2nd day in the side reins- CRITIQUE
just thought i'd share some pictures of Bay's second day in the side reins! he's a perfect angel in them! hasn't acted up or anything!
give me you guy's opinions on him!
**remember its his second day in these, so he's not his best**
i'm going to try to keep the pictures updated!
he looks great! i really like his frame
your side reins are far far far to low and tight.
especailly for his seacond day in them.
you want them to be there to encorage him to search for a contact not to hold him in one.
This is how they should be fitted. Note though that these are a TAD long as we were trying to get this mare long and low due to being a cronic star gazer.
I agree, they are much to tight, not only that, but he does appear to be ribby.
It isn't about forcing him into a false frame - is it about encouraging him to engage his back end, lift his back, track up and drive into the bridle.
Many people use side reins incorreclty. They are meant to replace your hands - while you on the ground is meant to replace what you would be doing in the saddle.
It isn't about forcing a frame...............
Side reins have to be used correctly, when used incorrectly - you are essentially going backwards instead of forward in training.
Your horse has to know how to remain at a steady fluid rhythm. You want to encourage their back end to move under them, you want to encourage tracking up, you want to encourage softness, suppleness. All the while, your horse not speeding up.
He has no topline, no hind end muscle. No balance, no ability to carry himself. I would take the side reins off all together, and just work on basic walk, trot, canter at a rhythmical pace.
Is he rideable? If so, I would get out on those trails and help him beef up that way as well.
Proper feed will also help with his physcial condition to become that well balanced, muscled up, centered horse :)
He is lovely, he has a big heart and has expressive eyes. He looks to be very intelligent as well. What a sweetheart :)
Well he usually is VERY beefed up, he's a very muscular bodied TB, and he is rideable. But we're trying to expirement with his hind end, trying to engage more in his hip. The pictures are very desieving **spelling** because they were taken at the sunset and with my phone. He has ALOT of muscle, but because of the winter, we cant work as hard because where i live its so its hard to ride in the weather in my area.
Also, the judges here are very different than in other areas. I was actually working with a professional for the past week with Bayberry, and this is exactly what he told me to do with him.
But the "professional" should of showed you how to do it, worked with you and showed you how to keep your horse at a steady, consistant rhythm, while you engaged the back end - to lift the back, track up and soften at the poll.
Someone cannot just tell a "greenie" to lunging with sidereins - to just lunge with sidereins. Allot of "damage" can be done when done incorrectly.
It is like all those riders who go around holding their horses faces in while riding - same idea. Nothing good is coming out of it, and wrong muscles formed due to it......now having to take the horse and redo it all, correctly to build the muscles that should of been built in the first place.
Side reins are not for someone who doesn't know what they are doing, or how to do it.
You need someone there to help you - nothing wrong with that, we all have to learn and start somewhere.....
But remember, it is about what is best for your horse.
What I would do - but I am no "professional" - is learn to ride in the saddle functionally
seat to legs to hands to soften. And lunge without side reins.
Get out on the trails as well.
I have to agree with the others, I'm afraid. What you've got going on right now with him will develop the incorrect muscles.
However, while I do think the side reins are a bit too tight, I don't think that that's the whole problem. You do want a degree of connection to his mouth with the sidereins, just as if you would when you are riding. Rather, I think that he is lacking any impulsion and forward movement. So what hes' doing is bracing against the sidereins, not lifting his back and just shuffling along.
So what I would do is loosen them a bit (not to the degree that ShowJumpLife has, because I find that ineffective) but really concentrate on driving him forward. Give half halts through your lunge line. Lots of transitions to keep him off his forehand and if you can set up trot poles, those work great as well
I also agree that he appears quite ribby and undermuscled. Maybe take a look at his feed-especially if you are working him more now, and tweak it a little bit?
I think you'll have a lovely horse at the end of it :)
(just as a sidenote, you might want to consider putting a saddlepad on underneath. that is exactly how I rubbed the heck out of one of my horse's withers :))
I agree with everyone in saying that the side reins are too tight. He being forced into frame and you can tell in the photos that his hind end is not engaged. He is not stepping under himself to the degree that he should be. In the second picture he is really bracing against those side reins, which he should not be doing. I agree with skyhuntress, do lots of half-halts, transitions and pop in some trot poles.
I would also agree with everyone in saying he is ribby. I doubt those photos are deceiving as a camera phone would reduce the clarity of what is captured, not increase depth and contrast. Plus he is bending to the inside and if you can see the ribs to the inside when he is bending to the inside, that is a good indication he needs weight. Also he appears to have a decent winter coat, another factor that should decrease the appearance of ribs.
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