Side Rein Debate - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-23-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Side Rein Debate

I know some people who ride in side reins. They claim that it improves their horses top line. But does it really? What happens when you take them off for your local dressage show? Does your horse magically get into a perfect frame and go around? Or does he throw his head out, excited about the ability to move it somewhere? What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback!
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-23-2012, 09:17 PM
Green Broke
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Uh you don't ride in side reins. You use them when lunging. And that's only part of the training. I use them to help when lunging as my horse will go around with her head up but undersaddle she automatically lowers her head.
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post #3 of 22 Old 08-23-2012, 09:23 PM
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Hmmm, I only ever use side-reins when longeing. I heard you can use them while riding the horse, but only while being longed as it can confuse them.
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-23-2012, 09:50 PM
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Really have to comment here. Bad thing to use! A skilled rider can use Drawreins if needed short term. The whole concept of riding is seat/leg to rein, not to crank their head into a "pretty" position. Sort of become Rollkur in ignorant hands. Study more before you think of trying it Please!
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-23-2012, 09:59 PM
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Side reins are not a 'bad thing' to use, they are a very useful aid, but as with every other aid they need to be used with understanding, and refinement. I love using side reins while lunging, it can start helping a horse reach through into a contact and to lift through the back.


You can slap then on crank them up tight, make sure your horse has to travel above and behind the bit with his back in a loop/

Some side reins, different outcome
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-24-2012, 10:28 AM
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You don't ride with side reins. Or are you talking about draw reins? I'm not fan of using side reins for lunging (although I'm not big about lunging in general), and I think draw reins is the gimmick that doesn't train a horse, but rather force it. Side reins may force into the "headset" too, but it doesn't mean horse moves correctly. And no, you will NOT get frame/headset/moving correctly (!) magically. It involves lots of correct riding and building right muscles.

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post #7 of 22 Old 08-24-2012, 12:17 PM
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In Europe they do not take the side reins off until you can ride very very well. The barn I grew up riding at (owner was from Austria) all the horses went in side reins until you could ride well enough to gallop and jump (e.g. about 2 years).
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post #8 of 22 Old 08-24-2012, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by NeuroticMare View Post
In Europe they do not take the side reins off until you can ride very very well. The barn I grew up riding at (owner was from Austria) all the horses went in side reins until you could ride well enough to gallop and jump (e.g. about 2 years).

Puts on puzzled face, what are you calling side reins? I think it must be different to what I call side reins
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-24-2012, 12:51 PM
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Only, only when a horse is on a lunge line is it acceptable to use side reins, whether there is a ride or board or not. It is dangerous to use side reins when the only one attached to the horse is the rider as the rider cannot adjust them/release them from their position in the saddle.
Draw reins, de gouges, etc.. are designed for use in the saddle.

I like to lunge in side reins, properly adjusted, as they help the horse to learn about contact. When riding it is important for the rider to learn to use her body and "rest" her hands on the withers to learn about contact herself, or to teach the horse. Going "round" does not come from the hands - it comes from the hind legs of the horse, and holding the horse's head down with over tightened side reins is poor horsemanship, whether on the lunge, or especially when riding.
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-24-2012, 07:39 PM
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I would only ever use side reins while lunging and they're used as something for the horse to stretch into, not to strap their head down. I like them because they simulate a riders contact when lunging and, if adjusted correctly do not pull on the horse.

As much as I like dislike draw reins, I would rather see someone ride in them (off the lunge) than side reins, because of their adjustability. I actually see a lot of people lunging in draw reins, which they say are much less restrictive, but they still have a downwards pull and I always see the horses getting jabbed in the mouth with them.
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