Driving Reins for ground driving

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Christina_M

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I'm looking to get driving reins for ground driving that fit through the terrets and D rings. I heard that using these helps to put less pressure on the bit when ground driving. Is this correct? Would it help to keep the bit a little lighter in the mouth with the kids who are going to learn to drive and sometimes pull too hard?

If so.... What length reins are best to use with the minis? What is the best place to buy them? Any other hints or tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Mini Glaciers

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I'm looking to get driving reins for ground driving that fit through the terrets and D rings. I heard that using these helps to put less pressure on the bit when ground driving. Is this correct? Would it help to keep the bit a little lighter in the mouth with the kids who are going to learn to drive and sometimes pull too hard?If so.... What length reins are best to use with the minis? What is the best place to buy them? Any other hints or tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I bought a pair of long lines from star lake tack that are good quality. They are about 20 ft long and it takes a little getting used to so I don't get tangled in them...my horse doesn't seem to have that problem!
 

disneyhorse

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I have a set I made myself, out of poly/nylon rope. I made them 20 feet long, so I could longline my horses as well as ground drive... but that might be a lot of line for a kid to handle.

I don't think the tension matters TOO much as to the thickness of the line... if the kids aren't going to be lighter on the horses' mouths I would probably have them wait on learning.

Andrea
 

Minimor

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I have a set of pony driving lines (leather) that I use for long lining the minis. I want to say these are 13' or maybe a bit longer but can't remember for sure, I've had them awhile & haven't measured them since I first got them. They're just a nice length for long lining (they are longer than some of the pony lines I've seen for sale in the catalogues--I kind of lucked into these!!), nice weight (just like "real" driving lines, obviously) and of course no problem with them fitting through the terrets.

I'm not sure if you were meaning that the thinner/thicker lines make a difference or if you meant the fact that the lines fit through the terrets make a difference--either way I don't believe it makes any difference to how light the bit works in the horse's mouth if the driver is heavy handed. I wouldn't turn anyone that is heavy handed loose with one of my horses no matter what kind of lines or bit they were using.
 

Margo_C-T

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It is unwise to ground drive OR longline with the lines through the terrets until both horse and driver have a good deal of experience, because it is too easy for a horse to turn 'under' the lines to face the driver--something both unproductive and very possibly dangerous! I have ALWAYS ground driven and longlined with the lines passed through the tug loops of the harness(I don't own, don't need, have never used a 'training surcingle' because IMO it simply isn't necessary); I simply use the harness itself, (with breeching holdback and wrapstraps buckled through the tug loops so as not to dangle)for ground driving and longlining.

For both, I use a set of light lines of a 'lariat-looking', but small diameter nylon 'rope' that I made YEARS ago. My husband 'backbraided small bolt snaps into one end, and voila! driving lines! They are about 20' long; I use them for both ground driving and longlining. I strongly recommend close-fitting leather gloves for such pursuits; it is safer, but the gloves must fit to allow proper sensitivity.

I'd recommend the use of a rein board to help teach rein handling and develop lightness of hands, too.

Margo
 

Christina_M

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Thanks so much for the replies and idea's.
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So it looks like I'm searching for Long lines.

I'm not sure if you were meaning that the thinner/thicker lines make a difference or if you meant the fact that the lines fit through the terrets make a difference--either way I don't believe it makes any difference to how light the bit works in the horse's mouth if the driver is heavy handed. I wouldn't turn anyone that is heavy handed loose with one of my horses no matter what kind of lines or bit they were using.
Yes, I meant that the lines are hooked to the terrets then through the bit to my hands, makes it easier on the horses mouth. When I am ground driving, the horse is trotting, I am jogging to keep up, and while trying to keep a tight rein, with both of us bouncing a little, I feel like I am pulling on his mouth...unlike when I am in the cart where he is pulling me at the same speed, so it's easier to keep constant contact.

The kids haven't driven the horses yet, they have only ridden with a snaffle and a Tom Thumb. I'm doing homework and getting prepared for IF they are a little heavy on the mouth when first trying to get into the rhythm. They are pretty good about listening, so I'm not as much concerned about them as I am about the ground driving, since we are not in perfect sequence of our steps.

Margo - what is a rein board? sounds interesting and like something that would be helpful for both me and the kids. I am using a harness, as we don't have a training surgicle.
 

Minimor

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Yes, I meant that the lines are hooked to the terrets then through the bit to my hands, makes it easier on the horses mouth.
Do you actually mean snapping the lines to the terrets, and then up through the bit & then back to your hands, or with that just a typing error, and you're meaning the lines run from the bit through the terrets and then back to your hands?
If you're actually attaching the lines to the terrets and then running them through the bit & back to your hands, please don't use this method!! This is in actual fact draw reins, and draw reins should not be used for ordinary ground driving, and NOT by children, heavy handed or not. Draw reins give you an extreme amount of control, and put a lot of pressure on the bit and should only be used by experienced persons for specific reasons!
 

Christina_M

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Yes, I meant that the lines are hooked to the terrets then through the bit to my hands, makes it easier on the horses mouth.
Do you actually mean snapping the lines to the terrets, and then up through the bit & then back to your hands, or with that just a typing error, and you're meaning the lines run from the bit through the terrets and then back to your hands?
If you're actually attaching the lines to the terrets and then running them through the bit & back to your hands, please don't use this method!! This is in actual fact draw reins, and draw reins should not be used for ordinary ground driving, and NOT by children, heavy handed or not. Draw reins give you an extreme amount of control, and put a lot of pressure on the bit and should only be used by experienced persons for specific reasons!
Yes, I mean snapping the lines to the terrets, and then up through the bit & then back to your hands. You say those are draw reins....Thank you for replying! I won't do that then. I'll just use them by snapping to the bit, then running through the terrets to my hands to ground drive (same way I would if I were in the cart.)

The good thing is that I like to plan before I do something, so I haven't done anything yet. I'm really glad I asked first.
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The very LAST thing I want to do is screw up the horse by doing something I shouldn't.
 

disneyhorse

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Yes, "draw reins" are when the reins/lines do not go directly from the horses' mouths to your hands.

This adds a LOT of pressure to the horses' mouths.

When used correctly, it can encourage the horse to tuck its nose in (it is avoiding the extra pressure!) without really pulling with your hands. However, this is definitely not for normal use and never for children to drive with!

Good luck,

Andrea

(For draw reins, you can actually buy them with pulleys that allow the cord to slip easier through the area snapped to the bit. This helps avoid SOME of the pressure but definitely still adds a lot more pressure on the bit than a direct rein will).
 
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