Using the reins to correct a horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Using the reins to correct a horse?

*sorry for the second post today*
I've seen some girls at the riding club I'm in who use their reins to correct their horses. Like say their horse rears a little bit when entering the arena for a barrel run or tries to bite another horse on the trail-- they'll like, pop them in the mouth with the reins, which tends to make their horses raise their head and kind of flinch their heads and stuff... Is it okay?
Today Specs was being stubborn and wouldn't go away from the trailer when we were heading out for the trails, and one of the girls was like "Just pop him in the mouth and give him an extra kick" ...I hesitated at first, because it seems against my horsey-morals to use the bit like that, but they were waiting up for me and he was doing his classic stubborn-horse shenanigans (when I'll cueing him to go forward and he just stops and raises his head, backs up like he's threatening to rear...) So, long story short, I was pressured into using the bit to correct him. The worst part was: he listened to it and continued on...
Idk if I'm overreacting, maybe it's actually fine to discipline with the reins, but something tells me that it's wrong and is ruining his mouth
Idk. What's your take on it?

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post #2 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:24 AM
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If you are only using their mouth for every single no-no, then shame on you. Ill stick a bit in your mouth and yank around...

But you've only done it once ;) Your just fine. Sometimes, they need an extra snap, and that's fine. Its when that's the only punishment they get id where it becomes a problem. But you? Just chill :) You haven't done anything bad :)
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:25 AM
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Hummmmmmmmmmmmm, I would not knowingly hurt his mouth in that way. Just is wrong IMO. Do you have a riding whip or crop???

Biting another horse, maybe. But not heading out, use something else to pop them on the butt.

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post #4 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:37 AM
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One thing you can do, if you don't have a crop or whip or whatever, is, if your reins are long enough, to just take the ends of them and give a smack on the buttock.

It doesn't have to be hard, just enough to gain their attention. Or get something that makes noise enough to urge them on.
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 01:06 AM
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Smile using reins to correct horse

personally wouldn't do it because I want a horse with a nice mouth that responds to just a change in hand position or slight pressure, I don't like constant head tossing or a horse that lugs on a bit like a freight train. I have read that when a horse balks and refuses to go forward then make him back up instead. Havent tried this while riding yet but it worked great with a stubborn pony on a leadline. They don't normally like to go backwards so they will gladly go forward next time you ask. Try it next time and follow your instincts to stay out of his mouth.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 03:16 AM
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I won't lie- I have lost my temper and done this before, in situations like the one you described. People are waiting on you, your horse is being a brat, you're feeling frustrated, and bam- yank the bit, kick him hard in the sides. It gets their attention alright, but that's about it.
It is not an acceptable way of disciplining, in my book- it's confusing, it's hurtful, and not necessary. But if you just got caught up in the moment and it happened, like the situation was for me whenever I did it, learn from it and move on. You just have to realize that it's more important to keep a bunch of people waiting for you, or stay behind, to catch your breath and do the right thing with your horse in the long run than it is to let them rush you into doing something like this.
If you have long enough reins, you can pick them up and smack their butt or their shoulders. I think this is a better alternative because then you can keep the horse from tossing their head up with the other hand, and you're not going to give them mixed signals or potentially lose their sensitivity to the bit.
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 10:40 AM
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I like my horses to be light in the bit. But if they go and bit another horse or person ill give them a pull on the bit to get they thinking about me. But I never give them a hard jank.
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 10:43 AM
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Never ever. Don't ever do it. You want the horse to be accepting the bit, not afraid of it. The bit should be associated with cues the horse has learned to understand, not tantrums of the rider (I know, you were peer pressured etc, this isn't directed at you specifically, please don't be offended) that the horse has no idea how to respond to.
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Deschutes View Post
One thing you can do, if you don't have a crop or whip or whatever, is, if your reins are long enough, to just take the ends of them and give a smack on the buttock.

It doesn't have to be hard, just enough to gain their attention. Or get something that makes noise enough to urge them on.
Sans crop, I have actually used my open palm and SMACKED her on the butt and it worked pretty well for us!

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post #10 of 29 Old 05-31-2012, 12:20 PM
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Oooh, hands work nicely, too. I generally try not to use my hands because they end up hurting usually upon impact in any means of discipline. But then again, i'm a wuss when it comes to pain.
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