Draw Reins: Good or Bad? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-19-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Draw Reins: Good or Bad?

So i have been considering using draw reins on my 9 yo mare. She has been use primarily as a trail/lesson horse and i would like to start teaching her a little more to get in the show ring. I have tried getting her to set her head with normal split reins and mild curb bit, but she is just not getting the idea. I was thinking about using draw reins like once a week for a while, just to give her an idea of what i am looking for. And switch back to normal reins right after riding with draw reins. Just so you know, i am very light with my hands and will not force her into doing anything that would be uncomfortable to her. Or should i maybe try a different bit? Any thoughts?

Last edited by 333WalkerChloe333; 08-19-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-19-2013, 01:43 PM
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you are perhaps too light with your hands. I mean, you ask for something, she resists, you give up. she learned "resist the hand and it will go away".
Does this describe your situation? I mean, if you are trying to teach her to flex to the bit, you must use as much hand as it takes to get that, THEN release. soon, she will flex very easily and you will be able to have light hands again.

However, all that is moot if she is resisting due to stiffness in her body. since how she places her head is best as a result of how she uses her body, then one would want to focus more on that. Is she really able to move out when asked? does she stop soft, or does she lean hard on the bit? Does she canter counter bent on a circle?

Would you be willing and interested in posting a video of her, and perhaps you riding her?

But, the short answer to your question is that if your hand is so light that the horse ignores it, then you must get stronger until you get what you ask for, then go light. the horse can have lightness if she answers it, but if you are so light that the horse just blows right through your rein cues, then stop right there, GET the thing you asked for, then go back to being light. you build in sensitivity, just as by stopping short of what you want, you build in INsensitivity.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-19-2013, 02:52 PM
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Yes, I would recommend draw reins for this mare. Just not every day, well, you know that already!:) You could also use bungee reins on her.
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