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I can read that you are worried for you horse, that you love her a lot. I think that is very clear. It also sounds like you have little control, or feel you do. Do I remember correctly that you are on the young side? So, anyone older than you will perhaps think they have an automatic right to tell you what's best for her, your mare.


H m m . . . . that kinda irks me. I guess, if you are interested in showing, and your only way to show is through this barn, and this trainer, and her daughter, you may have to suck it up and do as they say. But, I agree that your hesitation is founded in reality.


From what I've read, your mare is a good soul, very willing, with lots of try in her. To now punish her with draw reins seems just not warranted.


In all honestly, you are not going to get her to round her back until she is moving with more forward impulsion. She will have to first be free to move forward, to reach under with her hind legs, and not worry too much about her mouth.


You may need to develop a 'connection' to her mouth, via the bit, in order ( as I said in a different post) to encourage more push from the hind, but not have that translate into her just running out faster out the front. BUT, this connection to that mouth, in my FIRM OPINION is best taught in a snaffle, while riding two handed and working at the walk and trot, so you develop a soft feel for the mouth, and an independent seat.




You have to be able to FEEL her mouth, and by that I mean how she responds to your pressure/feel on the reins that say, " hello there, could you please flex your poll a wee bit?" . . "oh, (release the pressure), "thanks!" . . . . now, can we try again, just for a sec, and . . . reward.


It is this trust that you develop in your horse, where you put a bit of pressure on the rein, ASKING for a tiny change, you see that change, and you reward. it. The horse learns to trust that your hands WILL ease off the instant she softens.



When you are in a harsh bit, or in draw reins, it become that much harder to feel how your hosre is responding to your dialogue with her, via the rein/bit.


I would love to see some photos and videos of you riding her. I promise to offer thoughtful and productive advice. you will not get an argument from me!
 

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Can you not just politely say no to this? This is your horse, and you are paying these people, they are working for you. Just say you don't want to use draw reins and you want to go to a snaffle bit. So what if they are older than you?
 

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I am no western rider and I'm certainly no expert.

I've ridden a schooling horse with English draw reins once under supervision and, when used correctly, I think they can be useful. But more often than not they are used incorrectly or even abusively.
If you feel not comfortable using them and do not like the way your trainer is using them, I think you should tell them that you will not use them. Same goes for the correction bit.

It's your horse after all and it's your decision alone which training methods and which equipment you want to use.
 

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Sounds to me like you are insisting on
doing things your way and have an idea that you are accomplishing your goal but your trainer sees things differently. In an effort to help you and the horse succeed as a team she is resorting to training aids to have the horse comply to ineffective cues that are given.

This is a lesson horse. A horse that you lease from the BO. Correct? Not your own personal horse.
 

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I will admit I have not read every post you've made.......
That now being told...

Is the horse yours or not?
If not yours and this animal belongs to your trainer, her daughter and the barn you ride at then you don't get much right to tell any of them no, you won't do...
What this does though is open to you the ability to ask questions to expand your understanding of why what is being told to you is going to happen benefits the horse and you.
Ask questions and listen for the answer carefully. If you don't understand ask for a different explanation so you do understand...and keep your mind open to those answers.
You mentioned the horse is trained western pleasure already so the animal knows how to ride as is required and sounds she may not from either rider error or laziness of the animal.

Draw-reins used correctly can offer support for the animal and rider to accomplish, to feel what is wanted, needed and desired as you train muscle memory.
If draw-reins are used correctly they do no harm, used incorrectly they create issues later in training that the animal most likely will show forced versus learned frame/carriage ridden in.

Much of the answer you seek is indeed going to be based on "do you own or do you lease this animal"...
And post contributors need to know which it is you do, cause honestly...if you not own and the owner is saying you will, unless you can prove and show a better way it is their way or you may not have a horse to ride.
The fact the horse is a past winner in the ring I am getting the feeling of, the daughter of the trainer {also farm owner?} has more experience than you and her ring ribbons, your own description of her point to she can ride...does not mean she is the "bestest" trainer, but bet she has her mother in her ear telling her what to do with animal and with you trying to bring you further along as a equestrian...

I get you not want to hurt the animal...
I bet if you lease, the animals owner not want to hurt the animal either but the animal must ride a certain way regardless of rider astride and creating "the look" needed is where it is at for these people too.
You don't entice new riders to come your way if you don't present winning riders and winning riders are seen at shows on display in front of multitudes of people...
Appearances are everything in shows..
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I am not a fan of draw reins and have seen them used poorly and improperly but there is one time I did use them as a last resort with one horse and they did help a lot to overcome our problem. I used them as a second set of reins and only used them as a correction and when I got a response, stopped using them.
This system worked for us and I was able to discard them after a few rides as the horse had figured out what it is I wanted and we progressed well after that.

