My trainer wants me to saddle my horse and lunge her with side reins, before I ride her tomorrow. We did this at my lesson today but my trainer attached the side reins while I was hunting down a lunge whip and then took them off when I went back to the barn after my forgotten helmet.
It just occurred to me, that I have no idea how she attached the side reins to my dressage saddle and she won't be around to ask tomorrow. So uh, how do I attach the side reins to my saddle?
If you're lunging in a saddle - slip the end of the side rein under your girth and buckle. Then clip to the bit AFTER you have attached your lunge rein. If you clip the side reins on before you have the lunge rein attached, a horse (particularly one not used to side reins) can very easily injure themselves if they get a fright.
I really think your instructor should be teaching you how to lunge in side reins though, as if you don't use them correctly, you just end up teaching the horse to suck back off the contact, or hang onto the bit, serving no useful people. It is REALLY important that you make sure her hind legs are active, tracking up and she is accepting the contact.
I am hoping the side reins are not on there to pull her head down? As that is NOT the intention of side reins.
My horse is used to side reins, I've been using them with her as directed by my trainer as well as my trainer also works with her in them, just until today we used a surcingle with them.
I normally spend the first few minutes of each ride with her fussing about accepting contact, followed by her throwing a tantrum about bending to the left and then finally settling down. After lunging her in side reins while saddled today and then getting right on, she happily accepted contact from the start and while she was slightly grumpy at first about bending to the left, it was a 100% improvement. So my trainer wants me to repeat it tomorrow.