Thursday, July 16, 2009

Holy Dumb A$$ Batman!!

OK, I have a few simple rules when I train or teach or have working students ride horses for me. One of my main bugaboos is the ever controversial DRAW REINS! I use them, SOMETIMES. My students or clients are NEVER allowed to use them, unless I am there. Why? Because they can be a horse and rider's worst nightmare.

First off, draw reins are not a quick fix in getting your horse to collect and round up. They are never to be used simply by themselves either, because then you have NO brakes and it is just a dumbass idea. In inexperienced or frustrated hands, your horse could get the wrong message and learn that flipping over backwards on you is the only way out.

We as trainers and riders are given tools that can be used for the greater good. BUT, it's the people who do NOT know how to use certain tools that ruin it for everyone and make people think, "Oh draw reins are bad. Shanked bits are bad. Spurs are bad." On and on and on...

In this photo, that I got off of the Bad_Riding Livejournal blog (Which is a very funny blog BTW), this girl is supposedly a TRAINER?!??!?! This is a terrible pic. On too many levels. It's dangerous, the horse is heavy, heavy on the forehand, overflexed, and is only going to learn to brace on those reins and tuck it's chin in lower and lower until FLIP goes the WEASEL!!! Ack... LEARN from this picture! Engrave this pic into your brain that this in my Top Ten Worst Horse Ideas EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh, this makes me want to roll over in my grave...

20 comments:

GoLightly said...

Holy crapola..

You've told me about it, but I tried to block it from my memory. Riding, with draw reins, only.
(head/desk)

amateur pros, the scariest types.

That poor horse.
Thinking WTF?? I'm looking down! I don't ever look down! Why would my rider WANT me to look down?
I CAN'T EVEN SEE WHERE I'M GOING!!

sorry, didn't mean to yell.
ok, I did mean to.
Ride that horse forward. Let his head come up, you'd be amazed..
The rider is pretty posey, pickle-up-the-arse, "fixture" bad, too.
Looks like a darn lamp up there. With the light off.

Nicely dun said...

Agreed-Bad_riding is a hilarious hilarious forum on LJ.

I have never used draw reins, and I will admit I wouldn't know what to do with them or why I would use them, but the horse looks "unnatural" in that form so I can see where this is going

once again, love the blog

Wazzoo said...

I can't find that blog...can someone help me?

monstersmama said...

I admit also I have never used draw reins...I have never needed to though...but then again looks to me I have no idea what there for! haha. j/k Light soft hands and forward movement will bring the horse to your hands...weird..but very cute horse! whats the blog site? I would love to check it out

clydesdalesocks said...

My OTTB that I bought back in Feb obviously had draw reins used on him A LOT by the girl that owned him before me. Now we are trying to UNTEACH the draw reins voodoo she did to him. The poor darling - any sort of downward pressure and he tucks his chin to his chest like "This is what you want, isn't it, Mommy??" He knows no side-to-side collection and when upset or confused that's his first response, chin-to-chest, chin-to-chest. Poor darling. :( He is learning though!!

sterling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sterling said...

Hre's the url: http://community.livejournal.com/bad_riding/

Draw reins, if used properly, can be a helpful training aid. But, used alone, can wreck a horse. Jeez, why all the quick fixes? It's so much easier if you ride the horse forward and TEACH them to give to the bit...oh, wait, that takes something called TIME. We don't want to waste time. We want to start to show the horse at national level when it's two/three and then dump it's burned-out ass on some sorry fool at the age of six and start breaking another batch of yearlings.

*headdesk*

Union Square said...

Not just the draw reins (which I occasionally use, to little or no result) but the SADDLE!!

Wazzoo said...

Thank you for the url!! :-)

Patricia said...

That picture brings a whole new level to the term, "peanut pusher." I'd never heard the term until a few years ago because I don't ride western pleasure, but a friend of mine referred to a horse overflexed like that as the "peanut pusher about to fall on his face." Poor horse! That can't be comfortable.

clara said...

i've ridden in draw riens ONCE and it wasn't on my horse. i hopped on and it was terrible. i had no steering, no brakes. the horse just tucked her chin to her chest the entire time. and then she spooked and took off with me. she bucked a few times and somehow i was lucky enough to be able to circle her and calm her down. but needless to say i am not a fan of draw reins.

i do use one training tool (a rythm collector) that is kinda similar to draw reins. it goes over the poll, through the front legs, and ties up on top of their withers. i love it b/c the rider never touches it. it's pretty much the same concept of the rider "bumping" on the reins to collect but with the rythm collector the horses own movement helps it round up and collect. and you don't need to have it tight at all. and it is very easy to wean the horse off of it. if i do ride in it I ussually take it off about a quarter of the ride in. i pretty much use it just to help my horse find it out with some help and then i take it off to make him find that roundness on his own.

The Pale Horseman said...

I also frequent the bad riding community. Love it. But that girl a trainer? If anyone that young called themselves a horse trainer here in England, they'd be laughed into the next decade!

success in the pen said...

And if you know how to properly ask a horse to round his back, drive forward, and teach him lateral and vertical flexion... you NEVER have to use them. What a novel concept. In my opinion, if a trainer knows what they are doing, he will never have to use a set of draw reins. Draw reins are thought to be a quick fix. All they do is quickly ruin.

wastedrock said...

haha I'm the one who posted this opn Bad_riding! Good to see the post has not gone unnoticed :p

I got these from her myspace

Cut-N-Jump said...

Patricia- this is a prime example of Wenglish. The whole WP thing only in English attire.

As Union Square noted though-

Saddle fit anyone? It fits neither of them. Her knees are already at the pommel and the padding under it doesn't compensate for proper weight distribution.

How many of you want to bet- the saddle is pinching so the horse bucks or misbehaves and that's why she's using the draw reins? Anyone?

Solve the saddle issue and most of the other problems would likely disappear. But then she may think she's better than she really is and go on to just ruin more horses through ignorance.

Dressager said...

Yikes. That's why I'm not using a full bridle like my horse was being used in when I got her. My hands are just past training level dressage and I know a full bridle would become a torture device in my hands. I'll save it for the Olympians, and even then there a scant few I question using a full bridle lol. I'm no expert though.....

wastedrock said...

Actually, the sad part is Cut-N-Jump, she doesn't DO WP, she doesn't even ride western. She rides english, and "trains" and thinks she is correct for her horse!

kellyl said...

I can't tell you how often I see crap like this, unfortunatly there are a lot of bad trainers out there.

Cut-N-Jump said...

The biggest issue with draw reins-

There is NO disengage. They are always there and the horse has no 'escape' or gets any relief unless you let go, which when using even just a single rein is the same relief and 'escape' provided by your hands.

Wastedrock- whether or not she does WP, Wenglish has become the fashion trend in the stock breed rings as far as showing goes. If she were to go to a dressage show or hunter/jumper show where horses are used more properly (albeit not all of the horses there are either, and subject to different forms of abuse as well) and go over fences, she might come home a bit humbled and more educated.

I say might, as someone there may be inclined to help her out and teach her how to actually get the horse moving properly. Even if it is a few tips offered by the judge.

Otherwise it sounds like another case of "I went to a show, the horses moved like this and I seen trainers using that and they won. It works for them it will work for me."

Ilse Daniel said...

I remember a horse I once rode that kept it's head down at its knees just like this one! When I told its owner she needed to work on getting his head up and butt under him she was aghast and told me she'd spent months TEACHING him to carry himself that way! Give me a *^*^*^* break! Preserve me from opinionated ignoramuses!