Can you use them as a second set of reins and only selectively for a certain reason? also talk to your trainer and tell her how you feel about them and how they want them used to get the best effect, perhaps understanding their reason for using them would help you understand why they are needed.
 

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I'm just going to put this out there quickly before reading the rest of the replies. I understand the theory of forcing a sort of headset / body position. But the barn owner where I board is also one of those who requires some horses to be ridden in them. These horses, when they are in the draw reins, have a nice head / body position. But the second you take it off, they go back to being all strung out. So it's not like they are learning proper carriage, at least it doesn't seem like it to me. I think if you are looking for a certain head position, you need to train the horse to do that by itself. I mean, learn how to ask for it and how to encourage it. I will say, it's not easy. And it's possible that using these reins might work for some horses. But it hasn't, for the ones I have seen.

A lot of instructors are pushy, and when you don't want to do what they tell you they will throw all of their "experience" at you, and tell you that you don't have enough experience to have an opinion. I think you should listen to it, but ultimately it's your horse so they can't force you to do it.
 

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Rant, starting with an old and very heated thread from 2016:

Horse Movement - "Inverted" or "Round"

Speaking as a human who has been jogging for nearly 50 years, we don't know how HUMANS run. There is still debate on if it is better to land heel first, toe first, or mid-foot. The current state seems to be "it depends" - on your build, where you run, etc. I recently tried running in flat sandals made for running. I went from a heel first to a toe first stride. My lap times remained the same. :| But my calves were stressed because they were not ready to support my weight at impact and I've gone back to how I've been running since the 70s. :smile:

Now imagine if someone tied up a runner and tried to force them to run a certain way by using ropes!

How I run - and I've been paying much closer attention the last few years due to what is done to horses - varies with my shoes, the terrain, my speed, how hot it is, cloud cover, what I ate, etc. As a rule, my body WILL adjust to minimize peak impact and peak strain on it. When I try to ignore my body and do things like lengthen my stride to suit what an observer says is good, I get injuries.

I cannot help but think horses also know how they feel inside. I doubt a horse enjoys higher peak impacts any more than I do. A horse will adjust for its build, just as I seem to adjust for my left foot going toe out 20-30 degrees more than my right, or how I change things if I'm carrying a weight or if I'm straining in the Arizona heat.

All that said, it all depends on what control you have. I own the horses I ride and they live at home. I can do what I want. But if I was learning, and someone insisted on draw reins, I'd seriously consider changing places. Or waiting a few years, if I was young. Learning bad habits now won't help you in the future. I would not WANT to learn riding from someone who won't trust the horse - a fault too many people seem to have.

Also: A WP bred horse is going to move differently because he was BRED to move differently. I think what WP gaits are obscene and breeding to make them "natural" as immoral as how we breed dogs who can barely walk or breathe. But if one has a WP bred horse, let the horse move the way his conformation requires. I've listened to WP judges explain how they judge horses and think they are all insane. Or blind. Or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can read that you are worried for you horse, that you love her a lot. I think that is very clear. It also sounds like you have little control, or feel you do. Do I remember correctly that you are on the young side? So, anyone older than you will perhaps think they have an automatic right to tell you what's best for her, your mare.


H m m . . . . that kinda irks me. I guess, if you are interested in showing, and your only way to show is through this barn, and this trainer, and her daughter, you may have to suck it up and do as they say. But, I agree that your hesitation is founded in reality.


From what I've read, your mare is a good soul, very willing, with lots of try in her. To now punish her with draw reins seems just not warranted.


In all honestly, you are not going to get her to round her back until she is moving with more forward impulsion. She will have to first be free to move forward, to reach under with her hind legs, and not worry too much about her mouth.


You may need to develop a 'connection' to her mouth, via the bit, in order ( as I said in a different post) to encourage more push from the hind, but not have that translate into her just running out faster out the front. BUT, this connection to that mouth, in my FIRM OPINION is best taught in a snaffle, while riding two handed and working at the walk and trot, so you develop a soft feel for the mouth, and an independent seat.




You have to be able to FEEL her mouth, and by that I mean how she responds to your pressure/feel on the reins that say, " hello there, could you please flex your poll a wee bit?" . . "oh, (release the pressure), "thanks!" . . . . now, can we try again, just for a sec, and . . . reward.


It is this trust that you develop in your horse, where you put a bit of pressure on the rein, ASKING for a tiny change, you see that change, and you reward. it. The horse learns to trust that your hands WILL ease off the instant she softens.



