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Jumping in Draw Reins?

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  • Jumping in Draw Reins?

    Hi everyone! I was recently looking at some pictures on "Judge My Ride" on Facebook when I came across a picture with a girl riding her (looked to be an eq horse) in draw reins. One comment led to another and the topic of "jumping in draw reins" arose. There were so many different opinions!
    I've always been taught that draw reins are a helpful tool to develop/strenghthen your horse's muscles so that without them(draw reins), your horse will be more willing & able to go onto the bit into a hunter, dessage, or eq frame. I've been told jumping in draw reins is bad, but also that it is fine as long as you use them correctly. My trainer always has me run my draw reins through my martingale so that it is less of a distraction and interferance.
    so my question is...what are your opinions?

  • #2
    I think draw reins can have their place, but that said I have no personal use for them (even on giraffe-like OTTB's). If you work a horse correctly via exercises and patterns etc, back to front, their heads naturally come down when they are ready and strengthened and they go on the bit naturally anyways. Personally, I can't see their use in jumping, myself. The horse NEEDS to raise its head prior to the jump so as to properly see the jump, as per their eyes and the lenses within their eyes. If your horse's head is too high and they are rushing, work on the basics/foundation FIRST. Foundation before specialization, works like a charm

    BUT, that said, I'm not opposed to it on someone else's horse provided it is in the horse's best interests/not hurting the horse. To each their own, right? We each achieve our accomplishments via different paths so as long as the horse is happy and its best interests are taken into account... What irks me the most is seeing the WP horses in our barn being ridden directly off the draw reins (as in, the reins directly going to the bit and to the rider's hands are looped around the horn and the YOUNG rider is guiding the horse directly off the draw reins themselves), and being ridden front to back. The horses lack the proper musculature to even hold such a position, but are spurred roughly into the draw reins and headset.
    ....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.

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    • #3
      There is a TB that a girl I ride with leased for awhile. She did jumpers with her. I don't have much experience with draw reins but from what I have seen, she used them when she was jumping and honestly the horse was much more relaxed and balanced with them than without. The mare was VERY hot but a fantastic jumper and a fun ride, and my friend did well with her. She learned very quickly on her the importance of riding seat and leg to hand instead of the other way around. The horse never looked tense or uncomfortable in draw reins and they were used so that she still have some freedom of movement. Also I will add that she never did fences higher than 2'3-2'6 on her and I think that had the fences gotten higher they maybe wouldn't have used them for safety purposes? I'm not sure on that because I've never seen her jump higher than that.
      "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

      www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
      www.useaiv.org

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      • #4
        There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It's personal opinion.

        I won't jump in draw reins - it would make me nervous a horse would catch a leg in them.

        I once was okay with the use of draw reins but now I think there are better ways to get a horse in "proper" frame. And that includes the hind end.
        Live in the sunshine.
        Swim in the sea.
        Drink the wild air.

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        • #5
          On the infrequent times that I use drawreins (very rarely, only in certain situations) I use them attached on the SIDE of the girth so they come off the saddle below my knee up thru the bit and back to my hand. I NEVER use them coming up between the legs. I feel that using them on the side amkes the more like a forgiving siderein. Having said that I would NEVER EVER jump in side reins.
          www.shawneeacres.net

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          • #6
            This question reminds me of the question "Do you think all horses should be ridden in a snaffle".

            Short answer. No.

            Training tools used properly like bits, martingales, draw reins, bungies, crops etc etc make it easier for our horses to understand what we want.

            Sure, you can plug away at a hard mouthed horse & eventually get through to it but why not switch the bit around a bit to see if something else might make it easier. Maybe it is a short cut but don't you think it's nicer for the horse if he gets it faster?
            \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

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            • #7
              ^love your answer Czar

              My Trainer says that all young horses should be jumped in draw reins until they can learn to carry themselves properly without them.

              For some this takes 2 schools, for some it's every time they jump an unjudged fence My jumper is 17, I use DR *maybe* once a month. My baby hunter (when in work) lives in them.

              I know some of you are gonna freak, but she has had very good results so far.

