An easy to make horse training device in Congress, Arizona horse trainer Twister Heller's bag of tricks is the "Cowboy Draw Rein." This device is especially useful on horses that want to whirl and run, such as "barn sour" horses, those who shy excessively, want to come off the ground with their front feet, or any other spoiled behavior where the horse is normally able to take its head (and control) away from the rider. These draw reins help the trainer or horse owner to ride their horse correctly. They are used to get a horse to push its body forward, become collected, develop the correct head set, and stay soft in its mouth. If you lope a horse with draw reins, it is easier to set its head, put its body forward, and keep its neck down to turn around.
The draw reins Twister uses are made from a set of 7' split reins riveted together in the middle and with snaps attached to the free ends. They can be made from 9' split reins, unattached in the middle, but since their use with another set of reins takes some getting used to, the rider who is not used to a two rein bridle will probably get along better with them attached in the center. Twister uses a bridle with a ring snaffle bit and an attached set of split reins. The draw rein is snapped to the front cinch ring on one side, run through that side's snaffle ring on the bit, back around the saddle horn, through the ring on the other side of the snaffle bit, and back to snap on the other front cinch ring.
Twister says that if you have too much trouble with all four reins, you can use just the draw reins. You may apply downward pressure using the draw reins to make the horse bend at the poll and maintain collection, or you may use them to snatch the horse if it tries to turn or flee inappropriately. Last winter Twister used the draw reins with amazing effectiveness on two separate horses who liked to whirl and flee, one when scared, the other, because he was barn sour.
Problem horses usually learn after a number of rides using this device that they cannot resort to their favorite bad behavior and then a rider can graduate to the "Cowboy Martingale" and hopefully eventually won't need any aids. If the horse reverts to its bad habits, reride the horse for another period of time with the draw reins. One caution, however, even though a horse may overcome a bad problem in most circumstances, if something really scary happens it may temporarily revert to the behavior out of primitive reaction.
The draw reins are not used to overpower the horse, but to achieve correct head control with less effort from the rider.
Twister encourages a common sense approach to horse training. The aids mentioned here are neither elaborate or expensive. They do augment the rider's ability to control and to read the horse. As with any training advice, use them with care, and if you are not confident with them consult your horse trainer.