Need help making rope reins!

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Need help making rope reins!

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    11-12-2010, 04:36 AM
Need help making rope reins!

I really need some help!

I decided that I needed a creative project while I'm on holiday so I decided to make some rope halters, rope reins and lead ropes. The halters have turned out fine, and the lead ropes are great but I'm really stuck on the rope reins.

I bought some lovely yacht rope, with a nice weight but I'm not sure whats the best way to attach them to the bit.

I have three options: a stainless steel clip, rope and leather slobber straps. Of the three, the clip and the rope attachment are the easiest for me to use as I'm having difficulty with the leather straps as I'm not sure what equipment I'd need or where to get the leather from (I live in South Africa if that helps).

So I just wanted to ask everyone who has some experience with rope reins and which attachment would be the best. I'm not phased about what the reins look like or if they look 'traditional', I just want the best for me and my horse.

The only concerns I have with the stainless steel clips is I'm worried they'll be too heavy if I use clips with enough of a 'breaking strength' and if they'll irritate my horse with them clinking by the bit (I use a loose ring french link snaffle).

I've attached images of the three types of attachments and would love to hear your opinions!

EDIT: Forgot to add, if anyone has used the rope attachments, what type of rope is the end (black part in the example picture)? Is it elasticated?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Goodnightropereinscutout.jpg (53.7 KB, 1228 views)
File Type: jpg grn03.jpg (31.0 KB, 1249 views)
File Type: jpg reins-yacht-rope-reins.jpg (30.8 KB, 1219 views)
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    11-12-2010, 03:17 PM
I like the snaps, easy to take on and off. I've never seen them bother a horse, they don't weigh much. Just don't get very heavey ones
    11-12-2010, 03:27 PM
I like the look of the string ends. The leather slobber straps are the generally 'accepted' attachment but I can understand if you are having trouble finding some. I am like you, I don't like the snaps on my bit ends because they jangle around and even if they don't irritate the horse, they irritate me because I can feel it.
    11-13-2010, 01:35 AM
Super Moderator
The snaps are said to irritate the horse as they will have a bit of friction when they move that is metal on metal and that vibration can realliy be felt through the metal bit, on top of whatever clanking souund the human rider can hear.

The purpose for the slobber straps (is that a weird name, or what?) is to transmit the change in "weight" of the rein very immediately to the bit. The straps and the rein have weight such that when they are hanging (loose rein) they have a feel to the bit, when the rider picks up one rein, some of the hanging weight is diminished. AND, as the rein is lifted the slobber strap changes the angle it has to the bit as it slides on the loose ring of the bit. The resistance of the leather on the bit (especially if the slobber strap has some real width to it) can be felt by the horse really quickly, so the horse gets the message coming through the rein before there is any real pull on the rein , just by the feel of the slobber strap itself.

If I was doing a lot of trail riding, I might do the metal snaps because there are times when it is good to be able to detache ones reins quickly. If I wanted to ride western and do training, I would do rope reins with slobber straps.
They can be ordered online from many sources.
Any good, heavy leather would work for making them.
    11-13-2010, 11:41 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies, I really appreciate it!

BarrelRacer, if you use the snaps, may I please ask how big they are (roughly) and what metal they're made of? I'm assuming stainless steel?

Smrobs, any ideas what kind of string they might use? Taking a shot in the dark here but would love to hear another person's speculations on the picture.

TinyLily, I love the name slobber straps =D The reins I am making already have quite a heft to them, being 14mm yacht braid rope, but I understand what you're saying about the leather straps. Thanks for telling me about them as I really have no experience using them at all. I'm not really sure yet what I want to be doing with the reins, I would like to train my horse to neck rein and prefer the weight of the rope reins to the leather reins I use to ride english and possibly use neck reining when I due gymkhana as I don't like riding english while doing mounted games. I have no intention of competing in western disciplines etc. as I have very few classes in my area (that I know of and am allowed to compete in as the horse in not mine). The problem with ordering online is I live in South Africa and usually find shipping rather expensive to here and the possibility of posted items getting stolen is quite large. As for making them, do you have any information working with leather? What materials and equipment would I need to make slobber straps?
    11-13-2010, 12:37 PM
Sorry for the double post, just been doing some more research on the reins.

Buying slobber straps are out, there are only a few shops online selling them in SA (will check at the tack shop when I go there this week but doubt they'll have them) and they cost more than the rope reins I was planning to buy (the price of which prompted me to make my own).

Also, seems like trigger snaps are either brass or nickel, which metal is best do you think?
    11-13-2010, 12:42 PM
The string looks very similar to parachute cord to me but I can imagine that just about any kind of braided nylon rope/string would work.

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