I am currently riding with split reins, but have been told by a few people that continuous reins are better for beginners. When I asked them why, they said I would be quicker doing a one rein stop, etc.
I didn't even worry about dropping a rein, but now that you brought that up ..
I have a 10' long yacht rope rein. I like it because I can drop it and it is still there. I can clip one end to the rope halter I leave on under her bridle, and have a 10' lead rope. If I'm hot and have sweaty hands, it doesn't get slick.
The drawback would be that my horse neck reins nicer with leather split reins than with rope. Also, crossed over like this, even dropped split reins might not drop far:
Roping reins are usually better for a beginner. It can be a lot to ask a beginner to give the correct aids to a horse, navigate the trail and have split reins to handle on top of that. Things that are second nature to me such as adjusting my reins, can be difficult for a beginner.
A big thing to consider is the length of the reins when looking at roping reins. Many roping reins I see (I don't look at them much though, i'm a split rein girl) are on the shorter side. You need to make sure that when your horse is riding nice and relaxed with their head lower that you'll still have a slight drape in the rein. All too often I see beginners riding in roping reins because it's easier for them but they're constantly in their horses mouth because their reins aren't long enough.
As far as dropping split reins, it isn't a big thing to be worried about. Quality split reins will have some weight to them and length. If you drop them on your horses neck, it's pretty well going to stay put and not slide to the ground. Now cheap lightweight reins, yes they would slip. Short reins would also have a tenancy to slip.
I've been an english rider for many years, but I ride western so infrequently that I guess I'm relatively new at it. I hate split reins! I don't like the uncertainty that if something happens that rein is dangling from his mouth to the ground and there's not much I can do to get to it! I've tried to get used to them, but I'll just stick to one continuous rein. Posted via Mobile Device
I used to use a friends bridle with split reins, they were so thick though that I dropped them on more than one occasion. Luckily I'm tall and my horse has a short neck and he tolerated me reaching up to grab them again. I def prefer cont ones though.