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The side reins are the most widely used classics among the auxiliary reins. They are attached to the girths on both sides, pulled through the snaffle rings and then buckled. The side rein is used as a support when riding in a lean position and prevents the horse from running with its head and neck upwards.
Triangle reins are also well known in the equestrian world. They run from the girth through a ring between the horse's front legs to the snaffle rings and are then fastened on the way back to the girth. This auxiliary rein is also used to restrain the horse laterally. The draw reins are also often used for lunging.
Draw reins are a controversial auxiliary rein in equestrian sport, as they exert considerable pressure on the horse's nose. Draw reins can be buckled high or low and, like many other types of auxiliary reins, run from the girth to the snaffle rings. The draw reins, however, are held in the rider's hand and can thus exert additional influence on the horse. With the draw reins, a steady hand that is independent of the seat is of the utmost importance, otherwise you can really cause pain to your horse.
Once you have thought through your level of training, your training style, your goals, and your horse's preferences, and have decided on a particular type of auxiliary reins, you can get down to details. Choose between leather or nylon, rubber or metal rings and find the right auxiliary reins for you.
In equestrian sport, any strap that connects to the horse and is not the rein in the rider's hand is called an auxiliary rein, and there are different types for different purposes.
The best-known auxiliary rein is the side rein, which restricts the horse's head movement upwards and is often used by beginners and also for lunging. The triangle rein, is an auxiliary rein that is similar to the side rein and is intended to prevent the horse from pulling to the side.
Last but not least, the martingale is a well-known type of auxiliary rein, it is mainly used in show jumping because it also prevents the horse's head from moving upwards too much, but at the same time it is relatively flexible and thus does not interfere with jumping or cavaletti work.
Auxiliary reins, as their name suggests, should always be an aid for the rider, but above all for the horse. Therefore, with any kind of auxiliary reins, you must make sure that you do not restrict your horse's movement too much or force it into a position in which it does not feel comfortable. A properly used auxiliary rein limits or prevents undesirable things and promotes what you ultimately want to achieve without auxiliary reins.
The correct use of auxiliary reins always depends on what kind of auxiliary reins you are using and what purpose you are pursuing. Think about what the auxiliary reins will support you in and what the desired goal is. This can be done together with your riding instructor or an experienced rider.
Auxiliary reins are straps and cords that supplement the usual bridle. They are used to improve the horse's posture when lunging or riding. An experienced rider should not really need these aids. They can, however, be useful for beginners who want to improve their posture. They can also be used for training. They should not be used in country-country riding and would only be dangerous there. The only exception is a sliding ring martingale, which can be useful for preventing the horse from pulling its head upwards.
Side reins are designed to encourage your horse to follow the rein aids. they consist of two long straps that run from the side of the girth to the snaffle rings. The horse moves within a clearly defined framework through the side reins. It finds a calm contact, but can also push itself away from the bit. At the same time it is limited laterally.
Draw reins consist of a strap that is attached to the centre of the saddle girth. A cross strap with two rings connects it to the bridle on the other side. The draw rein prevents your horse from lifting its head too high. The chambon is a neck piece with two rings on the side. It is buckled to the girth and causes the horse to lower its head by applying pressure to the neck and mouth.
The effect of the reins depends on the type of reins you choose. This in turn should depend on the problem you want to solve with these aids. Most reins are designed to make the horse walk in the correct posture. By strapping the horse correctly, it should be made either impossible or at least very uncomfortable for the horse to adopt the wrong posture. However, these aids can only have an effect on the horse's neck and head. Unfortunately, correct head posture is not everything when riding. Other problems, such as the horse not stepping under enough, cannot be corrected with these aids.