Sliding Side or Vienna Reins:
Sliding side or Vienna Reins: are one of the most useful items of schooling equipment and can be used either ridden or when lunge schooling. So often schooling equipment can be complicated and restrictive for the Horse.
Sliding Side Reins encourage the horse to find its own balance, accept bit pressure and acquire a comfortable profile in all paces. As the name suggests the contact is a sliding one with the horse’s mouth, there is no forcing of the outline; the horse can alter its profile to comfortably suit the pace. The horses profile, balance and head carriage changes as the paces change if you use a piece of schooling equipment that relies on a fixed position this can mean the horse is not as comfortable in all the paces.
But as Sliding Side Reins, work on the principle of a sliding contact the horse is able to comfortably adjust its head carriage whichever pace it is in.
But pressure by the reins is applied when the head carriage is taken too high or the nose is poked too far forward or is taken too low the horse then feels pressure from the mouthpiece of the bit which should encourage the head to return to a balanced carriage. As with all pieces of schooling equipment they rely on the person on board or on the ground to fit them well and then to maintain a steady degree of forward movement, it is not enough to put on a device and then let the horse slop around or alternatively move too fast and compromise good balance.
To fit: the reins either fit to the top ring on a lungeing roller or to the top of a driving pad or to the top Ds of a saddle, run along each side of the horse’s neck, passing through the bit ring and then either down between the horses front legs treaded through the girth for a deeper profile or along the horses side to fasten under the flap of the saddle in the manner of side reins or to the bottom ring on a lungeing roller or just above the girth on a driving pad. As a general guide when the horse is standing in a relaxed position at the halt the sliding side reins should be adjusted so that the reins are just taut without drawing the horse’s head in
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