When To Use Draw Reins

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When To Use Draw Reins

This is a discussion on When To Use Draw Reins within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-28-2013, 07:22 PM
When To Use Draw Reins

I am very new to using draw reins. My trainer has briefly introduced them in the retraining of my TB. We use them with a halter, and never through the bit. The reason is that I have trouble knowing when to give to him and when not to. He escapes to much from the contact. Keep in mind that my horse raced for a few years and then spent the next several years with his nose as high as he could get it, being completely introverted. At 22yrs old now, we are retraining him to do basic dressage. He'd never even been asked to come round to contact once in his life previously.

We only use the draws when I'm really riding crappily and can't catch him from getting his nose to high fast enough. I've seen some really detrimental use of draw reins before, and it kind of scares me. I know I can't really hurt him with the draws through the sides of the halter as long as I keep him moving honestly forward and give to him when he comes down. It still worries me though, so I thought it would be a good idea to post on here and see what are the best ways to effectively use a draw rein. I'd love to here what everyone thinks about using draw reins. :)
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    04-28-2013, 07:28 PM
I really don't like draw reins because they give no release and teach horses to go behind the vertical without engaging their backs or hindquarters. I, personally, would never have them in my tack room, but I can't fault proven trainers that do.

It sounds as if this horse is being worked in draw reins to pull his head down without concern for the rest of the body as it pertains to engagement and collection. This horse sounds like he needs to learn how to use his back end, and with that, the giraffe head carriage will go away.
    04-28-2013, 07:55 PM
From the age of 6 to 21 this horse has been as introverted as he can possible get. I've used the draw reins maybe three times in the 60+ rides he's had since we started retraining him. We spent two months on just walk work. Teaching him to bend/flex and the step forward into a contact. He's not the kind of horse you can bully either. He'll fight back if you try to push him around to much. How do you teach a horse to engage his hindquarters if his head isn't lowered? If I were to throw the reins to him and asking him to walk more powerfully he'll lower his head and do it no problem. Four months ago he would have just thrown his head up even higher and started rushing. The draw reins are an aid that have only just been incorporated into his work. The foundation of good walk work is already there, so the draw reins are not being used as a means of force.
    04-28-2013, 08:02 PM
D.r. Were originally used for lateral flexibility (at the atlas/axis) onto a caveson. To ask and allow (not wait for a reaction). That said, why not do work in hand first to teach the horse HOW to mobilize the jaw, to seek/push lightly into the hand?
    04-28-2013, 08:27 PM
I've been doing in hand work with him too. He didn't know how to halt until recently. His mouth is shot from his former owner. I ride him in the sprenger kk 18mm rs dynamic and he really seems to like it. He paces too at the walk too. I bought him like that. He is a good horse, but had no concept of anything except head up and go until recently. I'm in no rush to get him fixed. I'm retraining a life time of bad habits and I'm a complete novice too. We are learning together.
    04-28-2013, 08:46 PM
Jeez. I sound like an idiot an I'm not. I just can't seem to explain myself right. There is a difference between riding, which I did for 14 years, and truly affecting the horse, which I have been learning the past year. My horse has always just been ridden. Pull right to turn right. Use a stronger bit if he is running away with you. Put your leg on him to speed him up. The kind of riding you see 90% of the time. I am learning to truly affect my horse now. That is what makes me a novice. I am retraining my horse to understand things as basic as a leg aid while simultaneously learning them myself. I wish I had videos to show.

That's not the point though. I'm simply curious to know what people think of draw reins and their uses.

I still don't think I'm explaining myself right... O_o

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