When you are in a harsh bit, or in draw reins, it become that much harder to feel how your hosre is responding to your dialogue with her, via the rein/bit.


I would love to see some photos and videos of you riding her. I promise to offer thoughtful and productive advice. you will not get an argument from me!
I do love her so so much. And yes, I am a young teen.
Well, here is one thing. She isn't my horse. I lease her. But it is very hard because BO lets you feel like you have freedoms and that you can do whatever, then the next minute, a text comes. "You must ride in the curb if you want to ride her"

It is a really weird dynamic. I'm not especially interested in showing, it is more of a package "deal" that you have to show if you want to lease. These horses are show horses, I guess.

When I started leasing her (Which was forced because the previous golden unicorn little 20 year old pony gelding passed away) I thought she was dead inside. But I feel like I let her bloom and blossom into a lively, happy mare and they don't like that. The weight of keeping secrets which have helped her (Clicker training, supplements, and my true wants for her) is just beginning to be to much for me.

I one hundred percent agree with your way of training feel and rounding! I am planning on having a direct convo with the BO (Something they are kinda bad at...) about my goals and needs and her needs. If they don't agree, I am really considering switching barns...

Here are some videos:

http://"C:\Users\skipp\Downloads\IMG_3473.MOV"
That english one is the best one. Before her being off and not acting right. That is why I never worried about her health and left it up to the barn owner.

These are all after she was off. Big difference.
http://https://cvws.icloud-content.com/B/ATHDYrVO4n_1feDhqPCMN0AQtwZiAUimdjop22E95DiXwYSpr09SITe0/IMG_4244.MOV?o=AhjgdMjKjGFVz5rzLYjnJCpgCEwMTP4N76YHeD97akpj&v=1&x=3&a=CAogrrfa0TnPwMbMsL67FNiC4zYV9Ssc6rg86Hdibr0_pskSeRCRuY7N2i4YkcmJoeQuIgEAKggByAD_LjAlXVIEELcGYloEUiE3tGonsH2AW3Ahpfae3c0osAzdhgZ2X2Fod3t6M0--DFXfjiSv3edxaisecien73fdrV6AEe_myprX9nwfCVLP1LpcI0GabuKn3AHi-tKkKGxtJKo&e=1607460873&fl=&r=4C75855F-342D-4D1E-941A-F51BA499252B-1&k=0xKNworiiEeXTlrXNyDYgQ&ckc=com.apple.largeattachment&ckz=542528D1-B3BA-4982-95B8-72EB7B17E76F&p=55&s=8_RQ5UchrrcyVdnswvoQH_NbeOc&teh=1

http://file:///C:/Users/skipp/Downloads/IMG_3473%20(1).MOV

http://https://cvws.icloud-content.com/B/AaJkS_rzyYbGcXlUefzoyF_kd5a_AedrOTOI7CWaRn3nwQAeO0xJNeML/IMG_3473.MOV?o=AoBj5gDCnkNPz84iUmsLbvpHhSCsfv_QkG9fUwoMfghQ&v=1&x=3&a=CAogHQzNF_b5SL-t6icZViEzbMAQXOoUYIZJrLnoSTdPVwYSeRDQgYjN2i4Y0JGDoeQuIgEAKggByAD_NHslfFIE5HeWv1oESTXjC2onoMaQ3duWzoJP6r663i--IpyR5GlZdD7s1ZByhd7ioamdzIpdhrcLcid4ONmx804jlJlqwzyDj2fpOPCGN6rEm8DImvGcAVRzK8V-sdG-DIg&e=1607460767&fl=&r=9FA205CB-0EF3-49FB-A585-33AA7A9E42E1-1&k=OPu9uUKk5uIQyrbY-zqC6g&ckc=com.apple.largeattachment&ckz=542528D1-B3BA-4982-95B8-72EB7B17E76F&p=55&s=4hUABdGYivkaOKC6X0IRPKmxrwc&teh=1



