I've never had my own tack before (probably because I've never had my own horse before lol), so I'm not sure what to look for, exactly. I know what kind of saddle I want/need and all the fittings that go with that. I know what kind of bit I want. What I'm having issues with are what reins I want/need.
Here's what I know I don't want from what I've used in the past:
-Split reins...a couple of reasons, here. One, I just plain don't like them. They're too long. Two, we're eventually going to be doing jumping and the like...don't think split reins would be a good idea there.
-Rubber reins...I've heard people say they like them, but the ones I've felt have been thick, stiff and not comfortable at all.
-Thick cotton reins...my friend has a pair that are 1" thick and it's like holding two lead ropes in your hands. Yeah, no.
Here's what I think I like:
-Braided nylon reins...or at least I did until I got thrown from that horse last week. I was using a pair of braided nylon reins that the BO is loaning me for Aires' bridle (which I don't like his bridle either, but it was a gift and it fits him, so we use it) and they ripped the skin of my hands when I tried to hang onto the reins as I sailed over her neck.
-Laced leather reins...this is probably what we'll be using for shows and such, but for right now it's mainly schooling and trail riding.
So, anyone have any favorite type of reins they'd like to share?
Another question: How do I know how long of reins I need? Aires has a fairly long neck (the reins that are SUPER long on my friend's 14.1hh arab mare are too short on Aires) and is still growing. Any way to measure what length reins I need?
Also, anyone have a favorite type of bridle? I think we'll stick with what we have right now, just because it works and it fits Aires' huge mutant head, but eventually we'll want a nice bridle (the one we have is really weird...the leather feels almost...sticky and oily at the same time? It's odd...and for some reason the cheek pieces are uneven and it drives me up the WALL [the BO even was like "What the heck?!" when he was looking at it...there's no way to even them up! We tried!]).
We're eventually going to be doing jumping (hunter, probably), XC if we can, maybe some dressage, and whatever else strikes our fancy at the time. Heck, we may even do WP (I know, I'll have to use the dreaded split reins...but if they have a purpose, I don't mind them!).