Your most comfortable reins
 
 

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Your most comfortable reins

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  • How long should my english reins be
  • Buy super thick cotton reins

 
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    07-26-2011, 09:18 PM
  #1
Showing
Your most comfortable reins

Okay, so I'm at a loss...

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!).
     
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    07-26-2011, 10:02 PM
  #2
Showing
I got this pair for my show bridle: Victory Canter English Tack & Apparel - Horse Tack - Reins - Nunn Finer Sure Grip Rubber Reins(with or without stops) . When I got them I was pleasantly surprised by the quality (for the price). Butter-like leather (the ends) and VERY nice on touch main rein. They are way better than any similar one I've seen/touched in Dover (those over $100).
     
    07-26-2011, 10:08 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
When I ride western I use heavy rope reins and slobber straps, but that would be awful for dressage or jumping. I have a dressage bridle that I love, and it's just good quality leather reins with stops on them. No braiding, nothing. They fit nicely in the gloved hands. If you ride dressage you will want to learn how to ride in gloves, so try out the reins with gloves on and rememer that you will be holding them in a closed hand. They do soften up a lot, but for me, clean and simple is best. No rubber nor bumpies not nothing but stops (helps you know if your reins are even.)
     
    07-26-2011, 10:10 PM
  #4
Showing
Hmmmm...I like everything but the "ideal for riders with small hands" part. One thing I do not have is small hands. LOL! We joke that I have "man-hands." 5/8" isn't too bad, though. I'll have to measure my friend's and see how big they are. I love her reins...they're just WAY too short for my mutant.

Thanks, tiny. I planned on riding with gloves, mainly because riding bare-handed feels kinda weird to me (even though that's all I've ever done). I'm weird, I know. Jenn, our trainer at the stable, keeps saying that it's like I'm made for the English disciplines with my likes and dislikes in riding (99% of the people at our stable are Western through-and-through...our BO snorts in derision when you bring up anything English...in fact, he was proclaiming the virtues of a horse he bought the other day and was saying "What do you teach a horse that knows everything already?" and Jenn and I said [at the same time, which made it even better!] "How about dressage?" The BO said "I'm not going to ruin a good horse with that English crap!").
     
    07-26-2011, 10:18 PM
  #5
Weanling
My favorite are the braided leather ones, I think they offer the most grip and versatility for the least thickness. You can find a cheaper pair for every-day use, they tend to last long. I have super, super thin reins for my mom's QH, but that's only because he's super sensitive and I want a light touch. They are leather also, but not braided. I don't like nylon that much, I once rode a horse that pulled them so much that the reins cut off the nerves in two of my fingers... the feeling only came back after a few months. I was on a trail ride and couldn't stop. I have a pair of nylon clip-ons for my fun western riding, but I stay away from english nylon reins.Most leather reins are fairly long, so they should be fine unless your horse is a REALLY weird shape. Hope this helps =)
     
    07-26-2011, 10:26 PM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
Hmmmm...I like everything but the "ideal for riders with small hands" part. One thing I do not have is small hands. LOL!
I'm not quite sure why they say so on website. I found it to be quite weird when I ordered. I believe (it's my guess of course) because they are not bulky as, say, rubber ones.

BTW, I'm 5'8"+, so I definitely don't have "small" hands , but they are very comfortable (and don't slip).
     
    07-26-2011, 10:33 PM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigosblue    
My favorite are the braided leather ones, I think they offer the most grip and versatility for the least thickness. You can find a cheaper pair for every-day use, they tend to last long. I have super, super thin reins for my mom's QH, but that's only because he's super sensitive and I want a light touch. They are leather also, but not braided. I don't like nylon that much, I once rode a horse that pulled them so much that the reins cut off the nerves in two of my fingers... the feeling only came back after a few months. I was on a trail ride and couldn't stop. I have a pair of nylon clip-ons for my fun western riding, but I stay away from english nylon reins.Most leather reins are fairly long, so they should be fine unless your horse is a REALLY weird shape. Hope this helps =)
Do you have a pic or link of the braided leather reins you're talking about (Google and other search engines epically fail on my computer)?

The nylon reins I was using were like roping reins, minus the knots.
     
    07-26-2011, 10:38 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
[QUOTE=DraftyAiresMum;1112960]our BO snorts in derision when you bring up anything English...in fact, he was proclaiming the virtues of a horse he bought the other day and was saying "What do you teach a horse that knows everything already?" and Jenn and I said [at the same time, which made it even better!] "How about dressage?" The BO said "I'm not going to ruin a good horse with that English crap!").[/QUOTE]

Wow, we could drop some bombs if we started a thread with that!

Now, I am NOT suggesting that, just saying what potential for carnage it has.
     
    07-26-2011, 10:49 PM
  #9
Showing
Oh, we gave him HECK about it, trust me! We tease him every chance we get about English riding verses Western.

He does, however, admit that Aires would be more suited to the English disciplines than to Western.
     
    07-26-2011, 11:01 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
Do you have a pic or link of the braided leather reins you're talking about (Google and other search engines epically fail on my computer)?
Dover Leather Lace English Reins
(normally not that expensive...)

They're formally known as english leather laced reins I guess...

"braided" reins look like this:
Silver Fox Braided Reins : The Horse Tack Online, offering horse tack, horse equipment, horse supplies

You can enlarge the image.


Like I said, I love the fact that you have grip wherever you need it without sacrificing the thickness. Leather also is more flexible than rubber once you wear them in. I will always buy a pair of these reins if the bridle doesn't come with them. Everyone I know rides in them, except in special cases like my mom's QH. I would highly suggest them for english riding.
     

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