Running reins are a training aid that are used for ridden work and encourage the horse to work in an outline.
- Assist in lowering the horses head.
- Assist in encouraging the horse to flex at the poll and work on the vertical.
- Encourage the horse to work from their back and hindquarters.
- Encourages correct muscle development.
Running reins apply pressure to the corners, poll and bars, although to a lesser extent than that of the draw reins.
- Running reins are attached to the girth straps on the saddle in the same way that you attach side reins for lunging.
- From the girth straps the reins then run directly to the inside to the outside of the bit rings on both sides.
- From the bit rings the reins then run directly to the riders hand.
- The running reins should sit under the snaffle rein.
How To Use
- Your horse should be suitably warmed up before the running reins are attached and used.
- The rider then keeping hold of the snaffle rein can then pick up the running reins.
- To begin with a very light contact should be used with the running reins so that if the horse shows any sign of panicking at the running rein pressure then the rider can quickly relax the running rein contact, while still continuing to ride the horse forwards.
- Pressure on the snaffle rein must be maintained throughout the training session.
- As soon as the horse softens their outline the running rein pressure should be released.
- The rider should then continue to train the horse on the flat using supplying techniques and lateral work to help encourage the horse to work correctly in conjunction with the use of the running reins.
- To begin with use running reins for a short time only to allow the horses muscles to build and develop.
How To Hold
The reins are held in the same way that you would hold the reins of a double bridle. The snaffle rein is held as normal with the running rein underneath the little finger going across the palm and held in place on top of the snaffle rein by the riders thumb.
- Immediately release the running rein pressure if the horse shows any discomfort.
- Only to be used by experienced riders.
- To be used with a snaffle bridle.
- To be used without a martingale.
- To be used for flatwork only.
- Only use running reins for a short time to prevent over stressing the horses muscles.
- If incorrectly used draw reins can cause the horse to fix their heads on the vertical without engaging their hindquarters.
- Draw reins can encourage horses to become heavy on their forehand if incorrectly used.
- The horse must be ridden forwards and remain in front of the riders leg while running reins are being used.
- If you have not used Running Reins before then seek professional guidance.