Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
They CAN help, but I wouldn't rely on them, because if you can't ride her INTO the headset then a headset is pointless. I prefer using side reins on younger horses, very loosely, just to help teach them about the bit without worrying about balancing a rider on their back.
However, you need to be very careful with side reins. You shouldn't ride with them on (some coaches WILL lunge students with side reins, but that should be left solely to the professionals), and anytime you aren't lunging with them, they should be unclipped from the bit and onto the side of your saddle. Always keep your horse moving forward, and make sure you're using them as loose as they go in the beginning to allow your horse to get used to the feeling. Snug side reins can cause a horse to panic and shoot backwards, and without a human to "release the pressure", they will often hurt themselves trying to get away.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.