Split Reins or Closed Reins

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Split Reins or Closed Reins

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  • Western gaming reins\
  • Used split reins

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    10-01-2010, 01:02 PM
Question Split Reins or Closed Reins


I just wanted to ask your opinion about which is better for barrel racing and obstacle courses as I am getting mixed messages. I've always used closed reins on my horses but I started getting lessons and my instructor told me that split reins are better because closed reins confuse the horse as there is pressure on both sides. I'm more comfortable with closed reins but I am opened to learning to use split ones too but I find the split ones more dangerous, if I were to drop one and they tend to dangle. However, will the horse get confused if I used closed reins?

Thank you
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    10-01-2010, 01:30 PM
Thumbs up Hi

The only way your horse should get confused with closed reigns is if they are brand new to reigning or if you collect the reigns to tight. So if you keep your reigns snug but night tight you should be okay I have done pretty decent with closed reigns my self.
    10-01-2010, 06:35 PM
Green Broke
I would learn how to use split but stick with closed for barrel racing and stuff like that. I don't have any issues with my horse understanding what I want with closed reins
    10-01-2010, 06:42 PM
I have to agree that it would be a good thing to be comfortable using split reins but for high speed events, closed reins are generally a better deal. One of the risks with split reins is that if your horse stumbles or something and pulls one or both of them out of your hand, then you are reinless. With closed reins, if you drop them, they will still be on the neck for you to grab.
    10-01-2010, 07:22 PM
It a bad idea to use split reins for barrel racing. I did that a couple of years and I dropped a rein (or both) all of the time, mainly because my reins are not my main focus because my horses work off of leg cues.
    10-02-2010, 07:47 AM
Ok, thank you. :) I think I'll stick to the way I ride then with my own horses. I'll just learn how to use the split reins when I have my lessons.
    10-08-2010, 04:42 PM
Closed / Gaming reins I find work the best.
    10-09-2010, 03:28 PM
I agree with all above.
At least with closed you don't have to think about your reins - one longer, what if I drop one, easier with one hand speed events ...ect.
I prefer split reins for pleasure riding, or reining when you would probably want more individual control.
Either way I don't think the style of rein should have a whole lot to do with a difference in asking your horse to do something - they're both attached to the bit. So a split rein or a closed rein shouldn't confuse your horse (rider maybe...lol)
    10-09-2010, 04:59 PM
I much prefer long split reins but I hold them like closed reins unlike most on here, so if I drop them they stay on the neck. I like to open my leading rein super wide and most gameing reins are too short for this.
    10-09-2010, 05:30 PM
Generally, closed reins are used for gaming, and split reins for pleasure riding/schooling. At all the shows in my area, closed reins in western gaming is a manatory rule.

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