This one was more recent, she was a bit happier that day!
http://https://cvws.icloud-content.com/B/AXrjpy1MExiftDNkxxvKMDoXu-LlAbtVxEepUKnaZaq74IFhlWIPm056/IMG_4404.MOV?o=AoQACxcTuEudMJ1Z_QWDkX_Poi8gPDVOc2fuU0RMb5DN&v=1&x=3&a=CAogG2JKvqBwIEt4eftoyOJrroLf0dJlxcWdRg-J1o6J3kwSeRCY7abN2i4YmP2hoeQuIgEAKggByAD_aG-IzlIEF7vi5VoED5tOemon5uvocrWPojflYgmhbfhbKNngW_bbklUqMdKEpk9PI35UAegn9F73cidYAdbbdcB1hQXpal7sQ2jTTnvvjE5_Z2MNWRoOOimOnxFgP80WlUg&e=1607461273&fl=&r=CAFF3CBC-F8D7-46F0-BBC8-9A51A141E7C5-1&k=JmaON9aOS0aF1Bmc4kv22w&ckc=com.apple.largeattachment&ckz=542528D1-B3BA-4982-95B8-72EB7B17E76F&p=55&s=tRa2OtaY8bGGyqB6O2m7m3ee2oY&teh=1

http://https://cvws.icloud-content.com/B/AVigAP8iJxx9eVLbMlRHfLsGvDQgAUeI7bzSHtpMBSwlohhA0KRLKMpT/IMG_4275.MOV?o=AssR_4ZeG61wQcYcOXu49JuIf_0_PB8D52adFcY9pbNO&v=1&x=3&a=CAoggJPgw6tqIe6X8PItO21wrSBaA_57OrwbpNRfwJZUrGcSeRCzk7nN2i4Ys6O0oeQuIgEAKggByAD_Hd92z1IEBrw0IFoESyjKU2ongA9x6zjOlBToPT61bIxhMjwp3h2dpYK981IBi-5UUB2te3ta5p2QcidpTnBgH0pTX8LhiMDeD6IQusYdq-gAEcoS-4Oy-RJNOp-SjUXp4G4&e=1607461573&fl=&r=F97D9697-FF2E-4EB2-8ACB-2A7BAD2B2476-1&k=7mdZ-qdK7H6CaEreo4Hj2Q&ckc=com.apple.largeattachment&ckz=542528D1-B3BA-4982-95B8-72EB7B17E76F&p=55&s=3u4ZN7LnJD6s6NU_jHn7YnIcVhA&teh=1



I will for sure take some more vids of me at home, some more recent ones. Also please note all of these are in an argentine snaffle and d ring snaffle. this was before the bit message. and the draw rein message. As you can see in the videos, she is bobbing her head and very on her forehand. I have been working really hard on extending her, I need to take some vids of her now, so you can get a better look at where we are now! But that is what I am really trying to correct. That and her responsiveness and sensitiveness. Any ideas? Thank you so so much for your input, I appreciate so so much! :pinkunicorn::pinkunicorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey are the videos showing up? If they aren't can someone tell me how tooo lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Draw reins can have a place but like many gadgets, they are more often than not, misused.

When using them it is so easy to pull the horse into an outline rather than pushing(legs and seat) into it.
Yes I agree, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you not just politely say no to this? This is your horse, and you are paying these people, they are working for you. Just say you don't want to use draw reins and you want to go to a snaffle bit. So what if they are older than you?
Well, I should have made this more clear in the original post that she isn't my horse... I lease her. I really wish she was mine though, and that is where the problems come in... Thank you for your reply though. :pinkunicorn::pinkunicorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am no western rider and I'm certainly no expert.

I've ridden a schooling horse with English draw reins once under supervision and, when used correctly, I think they can be useful. But more often than not they are used incorrectly or even abusively.
If you feel not comfortable using them and do not like the way your trainer is using them, I think you should tell them that you will not use them. Same goes for the correction bit.

It's your horse after all and it's your decision alone which training methods and which equipment you want to use.

Yes, I really wish I could say no, but here's the catch that I forgot to say in my original post... She's not mine... I lease her. I really wish I could own her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds to me like you are insisting on
doing things your way and have an idea that you are accomplishing your goal but your trainer sees things differently. In an effort to help you and the horse succeed as a team she is resorting to training aids to have the horse comply to ineffective cues that are given.

This is a lesson horse. A horse that you lease from the BO. Correct? Not your own personal horse.
Yes, I am very determined. I'm usually a very quiet and easy going person, not really going against the flow but when it is my passion and I believe that how I want to do it is correct, I'm not going to stop.
I lease her, but I only do lessons every other week and no one else rides her.
 

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These are leased show horses owned by people who are apparently successful in the discipline they ride.

Here is some cold water. They know a whole lot more about what they are doing and talking about than you do. This is a show barn, their job is to be successful in showing horses. It is very unlikely that they are pulling the stuff out of their butt and just asking you to do random things as they think of them. You WILL NOT change their minds on how to do things.

I'll briefly say the way they are going about and thinking about collection is all wrong, and bad. Besides, collection is for a horse doing athletic movements so I don't know why it even matters in Western Pleasure, it is just for looks.

