Balance Rein - Braided
This style of the TTEAM Balance Rein is made by braiding a driving line. Itís use is the same as with the second style we offer. The Balance Rein is like a "necklace" or a second rein at the base of the neck that 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.
Learn more! Read Why Use a Balance Rein? as well as an article about using the Balance Rein and other equipment (The Joy of Riding with TTEAM Equipment). (Note! TTEAM Equipment document in PDF format. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. Get Acrobat Reader here.)
Why Use a Balance Rein?
Carolyn Von Hauck wrote about her horse and asked about the benefits of the Balance Rein. Linda replies to Carolyn about why this particular piece of equipment is so incredible for so many horses.
From Carolyn Von Hauck to Linda
I watched your video of Epilogue on YouTube last summer but never tried the bandage wrap. My horse has the identical challenges as this mare. So, last night I tried it for the first time and it was wonderful to feel him drop his head and bring his back up at the walk and trot and reach under himself with his hind end. He did begin to get nervous as we proceeded and started to get jiggy and rushing so I stopped for the evening.
This horse was severely abused with previous owners — twisted wire snaffles, Argentine gags, standing martingales while going cross-country, etc. I have worked for a year on getting him to relax. A very slow and patient process, but I am pleased with his progress with trust and relaxation. I have even worked him with a bitless bridle which he prefers.
So, I am interested in the "Balance Rein" to see if I can continue to tap into his calm demeanor. I am not exactly sure what it is or how to begin with it . . . perhaps just a loose "string" will suffice? I will watch your video again and again.
From Linda Tellington-Jones
Hi Carolyn! Thanks for being open about exploring the possibilities with TTouch and our equipment.
The Balance Rein is surprisingly easy to use on most horses. Just put it around the neck at the base of the neck. Hold your reins in two hands as usual and pick up the Balance Rein with the middle finger of the outside rein to stop. Give a half-halt cue accompanied by a verbal, quiet whooaa (draw out the sound) in the beginning. Your horse should stop on the release of the pressure, not from the pressure. In the beginning I usually ask for two half-halts, and then typically add the aid of closing my upper legs along with that cue. But don’t add that aid in the beginning. Just using the Balance Rein alone will work.
If your horse does not respond, you may be closing your lower leg without realizing it. If that is not the case then we teach this from the ground with chest-line driving that is shown in my book. Remember to use the voice aid in the beginning.
Once you get the hang of it, I believe you will be amazed at the value of this simple piece of equipment.
I demonstrated the Balance Rein last year (with a rider who had never used it) at a one-day demonstration for the Xenophon Club I gave at the Klaus Balkenhol stable in Germany. In attendance was a dressage judge and trainer who said he was going to incorporate the idea for all his students because he saw the positive effect it had on getting a horse to lift his back and lengthen his neck.
I must tell the story of how I came to using the Balance Rein. It was actually with a horse that Peggy Cummings brought to an advanced Tellington Training about 18 years ago. He would sometimes sit down when he felt threatened by even a slight pressure on his mouth. I rode him in our Tellington Training Bit with two sets of reins. I was riding with the top rein only with the curb (lower rein) hanging loose. Since I had been warned that he sometimes would sit back on his haunches without warning, I intuitively flipped the curb rein over his neck and signaled him to stop with just the pressure of that rein on his chest. He stopped perfectly in balance — and that was the birth of the Balance Rein.
Now we use it to bring the back up on a horse who has a high head carriage and rough trot, and it can really help to smooth out a trot. You can also use the Balance Rein together with your bitless bridle to calm and steady a horse. It’s wonderful for horses who are jiggy or spooky. Let me know how you get along with it — be brave and explore the possibilities!
Remember to breathe and visualize the gait and response you want, not the behavior that has been typical. And I would love it if you could make a little video clip for YouTube or take some photos. It’s so great to share these stories with others!