When to put the kabosh on the side reins? - Page 2

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When to put the kabosh on the side reins?

This is a discussion on When to put the kabosh on the side reins? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-04-2013, 03:29 PM
The horse should NOT drop its head/close the throat latch...if that happens the bit will work on the bars (cause pain). The horse should just work into a connection steadily. Hence why they are initially attached to the caveson (to avoid pain or precipitous longitudinal flexion.
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    03-04-2013, 03:38 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by equitate    
The PURPOSE of sr is to get a horse to work evenly into a connection, NOT for 'giving to the bit'. Ideally first the horse is in a lunge caveson, and the first contact with side reins are to the caveson. The horse works into a light connection (usually the inside is one or two wholes shorter). The purpose is very light lateral flexibility, and steady connection (ideally in trot because thehorse needs to be able to telescope/bascule with the w or c). They should be attached at the height of the rider's knee or there abouts.

IF there are too loose or esp when they are too low they act on the bars, give pain, etc. The handler first puts the horse on a small(isH) circle, puts the horse between the hand (pointed at the mouth) and the leg (whip pointed at point of hip). The horse must go forward/stay in front of the leg (aka whip touches). The fact that she backs away would say they are too low, or there is no lateral flexion. The handler SHOULD know how to properly start the horse, or have help. IF the horse rushes, go back to walk, as many times as necessary.

Do they help the horse understand a steady connection? Yes, if they are PROGRESSIVELY applied. Another good way is driving (in hand work).

The leather side reins with a donut have a small amount of give, they are certainly better than the elastic ones (because of their huge recoil action). But the handler should progressively lead the horse with them, have a helper walk on the outside while the handler lunges the horse. But any person lunging HAS to know how to drive the horse forward clearly, and that comes from other methodical work in hand first.

THIS THIS THIS. Lunging is a part of training. It is not where you hook the horse up with a halter and a line and run them in a circle. Lunging should have PURPOSE.

I preach the "lunging cavesson" sermon a LOT here. Have had that sermon dissed too. Well, here we are.. another voice in the wilderness. LOL

If your mare is afraid of the side reins then attach them to the cavesson. Not to the bit. Get the donut with the rein in the middle kind. They have give but it is limited.
    03-04-2013, 03:41 PM
Green Broke
I always lunge without side reins for the first few minutes and let the horse stretch and get warmed up. I then do them up loosely and go from there, as the horse adjusts I tighten them up. I never have them really tight though as it just puts the horse BTV. I only use ones that have the rubber donut in them or elastic. Especially with a green horse.
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    03-04-2013, 03:53 PM
First question: does you mare know how to accept any sort of bit pressure???

If she knows how to give when you apply pressure to the reins that she is most likely just claustrophobic to the pressure of the two fixed side reins. Horses who are more sensitive/reactive tend to be this way when you "fix" them in a certain position because it makes them feel trapped, and as we all know side reins don't release unless the horse puts it head DOWN. If you mare is pulling up on the sidereins how can we expect there to be any release...and the more she backs up and the tenser she gets, the more pressure is put on her mouth.

My mare is exactly the same, in fact I wouldn't dare put her into two fixed sidereins again until she is further on in her training.

What you need to try is only applying the OUTSIDE siderein and then string your longe line through the ring of her bit on the inside (only in a snaffle bit) and then hook the longe line snap back to the surcingle (or d-ring on you saddle) so the longe line acts as your inside siderein. This method is a much better approach because there is RELEASE. The minute you feel her tense up and want to surge backwards you release that inside longe line and let her back out...yet you will still be able to pick up on it and supple her to the inside. Like others said, longeing should have a purpose but sometimes we have to convert our methods for certain horses Good luck!
    03-04-2013, 05:56 PM
I would long-line her, so there's release on both sides
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    03-04-2013, 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by Sahara    
How does a horse forget there is a big chunk of metal in its mouth? If this is why you are using side reins you are using them incorrectly for the wrong reason.
No I am not. I use them with babies to help them respond. If your bit is a 'big chunk of metal' you're not using the right bit.
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    03-04-2013, 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by palogal    
No I am not. I use them with babies to help them respond. If your bit is a 'big chunk of metal' you're not using the right bit.
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Well then educate me. What bit isn't made of some type of metal? Other than the crap rubber ones out there? I hardly think a horse forgets about any bit in its mouth, whether it be a big or little chunk of metal.

I feel sorry for your babies.
    03-04-2013, 11:44 PM
I don't think your horse needs them yet... just when you ride this horse, have "elastic" arms and be willing to give and keep things steady instead of yanky or bouncy.

Side reins are helpful however I do not believe you need them at this stage. This will most likely create problems.......
    03-05-2013, 12:35 AM
Originally Posted by Sahara    
Well then educate me. What bit isn't made of some type of metal? Other than the crap rubber ones out there? I hardly think a horse forgets about any bit in its mouth, whether it be a big or little chunk of metal.

I feel sorry for your babies.
I wasn't arguing with 'metal' but the 'big chuck' part. Babies often raise their heads too much and ignore the bit, with the little bit of movement from the loose side reins, they learn to pay attention to it and it also helps them to develop a quiet mouth.

Side reins have no place in a properly trained horse. I will say they are GREAT for a horse that's coming back from a long period of rest due to injury or something, they can really help strengthen topline if used properly to prepare the horse to back under saddle.

As for feeling sorry for my babies? Really?
    03-05-2013, 12:58 AM
The reason that s.r. Are first put onto a caveson is so that the horse will work into a connection/light press so that there is NO pain on the bars. And then when they are connected to the bit (appropriate height, not set low), th ehorse should NOT put its head down. That is a mis-application of s.r/draw reins/etc.

IF one puts only one side rein on (outside) I would NOT recommend stringing the line through the surcingle rein, since that can pull the horse around in a circle and get the handler in real trouble if they do not have good lungeing skills. Just go straight from the caveson (or inside bit ring...ideally a D-ring, full cheek or fulmer) to the handler's hand.

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