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Reverse Draw Reins

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  • Reverse Draw Reins

    Little bit of info - my mare is very light in the mouth and uphill. She will curl up and get behind the bit at the canter. I just switched trainers due to a move. My previous trainer was using regular draw reins, maybe too much. My new trainer suggested reverse draw reins. (not to be used all the time but maybe for a little) I am assuming she would be using them with my mare when she does training rides because I don't think my hands are educated enough for that...considering my questions...

    Does anyone know what they are? What exactly are the benfits for using them to keep my mare from getting behind the bit? How are they used? What are possible problems with these?

  • #2
    Never heard of them and can't even imagine what your trainer is talking about.

    On a horse that gets behind the bit I would never use any sort of draw reins. A german martingale maybe, depending on the circumstances, but much more likely just regular old reins.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Renae View Post
      Never heard of them and can't even imagine what your trainer is talking about.

      On a horse that gets behind the bit I would never use any sort of draw reins. A german martingale maybe, depending on the circumstances, but much more likely just regular old reins.
      ^^^^This. Reverse draw reins???


      • #4
        I've heard of them but can't remember exactly how they work.. something to do with clipping them up over the poll. I wouldn't use any draw reins at all, especially since she's already so light in the mouth.


        • #5
          I would definitely use a pair of draw reins run to the belly on a horse like that, or, if the trainer means running them over the poll, as Karlymacrae suggested, that would also possibly help. I'm not familiar with the term of "reverse" draw reins though.


          • #6
            I've heard two different things being called 'reverse draw reins'. Both have real names though...

            Neck Stretcher: http://www.smartpakequine.com/neck-s...A-_-2109685666

            Chambon: http://www.smartpakequine.com/chambo...x?cm_vc=Search


            • #7
              Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
              I've heard two different things being called 'reverse draw reins'. Both have real names though...

              Neck Stretcher: http://www.smartpakequine.com/neck-s...A-_-2109685666

              Chambon: http://www.smartpakequine.com/chambo...x?cm_vc=Search
              Yes, those I have heard of. Never heard the term reverse draw reins though..


              • #8
                Well, I'll probably get flamed, but why not ditch the draw reins and see if you can fix it with good dressage work? Why does she need draw reins- if she's light and uphill, what are you trying to change? Does she get hollow?


                • #9
                  Never heard of this sort of thing.

                  I would stay the *$# away from any draw reins on a horse with contact issues.

                  Actually I hate them with a passion and never use them.

                  Its a symptom of a bigger issue, not something to fix with reins. Contact issues are never just about the jaw.

                  Personally I would train with someone who taught me how to ride the horse through it and not rely on draw reins.

                  Eventer-posting at the same time LOL.


                  • #10
                    I think I mow what you are talking about, it helps lift the horses head and neck, used it, very effective and soft.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                      Well, I'll probably get flamed, but why not ditch the draw reins and see if you can fix it with good dressage work? Why does she need draw reins- if she's light and uphill, what are you trying to change? Does she get hollow?
                      This, geez. Why use more gadgets to fix the damage gadgets did in the first place?

                      Get the horse forward and engaging. Try pushing your hands forward and up at the same time (forward to encourage her to uncurl by putting the bit in front of her, but up to maintain contact - rein length does not change) when she curls - something Jane Savoie recommends in such circumstances.

                      Get thee to a classical dressage instructor.
                      ....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.


                      • #12
                        If a horse curls behind because it is afraid of contact and has a rider that isn't strong enough to maintain a steady, following hand, I have found a german martingale can help give the horse the more consistant contact they are looking for, and help the rider get an idea of what contact means.

                        I have never heard of reverse draw reins but I imagining something the horse gets to use to control its rider's hands....
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                        • Original Poster

                          naturalequus -thanks. That is exactly what I have started doing. It seems to be working...she really just curls up when we canter to the right. I just had no idea what the reverse draw rein was.


                          • #14
                            I'm not familiar with the term either, however, I'm guessing that what your trainer is suggesting is running the draw reins up over the poll instead of down to the girth. The effect is the same as using a gag bit, which some folks feel helps to "lift" the horse's head instead of making them curl up in response to pressure.

                            Since it sounds like the problem came about from the overuse of draw reins, I'd personally shy away from using another gadget to try and correct the problem. A horse that is curling up needs to be ridden forward and most likely with a softer bit. This is just my opinion here, but if I had a horse in this situation I'd be getting them out of the ring for a lot of brisk hacking out in the fields and then I'd be going back to basics and just trying to ride them "normally" and correctly for a period of time to get back on track. Stretching and long and low work also will help a horse that is curling up. It teaches them to reach for the proper contact instead of trying to back out of it.


