Side Reins Training AidLateral Reins Training Aid
side reins are mainly used for work on the lunge and in the hands.
But before I tell you how they are used, I would like to make it clear which side and which reins they are not: They are not abbreviations to push a horse's skull down or its noses up or down, or to "muscle" or "flex" it on one side or the other. In improper use, side reins and reins may cause a horses' crotch to be shortened, stiffened or bent over to avoid touching it and strain the front hand; they may also cause pain in the back and throat.
Especially on the side reins (no reins that extend or fall easily in an emergency) a stallion who is not accustomed to his feeling of restriction can punch himself in the face and cause anxiety, then run backwards, backwards, put a foot in the reins or even turn around. Due to these hazards, you should not enable your horses to pull reins or side reins until you have thoroughly understood their "what, why and how" - which I will be explaining - and only under the guidance of a coach who can tell you if your horses will profit from these tools.
For example, reins can be useful to move an older rigid equine that usually raises its neck and bears out its nostrils. However, they should not be presented to a young animal until it has learnt to move continuously in linear and circular movements, to run and gallop, and to make fundamental up and down passages.
If your stallion is aroused or anxious, let your coach be the one to lead him to the reins or side reins; this will give him a quiet, soothing first impression and give you a good view of what you are trying to achieve. When working with pull or side reins, use training shoes and belted boot to keep your horse's leg protected just in case he makes a mistake during this new part of his training.
Another thing: If your animal tends to throw its skull when you ask for help, keep your reins or side reins back until your vet has eliminated any bodily problem that might cause him ache. Reins are a band, 15 to 17 ft. long, with a buckle in the middle and ends looping around the circumference on both sides of the horses.
Place the ends of the straps half way between his crotch and the bottom of the seatpouch. Some pros fix the straps to the middle ring of a chest armour or the circumference between the feet, but I do not. This is a strict use of draught reins, which can overstrain the horse...)
Draught reins go from the circumference, upwards through the snaffle ring - keep in mind to use only a gentle bit - and back to the rider's/hand. Pull reins do not have much stop force; use them together with the normal reins on your horse's harness and hold the two reins like the reins of a twin reins (pull reins on the inside, reins on the outside).
It is recommended to use drawing reins only for flat work. If you and your instructor wish to use them for jump, however, you MUST guide them through a lanyard (stirrup skin strapped around your neck) to keep them away from your horse's leg. Trains are available in either fabric, padded belt, padded belt or belt.
Recommended against polyamide; it is slip when it' watered and it can "burn" your palms when your stallion is pulling. Personally, I like web reins, especially those with manual restraints that help you place your fingers in a consistent way - for example, your coach can tell you to "put your fingers on two". The right positioning of your palm is crucial for linearity; yes, your leg also promotes linearity, but properly used reins give you and your horses an unmistakable sense of linearity by directing it from the ankles to the pollen through a "tunnel" made by your palm.
Pull the reins (and side reins) so that your horses know that they can lower their heads under the seat. When he is not familiar with the downward stretch, pull reins so he can sense the touch as he pushes forward and down, with your legs up and your fists around the reins up. You encourage him to lower his nose a little in front of the verticals, by leading him into this posture with his hands gently shut on the reins.
So if his mind is where you want it to be (here's a time when your trainer's inputs are valuable), your tension spring must give your touch, even light. Pull reins to show your horses the way, but you don't want them to rely on you once they get there. Constant bridle ride can instruct him to stick them or rest on them; if you take them off, he may be less in one piece than before because they "held" him there.
It can even toss its face up or stick its nostril out - just the things you wanted it to learn it not to do. Keep the reins short: Heat him in normal reins, go five or ten minute reins and then ask him to keep the right collar and top positions with normal reins.
When he does not strengthen the lessons with another five or ten min with draught reins, and then asks him to keep the correct positions of necks and heads with normal reins. When he doesn't, strengthen the lessons with another five or ten min with the help of reins. End your training unit with a free run so he can expand his throat.
Don't use trains every single night. You should use them regularly as a memory - for example, if your horses are more resistant, or if you are doing a new or more challenging routine. In contrast to pull reins (which you only use when assembled), side reins are a training aid that you can use with a Horse under the seat, on the lunge line or for manual work.
However, I do not advise you to ride with side lines unless your horses are on a lunge line and under the supervision of your coaches. When he is not, and when he trips, haunts, or bucks, you or he could tangle one leg in the side reins - which you can't detach so easy from the seat.
Another problem is the problem of extending or contracting the side reins when assembled, which is another good explanation why they are best used when lying on the floor or being extended. Also, a stallion that slides while in the side reins will not be able to use his header and nape of his back to restore equilibrium - so make sure the floor is flat and arid when training in them.
Select cowhide side reins with gum doughnuts; they are no more costly than side reins made of polyamide (many with resilient insets that ultimately extend up to three or four inches - too much to be effective). Side reins can be used with a seat belt or a lungeing belt.
One end of the reins loops around the strap or webbing (position as on the pull reins) and the other end snaps to the teeth. Straps on each reins allow you to set them separately; bolted perforations take the guessing away from even setting. Do not let the snapping ends of the side reins hang; they may tangle around or step on the horse's legs, pull the nut or buckle on.
If the side reins are on but not in use, grab them by the D-rings of the seat or harness. Don't let a horsemeat scrape itself in side reins or grind on an item; it could be hanged. In order to get your stallion ready for a side reins training course, you need to staple it up and snatch the side reins out of the way.
Heat it while walking and trotting to let it expand; then stop and make sure the belt or webbing is secure (you don't want it to slip forward when it is pulling on the side reins). Fasten the side reins to the teeth - loose at first, even if he has a good education.
Stop him and cut the side reins so that his face is directly in front of the verticals. Lateral reins are an efficient way to keep your horse's torso level (especially his outer shouilder) as he works in circles while you bore him. Alternatively, if it is already even, the side reins one or two smaller holes on the inside allow for an inner curve on the circumference.
Set both reins to the same length as the start point. When your stallion is rigid on one side, this reins will be very tight; when it is concave on one side, this reins will be loosen. It may be necessary to cut one or two holes on one side or the other so that he can evenly sense the pressures on both sides; if you are unsure about the setting, let someone else bore him while you step back and see him move.
Another application of side reins is working with the horses in the hands (for movement on the top plane, such as piaffe) or longlining, but this is training. More information on the fundamentals of longing with side reins can be found in Lendon Gray's "Create a Good Longe Partner" (Practical Horseman, February 1997) and Holly Hugo-Vidals' "Longe Safely, Longe Well" (Practical Horseman, December 2000).
Make sure you end your lungeing sessions by loosening the side reins and stretching your horses.