In an earlier post I offered information on an item people keep coming to me for in internet searches. I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t believe that you have to buy fancy equipment from brand-name trainer in order to learn what they are teaching. Half the time, I see something I think would be useful to the development of my riding skills and communication with my horse, and proceed to make one of my own. I have used a simple piece of yachting rope (left over from sailing days) for use in the same way as the Tellington TTouch Balance Rein. This “necklace” that sits at the base of the neck and over the withers has a gazillion uses. In this case, however, I didn’t make my own. TTouch offers two Balance Reins, one plain and one braided, that are too good to pass up. They have great weight and feel, both of which improve on my homemade model considerably.
The Balance Rein
rebalances a horse. It is used with a bridle for horses who have a tendency to come above the bit or behind the vertical, in combination with a snaffle or the TTEAM Training bit. The Balance Rein collects the horse and keeps him in a state of balance. The Balance Rein also invites horses to bring their backs up, to lengthen and to round the neck. Read about using the Balance Rein in The Joy of Riding with TTEAM Equipment here. (Note! Document in PDF format. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. Get Acrobat Reader here.)
The uses of such a tool are almost endless. The above stated purpose of balancing the horse and getting more “throughness” cannot be overestimated. I’ve sen it work almost instantly, once the rider gets the hand of using it. It is even more useful in conjunction with a bridle or rope halter.
Using a tool like this can also aid horse and rider in developing better communication without, as Bonnitta at The Horses of Alderlore abusing the privilege of communication with the horse’s head. Read her thought-provoking words here.
When used early in a rider’s education the Balance Rein can teach a developing rider how to communicate with the horse while avoiding using the horse’s head as their main avenue of communication. A very valuable lesson for all riders, new and experienced.
In addition to improving communication between horse and rider while preventing accidental abuse of the bit and bridle, I’ve used my balance rein in all sorts of ways. Please post your ideas and experiences with similar tools. I’d love to read all about it.
© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch
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