Your Favorite Leather Split Rein
   

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Your Favorite Leather Split Rein

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  • Rockin sp reins review
  • Weaver split reins soft

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    12-06-2013, 03:34 AM
  #1
Foal
Your Favorite Leather Split Rein

Hi all,
I really, really want a pair of leather split reins for trail riding! I have a picture in my head of my mare wearing a soft white rope sidepull attached to chocoately brown leather split reins as we hack through the winter woodlands.
The thing is I know nothing about what makes good leather reins, and I absolutely do not need another pair of reins. I've got a dozen pair of reins lying around, but nothing made of leather except English rubberized ones that I hate. So I'm feeling frugal about the situation and not wanting to spend a lot of money.
Is something like the Smartpak Rockin' SP Split Reins worth the $50, or would I end up just as happy with a $15 pair of no-name reins from eBay? If I didn't get something that was soft and supple, how long would it take them to soften up, and what products should I be using to oil them? I've heard of a process called stretching that supposedly softens up reins too - does anyone know what that's about?
If you know the brand name of your favorite leather split reins, please share it with me! I'd feel a lot more confident buying under a brand name than just trying to go by description.

Am I being too particular and obsessive about something as simple as reins, or am I justified in being picky since it's a major channel of communication with my horse? I ride her bitless, by the way, if that changes things.

Thank you!
     
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    12-06-2013, 07:15 AM
  #2
Foal
The Weaver pre-oiled reins are very nice, and usually pretty easy to find. They start out nice and soft and keep getting better and better the more you ride with them. They come in different widths too, depending on what you prefer.

I like the buckle ends but they come in different styles too. :)
Weaver Leather, LLCStacy Westfall ProTack Oiled Split Reins, 1/2" x 8'

If they're too expensive, I would check ebay for used, harness leather reins. That way you get them cheaper and they're already broken in.
     
    12-06-2013, 07:33 AM
  #3
Trained
1/2" Harness Leather Waterloop Reins By Schutz BrothersSchutz all the way. I buy them, then soak them in olive oil for a day or two. They are buttery soft and lovely. Cannot say enough good about them. I sold my Stacy Westfall stuff as it could not compare.
COWCHICK77 likes this.
     
    12-06-2013, 09:36 AM
  #4
mls
Trained
Along with softness - there is also width and thickness to consider. Depends on what you like. Harness leather is great. Weaver has some nice sets too.
     
    12-06-2013, 09:49 AM
  #5
Foal
I'll check on Weaver and Schutz then. :) I think 5/8" would be okay since currently my favorite "reins" is just my nylon lead rope tied to her halter, and it's 5/8". I don't have particularly small hands, either.
I'd be willing to spend a little more if I knew I was getting a quality product that I would love, but since I've never used splits before I'm afraid I'll find out they're too much for me, or uncomfortable, or they bug her where they hit her sides. I don't even have any girlfriends I can borrow from - everyone here is English! The two local tack shops (aside from the feed store) only stock English items too. :p
     
    12-06-2013, 10:31 AM
  #6
Started
Quote:
bug her where they hit her sides
never met a horse that cared. I'm not the biggest fan of split reins, but they have their place, and I just bought a set for my "western" bridle. I do have a fair bit of experience with them though.

don't buy anything coated or cheap!!! A lot of the cheap ones are either terrible leather that is thick and super stiff, or thin and 'card boardy', or they are coated. A coat of stain for color is not a bad thing, but this coating is plastic, water repellent and wont allow you to oil the reins, so they remain stiff, and never properly break in. It also starts to look terrible in short order. You will despise cheap reins.

I've had good experiences with weaver products. With split reins its all about the weight and 'feel' of the reins, so good quality leather is essential, as is properly oiling them.
     
    12-06-2013, 11:22 AM
  #7
Weanling
Do you like flat reins or braided? I hate flats, I fiddle with them too much and they slip through my hands no matter how much I try not to.
I didn't see any braided reins in stores I liked, so I had some made by a guy in MO (no KY, I think). I LOVE them. They are *awesome*. Super soft leather (latigo, I think). Just enough thickness to hold wonderfully. Enough stick to them to be more holdable.
Mad Hatters Customs - The Barn Lot Their website says they are still moving, but I think they are settled and taking new orders.
I also love that they are made in the USA by a small privately owned company. :)
     
    12-06-2013, 06:54 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
DONT buy anything coated or cheap!!! A lot of the cheap ones are either terrible leather that is thick and super stiff, or thin and 'card boardy', or they are coated. A coat of stain for color is not a bad thing, but this coating is plastic, water repellent and wont allow you to oil the reins, so they remain stiff, and never properly break in. It also starts to look terrible in short order. You will despise cheap reins.
That's what I was afraid of! I wouldn't have known about the coating thing, you guys always teach me something new. :)

I don't know why, but I've always had this fear that Weaver products were cheap or poorly made (maybe because those are what they sell at the local feed store instead of the boutique shops?) so I've never purchased anything from them. Now with several recommendations for their products I'm beginning to recondsider - and fear that I've been a bit of a snob - and those are definitely within my price range at the local TSC. I'm glad to know that they're good quality items and I will definitely pay close attention when I go buy more pellets in 2 weeks.

Regarding flat vs. braided - I don't know, I've never gotten to try any of them. :( I think flat would be okay because I have a pair of flat cotton reins that I love but streeeeeeeetch like crazy, but I don't think I'll get the opportunity to try anything unless I buy, since there's no one I can borrow from. I'll look at Mad Hatters - I love handmade items!

Thank you, guys!
     
    12-06-2013, 06:57 PM
  #9
Trained
The Weaver, pre-oiled split reins are my favorite. Nice & heavy and soft as all get out!
StandingOvation likes this.
     
    12-06-2013, 07:50 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherwmson    
That's what I was afraid of! I wouldn't have known about the coating thing, you guys always teach me something new. :)

I don't know why, but I've always had this fear that Weaver products were cheap or poorly made (maybe because those are what they sell at the local feed store instead of the boutique shops?) so I've never purchased anything from them. Now with several recommendations for their products I'm beginning to recondsider - and fear that I've been a bit of a snob - and those are definitely within my price range at the local TSC. I'm glad to know that they're good quality items and I will definitely pay close attention when I go buy more pellets in 2 weeks.

Regarding flat vs. braided - I don't know, I've never gotten to try any of them. :( I think flat would be okay because I have a pair of flat cotton reins that I love but streeeeeeeetch like crazy, but I don't think I'll get the opportunity to try anything unless I buy, since there's no one I can borrow from. I'll look at Mad Hatters - I love handmade items!

Thank you, guys!
:) The handmade was sooo worth it, It started with a single ear braided bridle... then I had to have matching reins, and had used braided rope ones once and fell in love... They are the only ones ll I use. :)
     

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