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Just wondering..... draw rein issue

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  • Just wondering..... draw rein issue


    Just after some opinions as I am not very familiar with the use of these aids.

    I came across a lovely young colt for sale on a major New Zealand horse sales site.

    Great looking horse, from good breeders.....

    But, the first photo is of the big boy in draw reins, not pulled right in but a snug hold.
    Then as I flick through the next few photos I am taken aback by the sight of same horse jumping in draw reins.

    Is this common? Never heard of it before.... thought you would want your horse to use his head/neck to jump?

  • #2
    Jumping in draw reins is not at all unheard of. It can be done properly and safely. As long as you know how to release over the fences where you won't catch the horse, you can use them for all 'flatwork' between fences.
    Of course as with anything it can be used in a dangerous and harmful way.
    I personally really don't ride in draw reins (probably 15 times ever in my 16 years old riding) and have only jumped in them maybe twice.


    • #3
      Draw reins are just one more tool in a trainer's box.
      Some like to use them regularly, some almost exclusively, have seen some cutting horse colt starters riding just with a string set as a draw rein, nothing else.

      In a good 50+ years of training many different horses for several disciplines, I have used draw reins once, while being taught how to use them and what you are working to achieve and that you can do so without them, once you know how and a second time when one BNT insisted I use them, I did, then took them off and demonstrated that we can do the same without them and he never again asked me to use them.
      I have never used any jumping, would not think that is very safe, but maybe in small gymnastics with a special horse.
      Then, again, someone else may just think it fits how they train and use them every place, including jumping.

      Now, maybe I just never came across that one horses where they really, truly were necessary to help get what you want.
      The one trainer that taught us how to use them, when and why and how we could do the same with our other aids had one horse once that he said it was the exception, and taught us how he could use them on that one trakehner mare, that had been bolting and running off seriously.
      He used them for maybe ten minutes for a few days here and there, then never needed them any more, once the horse understood what he wanted.

      I will say, it was understood that we always used a bit narrower rein for draw reins, supposedly so you could feel the difference better.

      I tell you that so you can evaluate better if the one in the pictures is using draw reins because it is what it does, or if it is working thru a problem with the horse.


      • #4
        One of those things that takes a truly educated hand to use and probably not a good idea for a sale photo - I'd want to see the horse going nicely in legal tack.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • #5
          Are you considering buying the horse? personally, I'd skip it. Many people only resort to draw reins, especially when jumping, if the horse has some serious issues. And even if these people are some of the few who think all horses should be ridden in draw reins, incorrect/excessive use of draw reins can lead to nasty curling-behind-the-bit habits that are extremely difficult to get rid of.


          • #6
            I never considered horses that were trained in draw reins.

            It would cost a fortune to un-do the bad habits created.

            The ONLY time I would consider is if it was just say for one or two rides as a very very green horse before they "learned anything" about contact.

            I'm convinced that even having them on creates a posture I don't want, weather they are "used" or not.

            I would think twice buying from a trainer who used them, that is not the kind of training I want to buy.


            • #7
              I wanted to add, if a horse has problems with how it responds to the training and you think you may need draw reins, I expect a good trainer would first check all else, to be sure the horse was not having the kind of problem that draw reins may mask, like an ill fitting saddle pinching, bad hands on the reins, something wrong with it's back/neck somewhere else, mouth problems or such.

              If a horse vetted fine and still you think draw reins may help bring the horse to hand quicker over some serious resistances, that may be a place to use them and see what happens.

              To ride a horse with draw reins in pictures or videos in an ad, without explaining why, makes you wonder about how much that seller knows.

              A good ad picture or video needs to represent the horse in as good a light as that horse is, no wraps on conformation shots, no funny bits, draw reins and such when riding.


              • Original Poster

                Nope not considering buying this horse - hes way out of my budget!
                Hes just pretty to look at. The same ad was placed about a month ago with none of the draw rein photos.
                Looks like they are using them for getting him in a frame.

                I think it could be the first time Ive ever seen pictures of horses in draw reins on the sales site ever. And I look alot. I have an obsession with window shopping


                • #9
                  Ugh, IMO anytime a trainee uses a gadget to get a horse in a frame, it is wise to run far far away from said trainer...and horse if you're a prospective buyer.

                  Speaking as someone who has spent 6 years undoing draw rein training because I fell in love with the horse and couldnt resist.
                  come what may

                  Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                  • #10
                    I used draw reins on one horse briefly to try and get better collection. I did it the way I was taught to use them by the trainer. Her method had tight rules about using them, such as; make sure they were long enough in case the horse tripped, keep the regular reins attached so you can drop the draw reins, if needed, and only ride in an arena. After a few short sessions and teaching my mare a cue to drop her head, I could return to regular reins, lower my hands, and cue her to drop her head.

                    Since then I think my hands are much better because I have never needed them on any horse. Maybe I'm just lucky?

                    I don't think I'd ever use a draw rein picture to sell a horse, though.
                    “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                    St. Padre Pio


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by microbovine View Post
                      I used draw reins on one horse briefly to try and get better collection. I did it the way I was taught to use them by the trainer. Her method had tight rules about using them, such as; make sure they were long enough in case the horse tripped, keep the regular reins attached so you can drop the draw reins, if needed, and only ride in an arena. After a few short sessions and teaching my mare a cue to drop her head, I could return to regular reins, lower my hands, and cue her to drop her head.

                      Since then I think my hands are much better because I have never needed them on any horse. Maybe I'm just lucky?

                      I don't think I'd ever use a draw rein picture to sell a horse, though.
                      Your hands may be better after getting the feel draw reins teach the horse AND rider.
                      That is how they were used when teaching riding instructors.

                      Once you get that feel, then you really can do the same without the draw reins, using your hands as draw reins do.
                      For that purpose, they are one more tool to teach the rider, but that would not be how they are used when jumping and in an ad for a horse.
                      There, well, there ought to be some explanation for them, or a clueless seller.


                      • #12
                        They are a tool, just like anything else. The rein nazis will scream in horror, but they can be very useful and educational for the horse if you know how to use them properly. They should not be used constantly, but for a specific and carefully thought out purpose. I have no issues with them being used correctly and there are a lot of excellent riders, teachers and trainers I know personally who do so. And win Rolex with happy, correct horses. So no, they are not voodoo which will ruin a horse on contact, LOL.
                        Last edited by wildlifer; Apr. 7, 2013, 09:46 AM. Reason: spellin
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          The big key to *any* training aid, regardless of whether it's draw reins or a loose ring snaffle, is knowing when, why and how to use it properly. I have used draw reins a few times, and it's usually just for a quick tune-up right before a show (I was showing breed ring Morgans at the time). Everything was already pretty well established, and I was just polishing the headset a teeny bit. They were usually actively being used for five or so minutes of the entire ride, the rest of the time I was riding off the snaffle rein. They're not my favorite way to train, and I very rarely use them as anything other than a quick bit of fine-tuning before a show. There are plenty of ways to use them correctly, and plenty of ways to use them incorrectly, and everyone will have a slightly different opinion on where the line between those two is.
                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                          • #14
                            I am familiar with a barn where draw reins are almost always used. Often they are mitigated somewhat by attaching them to German martingale reins but even then the reins are often slack while the draw reins are tight. Lesson horses are always in German martingales regardless of the experience or lack thereof of the rider. Coming from a background of dressage (many years ago) and my daughter's focus in dressage, I have never really seen draw reins used. The barn is a former show Morgan barn. Could that be it? Do Morgan people use draw reins all the time? I hate seeing children and adults learn to ride with draw reins for fear they will continue the habit.
                            "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp