer than this.
                      So kind of you <eye roll>
                      Since most people voted your post as idiotic, I might go with pot-kettle regarding your response. Perhaps you don't view a bit as an "artificial aid" or perhaps you don't truly understand the proper use of a draw rein.

                      At any rate, your response was (and I see this often from you) was nasty and demeaning.

                      Carry on.
                      Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Silk View Post
                        So kind of you <eye roll>
                        Since most people voted your post as idiotic, I might go with pot-kettle regarding your response. Perhaps you don't view a bit as an "artificial aid" or perhaps you don't truly understand the proper use of a draw rein.

                        At any rate, your response was (and I see this often from you) was nasty and demeaning.

                        Carry on.
                        I thought your response was funny.. it gave me a good laugh.....


                        • #32
                          Draw reins are an excellent tool for teaching a horse to balance on the rider's hand.
                          Power to the People


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by AlterHalter123 View Post
                            I thought your response was funny.. it gave me a good laugh.....
                            Glad you "got" it. It was supposed to sarcastic....but also to point out that there are many "artificial aids" and "gadgets" that can be very useful if used correctly and in moderation.
                            Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


                            • #34
                              Never used draw reins for anything and never will-- flat or jumping. Seems very unsafe to me and they are counter productive to creating good contact. Period.


                              • #35
                                Draw reins are a tool that has a time and place like anything else. They're overused a lot and are frequently used in the wrong situation (or as a shortcut), but that doesn't mean that there isn't a way to use them properly and accomplish something.

                                Just my 2 cents.
                                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!