Split or straight (single) reins, which do you like? Why? Is it better to use one over the other?
I use either a cotton single contest rein or a single nylon. I'm trying to decide if I should also try a split for turn control. Personally, I tend to hate split because I never know what to do with the knot. If the reins are long, I get the knot caught on everything, but all of our school horses have split.
I have so many sets of reins I could start a store I used split reins for a long time, never knotted them. That was when I was riding a QH. Now that I ride a gaited horse I like a single rein, particularly the barrel racing reins. I like the knots at certain levels of the rein. I use them like gears. First knot for just walking along, 2nd knot for faster gait, up to the webbing for flat out getting with it. They look like this I have all different colors.
I want to add the split reins are good for giving your horse a little incentive to go faster. You can use them as a crop or whip. My horse now doesnt need the incentive so.... I think if I popped her with a crop she would leave the ground and fly
Usually, I use barrel reins on youngsters that I put time on, so I don't have alot of extra rein to deal with. I use split to show in, and then I use horse hair mecates too on my one Curly gelding and my qh mare. Hopefully it will help teach them how to neck rein.
I use split reins. I used to use single reins but now I like split better.
I don't tie them either, I just cross them over (hard to explain, I'll see if I can get a pic)
Once you get used to split reins you don't really drop them (i used to all the time!)
Another advantage besides using the end as a crop is that if you fall off and the horse bolts the reins go over its head and then it can't put it's foot through the reins (like in single) and hurt itself trying to run.
I would NEVER tie leather split reins!!! I only tie the rope ones that go along w/ my handmade bridles.... that's just how I've always ridden in the rope bridles because that's what my trainer taught me....
I agree totally with Tiffanny Fehr, that is the same way that I do it. As for crossing the split reins like crackrider said, you cross the left rein over the neck to the right side and the right rein over the neck to the left side and grab them where they cross the mane. You always want to make sure that they are even though, because that can cause problems all its own.