A question about using training harnesses to help with establishing a better frame - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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A question about using training harnesses to help with establishing a better frame

Has anyone ever had experience with using a training harness like this one?

Economy Balance Training System - Statelinetack.com

My mare has the bad habit of nosing out, but when I collect her up she slows down to a pokey western jog (she used to be a western horse and some habits are just hard to break). I use a light spur (Prince of Wales 3/4" neck) already. I was thinking about trying a training harness on top of our mounted collection training, but I've never used one before.

Any information y'all might have would be great, thanks!

Last edited by palmettogirl915; 10-22-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 09:09 PM
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I've never used any thing like that, but I have used just a plain old surcingle and side reins, and I have driven my horse using the surcingle. I find that these options are just as good as the 'balancing' system thing you've got here. Using side reins can help keep your mares head in a nicer position and they have a lot of give so if she freaks out she can put her head up. Driving gives you the opportunity to use the same pressures as you would when you ride.
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post #3 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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So when you've used side reins you use the long driving reins that run through the surcingle? Or do you use the short reins that hook to the surcingle?

Also, (and I'm going to capitalize, underline, AND bold this so nobody overlooks it ) THIS IS NOT ME RIDING! This is my roommate who hasn't ridden a whole lot. I'm just posting this to show what Bourbon looks like when the rider is not asking for collection and bend.



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post #4 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 10:53 PM
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Most of those balancing systems are unnecessary gimmicks. Work on flexation and rounding of her body, and her neck will balance itself out. You don't need 20 straps for that.


Just a note, I think your bit/bridle might be ill fitted. The bit should be verticle with her nose, not at a diagnol like that.
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
Most of those balancing systems are unnecessary gimmicks. Work on flexation and rounding of her body, and her neck will balance itself out. You don't need 20 straps for that.


Just a note, I think your bit/bridle might be ill fitted. The bit should be verticle with her nose, not at a diagnol like that.
Yeah, as soon as I posted this I started doing some looking around. This is a great website because it doesn't just say the stuff doesn't work, but instead explains why:
::: Sustainable Dressage - Tack & Auxillary Equipment - Gadgets & Auxiliary Equpiment :::

And my bridle/bit are not incorrect. I use keepers with my full cheek, hollow snaffle. It's not wrong, just different. It promotes a quieter bit in the mouth. Plus this is the bridle that I hunt in also and having keepers lessens your chance of the bit getting caught on something. Here's a great page that explains it and has pictures: Fitting a Full Cheek Snaffle | EQUINE Ink
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-22-2011, 11:25 PM
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Yep. She's strung out and hollow backed alright. I start my horses lunging in just a flat webbed halter. In my opinion the knotted rope halters are a money making gimmick. Almost all green horses tend to fall to the outside when first lunged in a halter.(Any halter) I don't worry about it too much. When the horse learns to stop, trot and canter on voice command and do transitions on the line I put a snaffle on him without reins and lunge him with the line still attached to the halter which is under the bridal. Next, I attach reins to the bit. They can be made out of pieces light rope about five feet long. I use a surcingle and attach the reins to the rings at shoulder blade height or a little higher with very light pressure on the mouth. The inside rein has to be slightly shorter than the outside in order to get the horse to bend to the inside. The lunge line is still attached to the halter. As the horse gets used to the pressure on its mouth I gradually shorten the reins at the surcingle. This may be over a period of days or even weeks. The goal is a vertical face. The horse should be able to go in this frame at an extended trot and canter. When the horse becomes submissive to the rein pressure I transfer the lunge line to the bit. You may have to get after the horse at first to get it to move forward when bitted up. You have to do the exercise in both directions. This will cure the falling out on the lunge line. You next apply what you have taught your horse on the ground under saddle. Lateral flexation exercises will also help teach your horse to bend to the inside and make it more supple. Start in a 10 meter circle and shorten it until your horse is turning bent to the inside in a very small circle and then widen it again. A word of warning. If you attempt to bit the horse up without the preliminary work on the longe line the result may be a spectacular wreck and injury.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eliduc View Post
Yep. She's strung out and hollow backed alright. I start my horses lunging in just a flat webbed halter. In my opinion the knotted rope halters are a money making gimmick. Almost all green horses tend to fall to the outside when first lunged in a halter.(Any halter) I don't worry about it too much. When the horse learns to stop, trot and canter on voice command and do transitions on the line I put a snaffle on him without reins and lunge him with the line still attached to the halter which is under the bridal. Next, I attach reins to the bit. They can be made out of pieces light rope about five feet long. I use a surcingle and attach the reins to the rings at shoulder blade height or a little higher with very light pressure on the mouth. The inside rein has to be slightly shorter than the outside in order to get the horse to bend to the inside. The lunge line is still attached to the halter. As the horse gets used to the pressure on its mouth I gradually shorten the reins at the surcingle. This may be over a period of days or even weeks. The goal is a vertical face. The horse should be able to go in this frame at an extended trot and canter. When the horse becomes submissive to the rein pressure I transfer the lunge line to the bit. You may have to get after the horse at first to get it to move forward when bitted up. You have to do the exercise in both directions. This will cure the falling out on the lunge line. You next apply what you have taught your horse on the ground under saddle. Lateral flexation exercises will also help teach your horse to bend to the inside and make it more supple. Start in a 10 meter circle and shorten it until your horse is turning bent to the inside in a very small circle and then widen it again. A word of warning. If you attempt to bit the horse up without the preliminary work on the longe line the result may be a spectacular wreck and injury.
Yes she does that when I don't ask her to collect up, but she is willing to collect when I ask for it. The picture above is like the worst of the worst. Also, she already knows how to lunge (walk, trot, canter, whoa, etc) so that's not a problem. She has also already been lunged in the bridle without reins before.

Now, on to today, eliduc I took your advice and went slow to make sure she wouldn't flip out. I got out the barn today and found out that my friend actually has surcingle and side reins with sections of elastic in them that she is going to let me use as long as I need! We tacked up my mare in the surcingle, and hooked the side reins to it, but didn't hook the other end to her bridle yet.

I spent a few minutes just lunging her with the lunge line hooked to the halter, when she was moving along nicely and listening to cues I added the side reins hooked to her snaffle on the loosest setting they could go. My friend was watching just in case something went wrong, but Bourbon handled them like an old pro. After a few rounds of that with her not caring a bit, I tightened them a couple holes more to where she had super light contact with her mouth.

She was perfect! She started collecting, bending at the pole, moving off nicely at the walk and trot, and curving to the inside. She could have cared less about the reins or anything. I'm going to keep her at this hole for a while and then shorten them a hole or two more.

Thanks so much for the advice and input y'all! I think this system is really going to work well for us! I might post some pictures later...
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliduc View Post
The inside rein has to be slightly shorter than the outside in order to get the horse to bend to the inside.

This is actually incorrect.
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:47 PM
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Using Draw Reins and Side Reins
This is an informative article that may help you
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
Using Draw Reins and Side Reins
This is an informative article that may help you
Thank you, churumbeque, that was a very good article and I actually ended up following it in what I did today with Bourbon!

For now I am going to leave the sides at an equal length because I was watching Bourbon and she was bending to the inside naturally just fine. (Plus, I don't have to worry about adjusting lengths when I want her to reverse hehe )
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