Vienna Reins



The method of attaching the reins (fig.1), is much more versatile and the reins (having a buckle at each end) can be attached at various heights on the surcingle. The double reins (sometimes also referred to as running reins, but not to be confused with draw reins!) allow for more movement of the head and lead to a steadier contact in the rein from the higher level of play in the rein.


The triangular method (fig.2) of attaching the Vienna reins between the front legs can lead to horses becoming more on the forehand and the horse breaking at the third vertebra. It allows the horse to move his head up a little but the predominant action is in a downwards manner. As there is little room for any play in the reins when used like this, the horse may try to find relief from the niggle felt at every stride by going behind the vertical.

The argument against the fixed side rein is precisely that it does not allow (the horse to move) the bit beyond the arc of a circle, whereas the sliding reins allow the bit to move anywhere along an ellipse. It is this perceived extra feeling of ‘freedom’ that some horses prefer.

With the side reins properly adjusted, the horse can carry his nose correctly in front of the vertical (A), but when he tries to push the nose forwards and out, he is compelled to overbend (B).

As with side reins, I am neither advocating nor decrying the use of Lauffer reins (aka Vienna or Sliding reins), I am merely presenting them as a training option if you feel horse horse might benefit from them.


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