                            • #15
                              unlike most, i have heard of and used these...for all of about 30 seconds. if it's the same idea, all we did was take a chambon attachment and fasten it to the poll of the bridle, run draw reins from my hand to the poll and then clip them to the bit, so that when you pull on the reins, it lifts their head like the bearing rein in Black Beauty

                              my horse had a very bad habit of sucking behind the bit. he would literally touch his nose to his chest rollkur style as an evasion tactic (i was riding in a soft snaffle and he would do this on a loose rein by his own accord, usually when coming out of the turn making getting to the base of a jump very difficult).

                              it was a bit of an experiment, and it wasn't a very good one. It made my horse quite nervous and although they did exactly what they were supposed to do, the overall result was an unrideable horse. We ended up taking them off rather quickly after. although he did keep his head up for the rest of the lesson, that was our one and only experiment with "reverse draw reins".

                              what i did do was try a Mikmar bit, which worked wonders. i don't know why, but it was the perfect solution to his problem. maybe try that instead of the reverse draw rein experiment?


                              • Original Poster

                                goodlife - my horse sounds like yours I am riding in a soft snaffle and even in a loose rein she gets all curled in, especially in the corner. So I don't think I will be trying the reverse draw rein! What Mikmar bit did you use? How about a happy mouth or copper roller?


                                • #17
                                  goodlife that would be called a side check rein, and properly used when long lining or driving a horse it is for one buckled in place, not varying in lengths at the whim of the driver's hands, and two can only ask a horse to keep it's head at a certain height, they can definitely still bend at the poll and get behind the bit.

                                  If it is a severe evasion of getting behind the bit and threatening to bolt when say riding out in the open a gag bridle might be warranted. But for getting behind the bit when cantering in the arena and mostly when only going one way, on a horse who has had a draw rein used on it, I agree that there are better solutions that more "gadgets". I also would consider having the horse checked out by a good chiro/massage person.


                                  • #18
                                    I used the "bungie" from Smartpak on a horse that would not go to the bit....and I used a Nathe snaffle...it has to be done with a lot of adjustment to get it just right....to get it so that the horse would reach out in front of him to get away from the pulling down motion of the bungie..then when I rode him and he started out on the bit out in front of me, I kept really soft pressure on the bit.( closing all the doors and leaving the front one open)..when he let go and tried to suck back I increased the pressure until he would stretch out seeking the softer hand. It worked...the horse learned not to curl back....and he hacks on the bit softly and is developing his crest. It works but it required constant awareness of where the horse's head was......I found watching his shadow helpful to reassure me that things were "going as planned"!!!

                                    When I use a bungie I do not put it through the bit.....it goes from the horses poll, through the head band on each side, to the girth. It is saying, "down with the poll, up with the crest" and when the horse reaches out to avoid it....there is my soft hand to receive him!!! I have only used it to help a horse "discover" the soft contact that he has turned himself inside out to avoid. It also helps with a chronic contact avoider because it encourages engagement of the back and hind legs which will be reinforced by a supportive leg.
                                    Last edited by Claudius; Mar. 6, 2012, 02:16 PM. Reason: explanation
                                    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think I would use reverse draw reins, if by reverse draw reins you mean that they are over the pole, through the bit and to your hands, for a horse that is curling behind the bit.

                                      Mine went through a curling phase. He thought that maybe if he curled he wouldn't have to work his behind. What worked for him was a Myler level 3 port without hooks and galloping out in the fields to reinforce forward as I lifted him up. It took a few months, but it really helped get us through that phase. Now I periodically school him in a happy mouth double jointed two ring elevator, which he is a lot happier with, and am able to remind him that curling is a no-no if he gives me any indication that he might want to curl. Most of the time, I am now able to ride him in a variety of mild double jointed snaffles and he doesn't even think about it.

                                      My horse has a sensitive mouth, too, and I found that the Myler was too much for him, especially once he learned that curling was unacceptable. Since his problem was more of a forward problem than a contact problem, you might not need as strong a Myler as I did. I think I tried the mullen Mylar and found it somewhat helpful, it just wasn't enough for everything else that accompanied my horse's curling phase


                                      • #20
                                        Taking a long rein (I've even seen people use a piece of rope/cord) and running in through the bit and over the horse's poll is just a bastard way of making any snaffle bit into a gag bit.