Trainers and tack - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Trainers and tack

My recent thread on "Draw side or sliding reins" got me thinking about trainers and acceptable tack. I was questioning why a rider was using draw reins with a curb and have since learned that it is a pretty controversial set up. I then started to remember another rider at the same barn who was using a martingale with a cathedral port curb and I'm guessing that is controversial as well. In all fairness I didn't pay attention to how the horse was going because I was too focused on the horse that was ridden in the draw reins (I've never seen them and didn't know what they were). Anyway, this is a show barn and I have heard nothing but good things about the trainer and how he treats his students and the horses. That being said - would this be considered common tack for WP show barns and useful or abusive? Do most winning horses use these methods or do horses ever win without training in this type of set-up? I keep reading about different ways (gentler but more time consuming) to obtain collection but are those ways of training winning at shows? Like I said, this is a reputable show trainer and I assume he produces winning horses. We don't show WP nor have we been to a AQHA show so it is an education for me.

Also, what is the reason for using a cathedral port curb in a show (which I have seen before) if the horse is already trained well? Is it a fear tactic just to make sure the horse doesn't come out of the bridle because the horse is afraid of pain?

What are your thoughts and/or experiences? I am sincerely wondering and don't want to start any thing heated, just trying to learn.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 01:10 AM
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In general it comes down to the rider and how soft their hands are when using gadgets and bigger bits. You can put the harshest bit in the hands of a master with the most gadgets and they can get a soft, willing horse. You can put the mildest bit in a horse's mouth and get a bracey, unwilling and uncomfortable mouth with a hard handed and/or beginner rider up. Running martingales and draw reins take the work out of collection. Most WP trainers have to produce and that means taking certain short cuts. The most common are draw reins and martingales that put downward pressure on the horse's mouth/poll/etc and teaches them to go long and low with less input from the rider than if they were just in a snaffle with no gadgets. Does this result in a horse that moves long and low and in the "winning" frame? Yes. Does it result in a horse using itself correctly while in that frame? Sometimes.

As for curb bits and gadgets used together, I personally think that it's counter productive and can be cruel in the wrong hands but that's a personal opinion. Look at the horses and that can be a good clue to the type of trainer. If most of them look agitated, scared, tense, etc then I would look for a different trainer. If the overall attitude of their horses seems to be happy, relaxed, willing, etc then I would say they are alright. Now just because someone has horses that are willing to go along with their training does not mean I think their training is right, but I'm not going to pull out the cruel and unusual punishment card either. Big show trainers have to walk a fine line between doing what's best for the horse and getting positive results. If they don't get the results the owner wants then that owner will take the horse to a different trainer who might be worse just because they're a BNT who wins every weekend. That probably didn't clear much up for you but that's my opinion.

As for the bit I'm not really up on the western correction bits. I've never put anything bigger than a mild port or tom thumb curb in my horse's mouth but that's just me. So I have no idea what it does or why you would use it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 03:16 PM
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As far as using a cathedral port curb (or anyother high ported bit) in show- my understanding is that they are used because the slightest hand movement on the reins will cause the bit to rotate. So the higher the port the less you need to move your hand.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 06:27 PM
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Any piece of tack can be mild in the right hands.

Any piece of tack can by severe in the wrong hands.

I personally disapprove of the use of cathedral bits, spade bits, tie-downs (except for roping when the horse quite literally needs to brace himself) and standing martingales. I also strongly dislike draw reins, flash and crank nosebands. All that being said I've seen many horses going in all of these things with no ill effects. I just would never use them personally.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotreddun View Post
Any piece of tack can be mild in the right hands.

Any piece of tack can by severe in the wrong hands.

I personally disapprove of the use of cathedral bits, spade bits, tie-downs (except for roping when the horse quite literally needs to brace himself) and standing martingales. I also strongly dislike draw reins, flash and crank nosebands. All that being said I've seen many horses going in all of these things with no ill effects. I just would never use them personally.

I agree for the most part except a flash noseband used correctly isnt harsh the real point of a noseband is to distribute the pressure to both the upper and lower jaws not to keep a horses mouth cranked shut
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 10:11 PM
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draw reins are also sometimes used on horses that throw their heads up to make sure the rider doesnt get hit in the face that might not be why these people were using this setup but its another use for it
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 09:23 AM
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From my experience it depends on trainer a lot. I worked with 2 trainers, who used to tell me I need to get flash, side reins to lunge, and this, and that... I switched to my current trainer and I ride in the simplest/gentlest possible tack (just a plain french link snaffle with noseband, no extra reins, straps, etc.). And we do progress (unlike with other trainers)!

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westlytraining View Post
I agree for the most part except a flash noseband used correctly isnt harsh the real point of a noseband is to distribute the pressure to both the upper and lower jaws not to keep a horses mouth cranked shut
Every useful purpose of a flash noseband can be achieved with a Grackle or Figure 8...without putting harmful pressure on the horses jaw.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 10:56 AM
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...in my honest opinion...
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 12:36 PM
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as I said used correctly a flash noseband isnt harmful that is why they are adjustable if adjusted correctly it is not harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotreddun View Post
Every useful purpose of a flash noseband can be achieved with a Grackle or Figure 8...without putting harmful pressure on the horses jaw.
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