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Tell me about draw reins

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  • Horse in draw reins
  • Draw reins

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    08-18-2011, 07:58 AM
  #11
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Do you do anything with the hind legs? The horse is inconsistent in the contact because it sounds as though you are fussing with his head and forgetting that the rest of his body is there too. Once his hind legs are working and he starts to come over the back, he will naturally want to come into the bridle and your contact will be far more steady, there will be no need to pull his head down
I'm adding pressure with my calves, more or less depending on what's needed to get him moving forward.

I also have both regular reins and draw reins attached at the same time. When I try to use the regular reins as the primary contact and the draw reins as the back up, support, contact to get his head down, nothing happens. I struggle to keep the correct amoutn of tension on all 4 reins! My pinky and ring finger are between the two reins. So I tie the main reins up and use the draw reins only. I do keep trying though. :)
     
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    08-18-2011, 06:37 PM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBubbles    
Is it possible to attatch both draw reins and normal reins at the same time? Just thinking maybe if you used draw reins to maintain his head during transitions and normal reins for during whatever gait your doing.
(Just an idea, as I said I've never used them)
You never use draw reins without a regular rein. Never ever ever. You should always have your regular rein attached to the bit. Draw reins are never to be used in place of reins.

gigem88 and brackenbramley like this.
     
    08-18-2011, 07:47 PM
  #13
Foal
Hey there draw reins!!!!!!!! You have had some good advice already as stated above never to be ridden without your normal reins as super dangerous! (I know you are aware of that) I have had some tricky horses and I must admit the only time I've felt draw reins really helped were with an old showjumper I had who had gone around his whole life with a terrible head carriage and I used them to start correcting his poor muscle formation purely as an aid to try and build his upside down neck up, so I could carry on schooling him, he was incredibly strong and his mouth had been ruined.

I must admit (in my opinon) I think you are better in continueing to school your horse without the draw reins teaching him to work in a true outline over his back properly, and working well from behind. To aid muscle build up you could add in some lungeing either with side reins or a pessoa (im not sure I've spelt that correctly sorry) but this is hard going on your horse so if your not confident get your instructor to guide you with this. Good luck xx :)
     
    08-18-2011, 08:18 PM
  #14
Trained
Speaking as someone who has always been against draw reins, I have to say I now understand how they can help situations a little more.

Mr G and I have struggled for a year to keep him working consistently in frame, but he was always struggling to maintain it. At the dressage retreat my trainer suggested we try them, and after a long discussion with her I decided to give it a go.

One short lesson and I was already seeing benefits, because they were highlighting my inconsistencies in contact. I started with the draw reins in the same tension as my snaffle reins, but pretty soon I could see my snaffle reins were in a loop, Mr G was starting to frame up and I was letting him kind of slide out through the front door

She has advised that I ride him in them no more than once a week, just to help him maintain his outline and more importantly helping me feel the correct weight that I need to have on the reins to keep him working in frame.
     
    08-18-2011, 11:16 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsandhorses    
Leg on. Tighten fingers around reins to increase pressure. Hold steady pressure. As soon as he drops his head I give a little rein to reward him. Then increase steady pressure again to get him to drop his head more. As soon as he drops his head I reward him by giving a little rein. And keep repeating until his head is where I think it should be. Then I try to hold it there with a lgiht rein, making adjustments as necessary. Then it all falls apart and we start over.

I am trying to remember how this was explained to me, about getting the hind end involved. I think the rider will start by asking the horse to give to bit and flex downward, as you do. Then the rider opens the front door a bit and puts leg on , asking the horse to step under themselves and push forward into the bit, (but there is a bit of slack there, inviting the hrose to reach forward. The horse will surge forwrad. If the hrose lifte the head too much, then the rider can kind of "catch" them and try to ask them to soften and hold the energy from falling out the front.

And wash , rinse , repeat.
     
    08-19-2011, 01:27 AM
  #16
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by countercanter    
You never use draw reins without a regular rein. Never ever ever. You should always have your regular rein attached to the bit. Draw reins are never to be used in place of reins.
See now there is another perfect example of why I haven't used them myself , as I said, I'm not experienced enough and didn't even know that you always have your regular reins on too.
-I have learnt something today
     
    08-19-2011, 02:16 AM
  #17
Trained
I agree with Kayty. Also remember you are never holding the horses head down, every stride you must refresh the contact. Use more feel in your fingers and drive from your seat forward through your hand to the bit to maintain and refresh the contact.

As another poster mentioned, it is possible to so severely injure a horse with draw reins, dugougs, etc... to the point where the horse must be humanely euthanised. So they are not a tool to be taken lightly. Personally I have never found a use for them on any horse I've ridden.

Good luck!
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    08-19-2011, 08:02 AM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsandhorses    
I'm adding pressure with my calves, more or less depending on what's needed to get him moving forward.

I also have both regular reins and draw reins attached at the same time. When I try to use the regular reins as the primary contact and the draw reins as the back up, support, contact to get his head down, nothing happens. I struggle to keep the correct amoutn of tension on all 4 reins! My pinky and ring finger are between the two reins. So I tie the main reins up and use the draw reins only. I do keep trying though. :)
Totally inappropriate use.

You said you had an accident with them and the use of these reins by a person that hasn't the knowledge of what their horse is doing WILL lead to a ton of problems later. Only one of which is the horse tripping/falling ( happened on one client's horse I was retraining and the reason she came to me).

Your problem will never ever be corrected because the head position come from CORRECT aids given to the horse when the HIND END is in the correct position to accept them NOT EVER because of stifling and blocking the front end as you are attempting to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Riding is never about the headset.


Correct head position comes from a supple horse with impulsion derived from engaged hind quarters that reaches for the bit via the riders aids and ADAPTS to the bit.
     
    08-19-2011, 09:37 AM
  #19
Foal
Everyone, thanks for all the helpful advice.

I rode today in the arena and actually rode bareback as my leg is still healing. Anyway, my horse does seem to be coming on to the bit with less effort on my part and quicker. And he is holding his position nicely at the walk and through the trot transition. But once I loosen the reins at the trot he head popped up and I could only get it back in position at the walk. I'll count that as progress considering from where we started.

Guess I'll be putting away the draw reins. Doesn't appear they are needed at this point nor that it is safe to continue to use them unsupervised.
     
    08-19-2011, 09:48 AM
  #20
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsandhorses    
Everyone, thanks for all the helpful advice.

I rode today in the arena and actually rode bareback as my leg is still healing. Anyway, my horse does seem to be coming on to the bit with less effort on my part and quicker. And he is holding his position nicely at the walk and through the trot transition. But once I loosen the reins at the trot he head popped up and I could only get it back in position at the walk. I'll count that as progress considering from where we started.

Guess I'll be putting away the draw reins. Doesn't appear they are needed at this point nor that it is safe to continue to use them unsupervised.
Ok, I don't think you're getting the concept of 'head set' having NOTHING to do with pulling the head down and keeping pressure on the bit to keep it there.
I strongly suggest you have a lurk in the dressage section - Spyder has posted some brilliant advice in there regarding half halts and the use of lateral work in dressage. I believe these topics will be of great use to your situation.
If your horse is popping his head back up as soon as you loosen the reins, you've obviously got no motor behind the saddle. Once again, find a coach that can teach you about driving the horse from back to front rather than front to back or you'll wind up with a horse that develops thick under muscle, back issues and terrible contact in the bridle.
     

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