              Note: our DR are put through the martingale to jump, down for hacking.
              When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

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              • #8
                I rode with someone who managed to find a reason to use draw reins on all but one of her horses. I didn't think most of them needed it, but like others have said, everyone has their different reasons and opinions.
                I have jumped with draw reins on many occasions, and for safety we always either ran the draw reins through the throat latch or the martingale to avoid legs getting tangled. As an extra precaution we also undid the buckle so that the reins would just slip through if a leg were to get caught.
                I think draw reins are often used improperly (I'm actually not positive myself if I am doing it correctly 100% of the time if I don't have someone coaching me) and prefer not to use them. However, I have seen them used when they don't interfere and just help to guide a horse both in the flat and o/f.
                Personally, I don't see a problem with it if they are being used safely and effectively.
                **********************************
                I'd rather be riding!

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                • #9
                  Draw reins can be very helpful for some extra control and focus schooling, particularly if the horse is fresh. That's why you see so many on tuesday warmups. If I use them while jumping it usually has very little to do with the horse's head carriage, and more to do with keeping the horse rideable between the fences. There are also cases where they are useful for a horse that changes its shape on course. Snapped to the chest they are safe (unless you are likely to let a rein dangle and not notice), or you can run them through a breastplate or yoke when they're run to the belly.

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                  • #10
                    They are a useful tool, and yes, rideability between the fences is the reason I've used them.

                    As an aside, when I was in Germany they were using them on their jumpers for grids & courses to a smidge over 4ft. I wish I asked why - but it seemed to be a combo of ridability & discouraging an inverted jump through the neck? I'm not nearly qualified to critique the 1.3million Euro jumper (that's what it sold for a month later) but it must be a useful tool in that ring as so many jumpers are ridden in draw-reins.

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                    • #11
                      Although I have no experience with them, I think they are ok if used properly. There was a boy in my lesson riding a pony in draw reins. When he did not release over the jump the pony reared up a bit after the jump and threw a big buck. Yet when he releases, she is fine.

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                      • #12
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          Like most everyone has said, it's a personal choice and is neither right nor wrong. I've done it before, but only with them clipped to the dee-rings of the saddle, never between the legs. That would scare my paranoid self way too much!
                          Originally posted by MistyPony
                          In all my years of riding, gravity is the one thing that has never failed on me!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for the input, everyone! It's cool to see what everyone has to say.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Hear hear!!
                                ....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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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?

                                  So you spend 3 months prodding away at a horse to get them to understand what you want instead of trying a training tool that might help them have an "a-ha" moment? Would you use a crop behind your leg to emphasize leg pressure?

                                  I'm probably going to get flamed for this but I believe in "short cuts" if it makes it easier for the horse. I don't think horses enjoy repetitive, nagging work. It's one of the reasons why I think you need to be very respectful of what a horse goes like naturally. For example, don't buy a draft horse that is bred to pull on it's forehand for a hunter. Using a horse in a discipline that it is naturally talented in reduces the amount of "training" that you have to put the horse through.

                                  Training is hard on a horse so if you can use "gadgets" to make it easier, why wouldn't you?
                                  \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    When I got my first pair of draw reins it can with a warning/ directions that it should only by used as a trainning aid and no longer than 15 mins. I personally only like using them for 15 mins or less and then taking them off and asking the horse to go the same as if they are on. I dont personally like seeing horses ridden for an hour in them. Everyone has their own way of doing things.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Czar View Post
                                      So you spend 3 months prodding away at a horse to get them to understand what you want instead of trying a training tool that might help them have an "a-ha" moment? Would you use a crop behind your leg to emphasize leg pressure?

                                      I'm probably going to get flamed for this but I believe in "short cuts" if it makes it easier for the horse. I don't think horses enjoy repetitive, nagging work. It's one of the reasons why I think you need to be very respectful of what a horse goes like naturally. For example, don't buy a draft horse that is bred to pull on it's forehand for a hunter. Using a horse in a discipline that it is naturally talented in reduces the amount of "training" that you have to put the horse through.

                                      Training is hard on a horse so if you can use "gadgets" to make it easier, why wouldn't you?
                                      For me it's not months of agonizing work, it's all part of training a horse properly.
                                      It's about teaching the horse, not forcing the horse to do what you want. I find this approach gives the horse a solid foundation and leads to less "gaps" in the training process.
                                      Using draw reins to make the horse go a certain way, is the lazy mans way of training.
                                      It appears too many riders want to take the easy road and rush the training of their horses. I see the end result of this method, almost everyday and it's not pretty.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Watching people jump with draw reins is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I understand and support their use on the flat for a horse that really needs it, but never over fences. I was taught that was a big no no and unsafe. I also hate it when people ALWAYS ride in draw reins, every horse/pony they ride, ALL the time.

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