Originally Posted by Ninamebo
Gah! Please listen to MBP!! That video isn't what you need to soften at all.
Also, no on the side reins. You need to teach your horse how to come up to contact and drive from behind without them, otherwise you are just getting the headset and more often than not you're also developing the wrong muscles as horses learn to resist to those aids.
You won't get to use side reins in your test, so why practice with them?
Posted via Mobile Device
When lunging, side reins are actually the best thing to use to teach the horse about contact.
When riding, think about your hands as being side reins - side reins never pull backwards! The action of a side rein is actually exactly what a good contact is like - very steady, the reins will not be taught unless the horse is driven/ridden up into them and there is a little bungee to the contact.
So actually, side reins are great - it is draw reins, dugoges and other contraptions which make a "headset". Posted via Mobile Device