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Drawreins - do you know how to use it?

Published: 2015-11-09 23:23:27 Categories: Guides Rss feed

tytulowe-czarna wodza

Drawreins is one of supplementary reins, used at work with horses. Commonly known and used by various riders - both by those who ride in home schools and by those who take part in world-class competitions. Everybody use it, but do they know what they want to achieve with it? Is everybody ready to use this "invention"? Does using drawreins always make sense and is a thought-trough action?

What is drawreins and how it works

Drawreins is a rein of approximately 3 meters length that you can attach to bit on the horse's sides (intense effect) or between the front legs (milder effect) and lead from the inner side of the bit's rings to the rider's hand. In order to make its effect a bit milder, you can pull it through the throatlatch strap before it goes to the bit's rings.

The basic aim of using it, is encouraging the horse to lower his head, thus sticking out his back. Its momentary effect is also helpful while dealing with hot-tempered and unruly horses.

Horse on a drawreins Horse on a drawreins led between his front legs, source:

What is this all for

Sense of using the drawreins might be discussed without end. However, everybody will agree on one thing - from the equestrian inventions, drawreins included, only conscious riders of high capabilities and great equestrian sense should use it... And here, a question appears - who possesses such capabilities and what should they be? When does the appropriate equestrian level start, which we should achieve in order to use it?

For sure, in order to use drawreins you have to have a perfect balance and knowledge of what you can achieve with it. We do not have to mention of independently working hand and ability to use aids.

Those who say that equestrian aids are shortcuts are right. In most cases that is true - we will not make up for our inadequacies with any invention, or we will not quicken the training, because a particular horse needs a particular amount of time to acquire new expectations. Then it is not the best idea to work with young hoses using inventions. Using drawreins is only reasonable when it is used to correct those steeds that have been wrongly ridden, but only in skillful hands.

For example: horses that have problems with basculing and jump with reversed back, you can show him a way of lowering the head and the proper bend of his back during jump while jumping on not high obstacles and using drawreins. Of course, you can achieve the same with different methods - for example with appropriately unzipped martingale, because it does not restrict the horse's relaxation.

Not for everybody

As we have already mentioned, drawreins - should not be used by unexperienced riders, as well as it should not be used by those who do not know what they want to achieve with using it and how to do it. Drawreins in such case might be like a "razor in an ape's hands", quoting famous words of Stanisław Byszewski.

Worth taking into consideration is also the fact that drawreins is not suitable for work with every horse. Repeating what we said before in this article - while working with young horses, you should resign from any inventions. By giving them clear commands and unlimited amount of time to acquire those commands, we would probably never need such aids.

drawreins effect More intense effect of drawreins - attaching a girth under the flaps, source:

A very bad idea would be using drawreins with a pet who has a low-set neck. Using this invention will cause even greater "closing" of the horse on the front, at the same time shifting his centre of gravity towards the front. In such case, drawreins would both not help and deepen the horse's tendency to not engaging his croup and leaving it behind.

Wrong and right impact

A huge mistake made by riders is forgetting how drawreins should work. At a moment when the horse rises his head - we use the invention, stretching the additional rein stronger. There is no sense in using the supplementary rein when the horse reacted positively to our command. The horse has to know when he does something right and when he does something wrong. Such prolonged use of drawreins is erratic, causes pain to the horse and stiffens him, which will make him walk in unnatural position - behind the vertical, or he will try to run over the bit.

While putting drawreins on, you should think about the way you fasten it. The aforementioned additional putting through the throatlatch strap will make the animal feel a pressure on his occiput while we would use drawreins, not on his muzzle. If the horse decides to withdraw from that movement in time, he will probably avoid even the punishing pressure. Due to such operation, the steed has opportunity to stay relaxed the whole time.

Remember also that no supplementary rein should be in use for a long period of time. It can serve only as a temporary aid, to show the horse the right way which we would like him to take with us clearer. If we use inventions during every training, we are not giving the horse a change to use what he has learnt and it can result in something completely contrary to what we aim at.

To prevent prancing

Many riders, especially during jumping competitions of the highest rank, decide to use drawreins. You probably wonder what causes that, because it is obvious that competition is not a good moment to teach the horse anything with an invention. Some riders decide to use drawreins because many steeds (especially stallions) facing stress, such as company of other horses, usually mares, crowds of people, loud music etc., give vent to their emotions by prancing. Riders surely know their horses and knowing what they can expect from them, prefer to use this invention as a preventive measure.

Pointless use

Unfortunately, many riders see using inventions as prestige, something that represents their high riding skills. Proudly, they ride on a stiffen and unnaturally bend horse that patiently endure his owner's ideas. It is a sad view, but a common one.

Maybe it is an effect of insufficient knowledge, wrong assessment of our own skills, or willingness to achieve success quickly. We forget that you cannot make a Grand Prix athlete of every horse. Still less that would be possible if the very rider has shortcomings. Then how can we demand from the horse something that we are not ready for? Horses do not "break" on their own. It is people who break them with lack of patience and analytic thinking, as well as with excessive ambition.

drawreins source:

We hope that more and more riders will get to know meaning of the words "conscious horse riding", setting themselves and their horses another goals, step by step, goals that are within their reach. Remember that it is great to use experience of others, especially experienced coaches, who would show us the right direction. There is no more pleasant sight than relaxed, collected, and willing to go forward horse. Maybe in the future that will become a common view. And if you do want to use drawreins or some other inventions, think twice if you really need them.