New headstall with ridiculously short split reins - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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New headstall with ridiculously short split reins

I bought Aires a new western headstall on Monday and it came with a pair of what I feel are ridiculously short split reins. We measured them and they are 5' long each. My English reins are 10' long and are the perfect length. If I drop my English reins so that I'm just holding the buckle, they are the perfect length for western (just the right of slack). I know I can replace the split reins, that's not an issue (more like an unwanted additional expense). Is it normal for a rather large western bridle to come with such short reins? I say the bridle is rather large because Aires' English bridle is a draft sized bridle and the new bridle is the same size. O.o

Also, have a question about matching oils. I'm going to be showing western this summer (because we're soooo not ready for English lol), so I'm buying a western saddle. I made this decision after buying the new bridle. I found a saddle I like the looks of and should fit both of us. But, the saddle appears to be a lighter oil than the bridle. This is the saddle: I don't have a picture of the bridle itself, but it's a medium oil. I'll try to find a pic online and put it up (I can't figure out how to post actual pics from my phone). Do you think the color difference will be a problem for a local schooling show? The bridle has basket weave tooling like the saddle does.
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post #2 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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This is the closest I can find to the headstall.
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post #3 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 05:27 PM
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I wouldn't think it would be an issue at all. That saddle actually has 2 colors from use if you really look......

If you want really nice split reins-get Schutz. They are the BEST! Then, soak them in Olive oil for a couple of butter.

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post #4 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 PM
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My mom's gelding is borderline when it comes to tack, he can fit in the last settings for a regular horse in some stuff and needs something larger the other half of the time. We bought him a new bridle last summer in horse size and the reins are VERY short. They felt too short when I tried them on my barely 15hh gelding so it wasn't just due to his size. I've also bought a bridle and had the reins be SUPER long, too much to know what to do with.

Maybe you could dye the saddle if you really want to but that seems like a lot of work for something that could easily be messed up. It might not look bad once everything is together, I've used a darker bridle with lighter saddles before and it didn't look off.
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post #5 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I was actually gonna get a pair from my local tack shop. They make a lot of their own bridles, reins, and even make saddles. LOVE that place. He'll even make them to match the bridle (or saddle). What length reins should I get? Aires doesn't have an overly long neck, but I don't want them to be too short, either.

I was more just curious if such short split reins were common.
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post #6 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 06:09 PM
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I don't know why bridle makers even bother to include the 'stumpy' reins - they're not practical in the real world (eg trail riding) and when they're short like that they just don't seem to hang right when you're in the arena.

For length, I think you should try for 7 ft; my personal preference is 8 ft (the price goes up considerably, it seems, when you're getting that length).

For bridle/saddle colour, I think after they both get a few miles on them and you do some cleaning and oiling they'll start to blend into together nicely. Also, I suspect right now that you're noticing the colour difference more than other folks will do.

Last edited by Chevaux; 02-24-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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post #7 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 06:15 PM
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Most split reins are 7' to 8'. I've never seen 5' split reins, that must be a pain to ride in!
I wouldn't worry about the different shades. If it really bothers you, you can always do a couple coats of oil.

"If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking chances , and that means you're not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more chances to learn and win. -John W. Holt, Jr."
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post #8 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 06:25 PM
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You can always oil the lighter colored bridle. 5' reins on a draft size bridle? That's an insult! Anyways, always get the thickest, pliable reins when showing, makes such a difference in your feel.
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post #9 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know how to post pics from an iPhone? I was gonna try to put up pics if the actual bridle. After looking at the eBay listing again, it's close to the color of the wrapping on the horn.
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post #10 of 70 Old 02-24-2013, 06:42 PM
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I upload my photos to photobucket and use the iphone app and when you click the image link it will copy and you paste into your message box :P

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