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My horse has a really high head carriage at the moment, he's an American Paint horse and his neck is thin and not shaped nicely at all, will the use of running reins help him get muscle into it? And can I make them out of twine? I want to use them for lunging
 

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No, please don't. Running reins/side reins are meant for experienced horses that accept and give to the contact. Strapping the horses head down causes resistance in the neck, working against building a topline. The bottom of the neck is built up because he is resisting the contact, not the top. The only correct way to build up a horses top line is by proper riding and training, not by looking for some gadget to do it for you.
 

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I had the same problem with my paint. Just a lot of getting him to work back to front, instead of front to back and a whole lot of patience and collection came with time. And he was a rope horse before I turned him into a successful hunter (an the occasional gymkhana xD).
I too, at first was told to use side reins, until someone showed me different. All I was doing with side reins was hurting my horse, and creating a false headset. Not true collection. And now that I know what I'm doing is correct, and good. My horse and I work together, I don't have to crank his face down. He's not uncomfortable. He's soft, supple, collected and happy. Also, collection requires a whole new batch of muscle to be used, you have to allow your horse to build those muscles as well. Or you'll cause him pain.
Now when I think back to the days I thought using side reins on Stitch would be a quick fix. I wish he could understand my apologies. Because it wasn't fair to him.
Do it right, don't cut corners.
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