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Discussion Starter #1
How many people that partake in reining use training forks or somthing like them?

I have an older video of Al Dunning going over 'Reining Fundamentals' (the title of the video is also this.) I could not help but notice the use of training forks on the majority of the horses.

Now I do know:
a) Al Dunning is a professional rider, he rides very well, and I'm sure he uses the forks correctly and what not.
and
b) He is a professional trainer, he has to get that colt broke and reining in order to stay in the game, keep his buisness going, and win (<- so he can eat at the end of the day and not go broke).

I was just wondering how many people use them is all. I've never used them myself; but I'm not against them really either. I just never used them.

What are the pro's and con's?
Why do you use them if you do? If not; why do you feel like you don't need them?

I'm not talking abot riding in them 24/7 even if you just ride in them every now and again.

Please, no arguments; I just want to know do YOU, why and why not. Don't attack people's opinions that you do not agree with, I am an adult and I will take with me the information I like and leave the information I do not care for, or see useful. Bickering will not change that. :lol:
 

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I think it was more of a fad years ago to use them and now it's a fad to not use them. I choose not to use them because I like to take the time needed to get a good head on my horse.
 

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I agree. Most reining trainers I know do not use them. I know I do not nor dose my trainer. You can get the same results with out as you can with. I am sure there are times that they do come in handy and as long as they are used properly they are fine and do work.

However with reiners they tend to confuse what you are wanting the horse to eventually do. Most reiners are trained to drop their head from the riders seat and legs and/or very little with reins.
 

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I use them at the beginning of training and then once I am comfortable with the young horse I take them off and never touch them again
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the input :D
 

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I agree with everyone, we don't use them. I have used it once or twice on Brandi when we first started with her, but no never.

Training aids/gadgets like that can be useful but they are more something that should be used once in awhile to really target something. You are definitely better off working without them.

Heck, we've even stopped using nosebands on most of the horses :) We show without them so its good to work without them (not that they are as much of a gadget as a training fork ahah)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks :D
 

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I understand that Shawn Flarida uses training forks (running martingale) on all his two year-olds. He must be doing something right!
I have a friend that worked for Craig and Ginger Schmersal for a couple of years. Since he has returned to Idaho he has used a German Martingale on his young horses. Something he said he picked up from Craig.
I personally have not used them. About ten years ago I attended a Ted Robinson reined cowhorse clinic. About half of the riders had training forks/martingales on their horses. Ted watched us warm up and his first comment was, "Get that **stuff** off your horses. If you don't have enough feel to put a proper headset on your horse without gimmicks- you have no business trying to train a reining horse."

Rod
 

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I understand that Shawn Flarida uses training forks (running martingale) on all his two year-olds. He must be doing something right!
I have a friend that worked for Craig and Ginger Schmersal for a couple of years. Since he has returned to Idaho he has used a German Martingale on his young horses. Something he said he picked up from Craig.
I personally have not used them. About ten years ago I attended a Ted Robinson reined cowhorse clinic. About half of the riders had training forks/martingales on their horses. Ted watched us warm up and his first comment was, "Get that **stuff** off your horses. If you don't have enough feel to put a proper headset on your horse without gimmicks- you have no business trying to train a reining horse."

Rod
Maybe the reason the bigger reining guys use training forks on their horses is because most of these 2YOs need to be ready for the big 3YO futurities and it kind of "Speeds up" the process of getting them their because they don't have to spend as much months working on a headset.

I'm not sure if thats why, I'm just theorizing here.

I actually do not like the feel of having a training fork, maybe I'm weird. I just think it feels funny, I feel like the way I take the face and where I put my hands is more limited, and if I take my hand some places I don't really get a response. Where as without a training fork I can take my hand in spots and still get a response. I really hate the feeling when the horse is wanting to roll on without me because I feel like if they took off I wouldn't be able to pull them around my leg properly haha.
 

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I would guess the big time trainers don't get on too many two year olds. They hire young guys starting out to ride the horses and these guys may not have the best feel so they use a training fork to make the pull on the horses the same from rider to rider. Just like factory made boots it's about getting acceptable quality in the needed quantity versus handmade boots which is about getting a custom fit and premium price. Guys like Shawn Flarida probably have hundreds of horses to choose from when they look for that one horse that will take them to the big money.
 

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Considering that Shawn went through about 40 Wimpys Little Step get before he found Wimpys little Chic you can just guess how many horses he goes through. He also normally dose not ride 2yo at all unless he sees something he likes. Once they hit 3 he will ride the ones that he thinks will make futurity horses which will be about 5-6 horses as he can only take 3.
 
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