Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH (USA)
I love side reins! (Actually, this thread just made me realize that I should really use some on Jazz...) I find that lunging a horse two or three times a week in them for about ten minutes in each direction has great effects. For the horses that I have worked with at least, they have encouraged them to stretch over their back, and therefore allows them to work through their back from the hind end.
I wouldn't ride with side reins. However, I've sometimes wondered if they might be beneficial for trainers to use with their beginner riders - particuarly for lunge line lessons, as it wold keep the horse working correctly (instead of hollowing through the back, becoming tense, raising their head, and poking their nose out). For the horse, it would sort of be like that beginner rider had perfect hands, wouldn't it? If they were going to be used off the lunge, I can only think that they would have to be very loose (I know that loose side reins aren't all that effective, but it would still be useful for keeping the horse from becoming inverted when it is subjected to a beginner rider (LOL), wouldn't it?)