I ride with long 7 foot western reins and always hang on to a rein when we go down and I have gone down many a time. I take my chances on being stepped on and will not loose my horse. It could easily mean his death.
I agree. We cross a busy 2 lane road to get to the trails. If my horse were to get loose & run home. They could easly get hit. I'm actually going back to my split reins for that reason. I came off recently & it is really hard to hold onto barrel reins on the way to the ground.
A lot of people around her ride with mecate reins for that reason, and tuck the one end in a pocket.