draw reins, bits, and spurs *Rant* - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-29-2010, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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draw reins, bits, and spurs *Rant*

I just need to rant for a moment because this is just irritating me, Its not supposed to start any controversy.

I had a student a bit ago. Shes about 11 and was doing 4H with her pony. She had a just broke 7 year old and was a very nervous and anxious rider. The pony was barely green broke. I explained to the parents about getting a more schooled pony while her other one got some training. I even offered to get the basics on her for free for just a project of my own. They refused because they looovee her and the child seems to make all the decisions. I worked with the client for about 3 months and got her to the point where she could walk trot in a relaxed manner and correct her pony when she tried to break gait or duck into the middle of the arena. I had some personal issues so ended up moving about an hour away.

I've kept in touch off and on, but today is the first time I have seen her in about 7 months. She was riding with my former instructor where I board who is very successful in the WP world and has students constantly at world and congress.

I watched the student ride and she can no longer get her diagonals, cant correct a wrong one, and can not neck rein.

The solution by the end of the night was to put the horse in draw reins, change the short mild shanked western bit she had (required for showing), and replace it with a long shanked bit which she proceeded to direct rein in. There was talk about getting her spurs.

I'm not really mad at the parents because they dont seem to be show people and are trusting the instructor. I'm dissapointed with the instructor though. I hate how instead of taking a weekend show out of the picture and teaching your horse to neck rein, you just put a bigger bit in the mouth.

What irritates me is SHE WINS but I see her and her students riding heavy handed, always with their heads tied down, and with big bits being ridden two handed.
I dont feel theres anything I can say, but it just irritates the hell outta me!
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 12:10 AM
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I sympathise with you. It's sad for the poor pony, but also for the naive child who will grow up with the 'bigger bit' attitude. I also think it's a pity that these methods are encouraged & rewarded in shows, instead of skill & talent. Know the feeling, altho my experience with these sorts is mainly in being a bit of a 'last ditch' effort(showies around here often don't acknowledge 'natural' types can teach them anything until they've given up...), so they tend to come to me in all the excess gear & attitude & we hopefully lose it along the way!
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah. It's very difficult for me be able to tell them there is a better way when its what everyone who is placing of her clients is doing
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 12:19 AM
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That's a hard situation! Especially to see that the student and the horse have gone backwards, and you are in no way able to really help out.

I was at a local arena the other day, and saw a kind of similar situation, not to mention the rider was in a saddle much too small for the beginner rider.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 12:24 AM
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Why are draw reins always what people resort too??? That happens here a lot as well. Why not take a little more time and work through the problem???

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's really hard. Kids see sawing on the reins and spurring becaues thats what they see the adults doing. Ick.

I cant stand the draw reins like this. She kept saying "That looks so pretty!" And "Thats how you get ribbons!"

I'll buy the kid a box load of ribbons if she'll just train her pony
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 08:05 AM
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I have had the same thing happen before. I got busy, didn't have an indoor for the winter, etc etc etc. Students went somewhere else and they ended up backsliding bad and they even comment about how they felt better riding with me and yet they stay with the new trainer because they win enough to justify it.

I had someone take 1 lesson from me. She was a horribly off balance rider. Started riding in her 40s and had some physical issues but was "sound" for riding. She took lessons for years from a trainer notorious for teaching you how to ride the horse you're on but not actually anything about equitation or a balanced seat. Then because it was the in thing she bought a green broke OTTB. She would ride straight upright like a board with stirrups too long and balanced pretty much totally off her hands. It was an instructor's nightmare. I worked with her on finding a better stirrup length, showing her how to lengthen her whole leg instead of just jamming her heels down with a straight knee and I had her posting to her hands instead of the other way around. She kept saying how much better her horse was going. Then her old instructor got upset that she took a lesson with someone else and she never came back. I saw her at a show recently and her only riding improvement in 2 years is that she has the exact same position but she somehow doesn't balance on her hands anymore, but she has the look of a rider balancing on her hands while riding on the buckle. It's the strangest position I have ever seen but fortunately for her the OTTB she got is very forgiving so in this case it doesn't look good and he's completely inverted but neither of them are in danger.
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Oh God Nitty, that would irritate me too! This girl has a pretty forgiving pony too, but I can see she's starting to get sour on trotting around in circles for hours while her rider flops around.

Today on Facebook theyre talking about how "She has 2 new bits! (she changed from a snaffle to a kimberwick as well) and she is doing SO much better" and other riders are telling her how much she will learn.

I just want to beat my head off a wall
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 03:25 PM
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I always feel so sorry for the ponies who end up with there heads strapped to there chest with to much bit for there mouth all beacuase someone wont correct there riding

To give a horse your heart guarantees a love that will last forever undamageable
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-30-2010, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Solon View Post
Why are draw reins always what people resort too??? That happens here a lot as well. Why not take a little more time and work through the problem???
I kind of think the majority of it, is pure ignorance. I have to admit, I used draw reins, with a shank bit - and straight reined. It was actually not until I posted some critique pics on this forum that I started really researching it. I got ripped apart. I have very gentle hands and I truley love my horse, so I'm in no way an abusive person, yet...

What I didn't realize was that by using the draw reins (and a slow-twist snaffle after the beating I took over the shank) that I was obtaining "head-set" in that, his head was down... But he was also lugging on the bit and VERY heavy on the forehand.

I've since switched back to my shank and a training fork, with one hand and a loose rein.

It's amazing how little people really know about the uses of training devices. How to really use them and what to use them for. A lot of people use them for CORRECTION when really, it should be for GUIDANCE...

I don't know what I'm saying... am I ranting? I'm ranting....

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
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