What's the difference between these reins? The reason I ask is because a friend of ours was riding her horse with some reins that attached to the girth buckle (western) then ran through the bit (ring at the end of the shank) and around the neck. I was just wondering what kind of reins they were. I wasn't really impressed by the way she was using them but what do I know. It looked a bit harsh to me as the horse had his nose towards his chest and it looked terribly uncomfortable, but I'm pretty ignorant and not familiar with this set up - just observing.
You probably cannot see but these go over the head and sit at the poll. You tighten them at the poll. Then you put each rein though each side of the bit and attach the end to the girth or girth straps...These are called bungee reins. I use them and they are great! I had them on my horse the other day while lunging her. They were realllly lose but she still held her head very nicely ( Which she usually doesn't do)
Your friend obviously had them too tight or the horse could have been over exaggerating like Lola did.
Sounds like she was using draw reins - although I can't say i've ever heard of them used with a curb bit (which I assume it was as you said "shank" in regards to the bit"). They can have their benefits but it doesn't sound like they were being used properly in this case, imo.
Yes! They were just like the first picture Dubya posted. And yes they were used with a curb bit (possibly even a longer shank than the picture). The horse really had his nose tucked in and it just looked so uncomfortable! I don't recall the rider using a tight rein but she would constantly be "popping" the reins. I honestly don't know anything about these or why they are used but I'm assuming they are used to get a horse to set it's head in an attempt to collect?