Side Reins - help! - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-28-2007, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Side Reins - help!

Hello -

I recently purchased my first horse! His previous owner used side reins while warm-up lunging and recommended that I do the same (to encourage proper collection and balance). I have never used side reins, so I would like your advice! I have read that improper use can be very bad. My horse is a little more than green-broke and is very responsive to my gentle rein aids. We ride huntseat.

If side reins are attached too loosely, are there bad consequences?

Should side reins only be used for trot and canter gaits?

As my horse trots, his body motion makes the side reins bounce slightly. Isn't this like unstable hands bouncing at the bit? How can that be of any benefit?

Both side reins same length or inside one slightly shorter?

Thanks for any help or side rein stories you can provide!

~Gina~
Monte - 15 year old Paint/TB
Auric - 13 year old Arab
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-28-2007, 10:30 PM
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If you've never used side reins, I suggest starting loose. Luckily, your horse knows what they are about, so you shouldn't have any of the violent reactions you can have with a young horse when they are started with a too-tight rein. Better to start loose, work your horse a bit till he relaxes, and adjust as needed. Your horse's head should never be behind the vertical. If you are working in a circle, your inside rein should be a hole shorter.

Here's an example of a horse working properly in side reins:



Ed. Oh, one more thing, I don't recommend elastic reins; they mimic a rider with heavy hands, giving no release (aka reward) when the horse travels in the proper frame.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-31-2007, 11:01 AM
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hi ya I use a bungy rein in my horse as they give when the horse does they are so easy going that you can even jump in them ride and lunge I use mine mainly in the round pen but I do ride in it also I find it very good helping them to hold themselves rather than somthing holding them hope this helps as you can't make any mistakes with them
kerry
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-31-2007, 04:30 PM
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I don't recommend using side reins on any green broke horse, it ruins their mouths. On any green broke horse, it is going to be difficult to truly teach any form of collection or balance with side reins.
Side reins are not meant to force the head into frame. They are meant to allow the horse to reach for contact my stretching the neck, which may later result to being in frame. In very advanced training, they also help with self carriage. With that said, you want your side reins to be loose.
There are many trainers that will not allow their horses to be ridden with any contact during the walk. It is said that it can ruin the horse gait at the walk. I've never personally witnessed a walk gone sour by the use of contact, so I am not so sure how much I believe this theory.
The bouncy motion - I'm happy you questioned this. Let me ask you- if you were to ride your horse on loose reins while bouncing and jabbing the horse in the mouth, do you think he'd be less likely to accept contact from the bit in the future? In my opinion, side reins do not make soft mouths.
And as far as being even on both sides - I have seen people do both. I have seen owners tighten the inside rein to mimic some sort of flexion. 99 percent of the time the flexion is false because the horse is only bending through the neck and not through the body.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-01-2007, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
I don't recommend using side reins on any green broke horse, it ruins their mouths. On any green broke horse, it is going to be difficult to truly teach any form of collection or balance with side reins.
Side reins are not meant to force the head into frame. They are meant to allow the horse to reach for contact my stretching the neck, which may later result to being in frame. In very advanced training, they also help with self carriage. With that said, you want your side reins to be loose.
There are many trainers that will not allow their horses to be ridden with any contact during the walk. It is said that it can ruin the horse gait at the walk. I've never personally witnessed a walk gone sour by the use of contact, so I am not so sure how much I believe this theory.
The bouncy motion - I'm happy you questioned this. Let me ask you- if you were to ride your horse on loose reins while bouncing and jabbing the horse in the mouth, do you think he'd be less likely to accept contact from the bit in the future? In my opinion, side reins do not make soft mouths.
And as far as being even on both sides - I have seen people do both. I have seen owners tighten the inside rein to mimic some sort of flexion. 99 percent of the time the flexion is false because the horse is only bending through the neck and not through the body.



I agree-well said
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-03-2007, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristy
I don't recommend using side reins on any green broke horse, it ruins their mouths. On any green broke horse, it is going to be difficult to truly teach any form of collection or balance with side reins.
Side reins are not meant to force the head into frame. They are meant to allow the horse to reach for contact my stretching the neck, which may later result to being in frame. In very advanced training, they also help with self carriage. With that said, you want your side reins to be loose.
There are many trainers that will not allow their horses to be ridden with any contact during the walk. It is said that it can ruin the horse gait at the walk. I've never personally witnessed a walk gone sour by the use of contact, so I am not so sure how much I believe this theory.
The bouncy motion - I'm happy you questioned this. Let me ask you- if you were to ride your horse on loose reins while bouncing and jabbing the horse in the mouth, do you think he'd be less likely to accept contact from the bit in the future? In my opinion, side reins do not make soft mouths.
And as far as being even on both sides - I have seen people do both. I have seen owners tighten the inside rein to mimic some sort of flexion. 99 percent of the time the flexion is false because the horse is only bending through the neck and not through the body.

Agreed.

I don't use side reins with my boy or girlie for that matter.
Using side reins dosnt give you a "true" collection.
If you don't know how to use them I sugest you don't use them untill you have someone experience to help you, well in my case I wouldnt use that at all!!

There are other ways of asking for a horse to collect rather then jamming its head in a frame and keeping it there!
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-04-2007, 11:56 PM
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blehhhhh!! Don't use side reins, there isn't much to be gained from them. Personally I REALLY like sliding side reins, they invite the horse to reach for the contact, stretching the head and neck forward and down. Which in turn helps to develop relaxtion through the back and self carriage because they can't brace on the sliding side reins. If you decide to invest in or borrow a pair set them long and low at first as your horse is green.
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