Save yourself a lot of years going down the wrong path, arguing with people, trying to convince successful pros they are wrong, and wanting to "do it different". If you don't agree with what the pros in your discipline are doing to be successful then it is not a good fit for you.
 

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It's easy to say from an outside perspective, but I would leave. I understand it's not as easy as that, since you love the mare and desire for her well being; and I would be the same in your shoes. However, short of buying her, you can't stop her from being abused by unethical training methods. And the communication issues are a HUGE red flag. I've dealt with people with communication issues most of my life, my blood related family not a small part of that, and it's unpleasant and messy and heart breaking. I would not wish that on anyone, especially in a situation where it can be avoided. I've dealt with people who say one thing and change their mind and want the opposite a mere 5 minutes, or a day, or a week later. It's just not worth it.


At least look into other barn/lesson/lease options. You never know what you'll find.


Also, I've never used draw reins, but... I feel like they should be used in conjunction with a rider who knows exactly what they are and what they are trying to do with them, and what to look for and feel for, etc. It seems irresponsible, in my opinion, that they are forcing you to use them.


But I'm not there and I don't know you and I don't know your barn, so like all the other posts here, take this with a grain of salt.
 

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Also, the "correct" way of doing things in the show world changes with time and fads. It used to be the 'in' thing to do to rollkur a horse. Now it's recognized as an atrocity.


I at one point apprenticed for a successful dressage trainer who graduated from William Woods University. You know the useful and good things I learned from her? Groundwork, and she helped me develop a much better seat. As far as actually training and riding my difficult mare? Nada. My mare fought harder than ever under her training and tutelage. Things were bad enough that the trainer at one point even talked to my mother about whether I should sell my horse or not, without my knowledge. I was pretty much done with that trainer after she told me to ride with 20 pounds of pressure on my horse's mouth.


These days I can get my mare to do things that trainer probably thought was impossible on this horse.


Just keep in mind that there are a lot of things that win at shows that shouldn't, and there's also a lot of not so good stuff out there in the show world. Not everyone who is good at showing is necessarily a good horseman/woman.


Go with your gut. IMO, you will most benefit from a trainer who tells you the why and the reasoning behind what they want you to do, instead of just sending you a text with a new 'commandment'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I will admit I have not read every post you've made.......
That now being told...

Is the horse yours or not?
If not yours and this animal belongs to your trainer, her daughter and the barn you ride at then you don't get much right to tell any of them no, you won't do...
What this does though is open to you the ability to ask questions to expand your understanding of why what is being told to you is going to happen benefits the horse and you.
Ask questions and listen for the answer carefully. If you don't understand ask for a different explanation so you do understand...and keep your mind open to those answers.
You mentioned the horse is trained western pleasure already so the animal knows how to ride as is required and sounds she may not from either rider error or laziness of the animal.

Draw-reins used correctly can offer support for the animal and rider to accomplish, to feel what is wanted, needed and desired as you train muscle memory.
If draw-reins are used correctly they do no harm, used incorrectly they create issues later in training that the animal most likely will show forced versus learned frame/carriage ridden in.

Much of the answer you seek is indeed going to be based on "do you own or do you lease this animal"...
And post contributors need to know which it is you do, cause honestly...if you not own and the owner is saying you will, unless you can prove and show a better way it is their way or you may not have a horse to ride.
The fact the horse is a past winner in the ring I am getting the feeling of, the daughter of the trainer {also farm owner?} has more experience than you and her ring ribbons, your own description of her point to she can ride...does not mean she is the "bestest" trainer, but bet she has her mother in her ear telling her what to do with animal and with you trying to bring you further along as a equestrian...

I get you not want to hurt the animal...
I bet if you lease, the animals owner not want to hurt the animal either but the animal must ride a certain way regardless of rider astride and creating "the look" needed is where it is at for these people too.
You don't entice new riders to come your way if you don't present winning riders and winning riders are seen at shows on display in front of multitudes of people...
Appearances are everything in shows..
:runninghorse2:...
She unfortunately isn't mine. I lease her from them. Yes I agree. I will ask and listen.
But here is the one thing. The mare wasn't really a winner. She had many medical problems (Ulcers, arthritis, improper nutrition) That had never been remedied. When I asked about the ill fitting saddle, I was told it was because I didn't ride in it enough. (If I believed that, I would have a muscle atrophied horse) That is why I was really questioning their advice to me after I had done some research. That is really why I want to go my own way because this mare has had problems in the past and still has them. I am trying to correct them but being stopped. I agree, the draw reins could be useful if used very lightly. I think I know what she needs and what I need to do now. The look is very important at this barn...
 
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