Side Reins

Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price

WHAT ARE THEY?Two reins which clip to the bit rings, then run straight back to either side of horse to attach the girth/roller.

For lungeing only. These can be used to work the horse in a different way to add variety to your training program. They are used to give horses a contact point to use when they’re working.

The reins apply pressure to the bit if the horse raises or twists its head beyond a desired level. The pressure is released by the lips and bars.

– Making the first contact with a young horse
– Building topline muscle
– Developing different frames progressively
– Acceptance of contact
– Enhancing suppleness through the spine
Encourage a consistent, steady outline
– Obtaining looseness of paces by suppleness

Side Reins

Tara Osborn, instructor and dressage rider, explains that they can improve topline strength during lunge exercise. “Depending on the position of the reins on their girth, and their length, the desired frame,” she says. They allow for a more round, deeper frame by allowing the horse to use his back muscles and stretch them. The shorter and more collected the reins, the smaller the frame. But this must be maintained over time.

It is crucial to adjust the length of the rein according to the stage of horse training. Tara says that too long reins will cause the horse to lose contact with the handler and become stiff and hollow. He won’t be able to work through his back, so his topline and suppleness won’t improve. “If the reins are too long, the horse can be forced to conform to an incorrect shape with a tight neck, tense back and reluctantly move forward.

The side reins should be equal in length or slightly shorter than the inside. A horse with uneven reins can develop a lopsided appearance. Make sure the horse is pulled forward by the reins. Without this, muscle development will not occur.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!