Do any of you use draw reins? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-16-2010, 09:46 PM
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I've only used them once.
They're a tool and can be bad or good, depending on the hands utilizing them.
On the horse that I used them on for the most part they remained slack with a loop, however he has issues where he gets EXTREMELY stiff and locked in his jaw due to the way he is ridden by his owner sometimes (she does not ride him in draw reins, thank god). For the most part, he doesn't need them. When he realizes the rider on him has a soft connection he'll work beautifully and they're pretty much just there to remind him to relax in the jaw. A little twitch on the draw reins and he's right as rein (pun intended). In the hour I rode him I used them only once or twice.

I don't condone them in the hands of an inexperienced rider, at all, and I've seen far too much of that. Of the many, many horses I've ever ridden, this is the only time I've found the use of draw reins beneficial, and the next time I ride this horse I probably will just leave them off entirely. It'll be more work on my part, but once he gets going and realizes I won't haul on his face he'll move along quite well.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 12:52 PM
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As my GP trainer told me - draw reins should only be used by someone who has been trained in how to properly use them, knows when NOT to use them, knows when to use them, and selectively trains other in their use.

I have ridden dressage about 20 years and have used them for the first time this year. I show third level dressage and we're schooling PSG.

I do not use them lightly - mostly I use them when the mare wants to invert and I don't want to spend the entire ride getting her into the proper TL frame. And when I do use them I use them then stop using them - I never ride just on the draw reins nor use them constantly during the ride. Since I started using them I may never touch the draw rein during most rides (but they're good practice for handling double reins) but when I need it they're there for a quick use/release.

As others have stated - too many "trainers" use them when they shouldn't and get their students to use them who are less prepared.

You should be VERY cautious using draw reins - they can "cut" the edges of the horse mouth besides teach the horses bad habits like coming behind the vertical.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 01:10 PM
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I personally don't have experience with them, but I have made myself knowledgable on them, and I am going to agree with everyone here. They should only be used by experienced individuals who have had the proper taining and education on them. My mother has been riding for 40+ years and has only had to use them a handful of times. I have only been riding for a year, and I would not touch them with a 10' pole. I feel confident that I understand how and when to use them, but I am still developing my seat, driving the horse from it's hind end and being soft, so I would never attempt to use them at this stage in my riding.

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle ~ Winston Churchill"
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 03:30 PM
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I've never been able to find an actual use for them beyond tying down a load of hay.... Nothing a few dressage lessons can't fix anyways.
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 04:25 PM
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There is only one horse I have ever ridden with drawreins. Her name was Lacey, she was a lesson horse at a residential riding camp. She was a large round pony with a strong will, a sway back and a trot as smooth as silk. The camp owner told me to "hold the reins like that, and pretend they aren't there." When I asked why she had them she said "that's how she was trained before we bought her, so we use them." She had them for everything, I have pictures of me learning to jump with her, drawreins and all. At this camp they used her for everything, western games, english flat, over fences, trails, every day 5-6 hours a day, never without those reins. I was about 14 when I rode her...possibly younger, I was totally ignorant about the negative effects of those reins. She was a good pony and I hope she found a good home after the camp closed down.

Here you can see, learning to jump, the reins are slack for my release, but the drawreins are pulled tight (please try to ignore my deplorable position, It was my first time ever jumping):
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-13-2011, 09:49 PM
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On one of my trainer's new horses we use them. He was a pasture horse, but competed in Arab hunters. His original owner would always drop her hands really low when she rode which is what kept his head down. We are now trying to teach him to collect, but to have your hands at a normal position. So while teaching to get him on the bit we use them.

I have no problem with them unless they are used as a crutch or used too severely.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-19-2011, 01:11 AM
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Well I've used draw reins only a select amount of times; mostly to get green horses on the bit. I like them and at the same time don't like them. I find they do get a young horse used to the feeling of his head being in a frame and to develop those muscles. But draw reins can do some damage if not used properly and they can become a crutch for the rider in that some riders will use more hand then leg in getting a horse round and supple. So, I think it is good to use them sparingly.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-19-2011, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Kennedy View Post
Well I've used draw reins only a select amount of times; mostly to get green horses on the bit.
Well then you are using them wrong and your horses are being forced into false outlines.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #19 of 21 Old 01-19-2011, 03:38 AM
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*chuckles* Oh I love it..
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-20-2011, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
Well then you are using them wrong and your horses are being forced into false outlines.
^^ agree with this.

i don't use draw reins and i never will. i can't find a reason to use them. if my horse is green i sure wouldn't be using them, if my horse doesn't go on the bit i use exercises to supple my horse to get him on the bit.

IMO draw reins have a place, it's called the bin...

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