Forgive my ignorance but what is the purpose of a slobber strap? I know it attaches to the bit or bridle (if no bit) and the reins but that's all I know. Thanks.
The slopper strap has two purposes. ONe is that in older days, bridle reins might be made of rawhide braided laboriously. So, if you had a part near the bit where it suffers getting wet and other abuses, it can be replaced rather than the whole rein, this would save work.
and, when you use heavy rope reins, as many current Western riders do, the rein has more "feel" to it, due to it's weight. When the rider just lifts the rein, the horse will feel a change and know that a cue is coming. The slobber strap, by virtue of being wider, makes a wee bit more resistance to the metal ring, so when the rider picks up the rein, the horse feels a bit more vibration through the bit. And, the added weight right up at the bit itself, makes the rein fall immediately back into the "nuetral" position when the rider drops the rein, so the hrose gets a very noticeable and immediate release. Helps with timing and training.
Thanks. You learn something new every day!
It's unfortunate that riders use the heavy rope reins with the slobber straps as that places a lot of pressure on the bars. Slobber straps were used with horsehair reins which are light.
I ride with rope reins and slobber straps, and a mecate. But I have noticed that I need to be careful to absorb the motion of the reins as they swing, especially the extra part of the mecate that hangs down, with the fly whisk thingy , so that they don't start swinging and putting pressure on the horse's mouth. If I hold the reins correctly, I don't think they are putting too much pressure on Mac's mouth, but I am not totally sure about that.
At first, I hated rope reins, then I learn how to love them . Now, I can just lift one rein and get a response, and the release is very quick. I have even sent a little wiggle down them in a few cases where I thought Mac was just plain getting focussed on some thing he didnt' need to go off on and the little wiggle down the rope made him break off that thinking and get back to work.
I tried slobber straps with rope reins. I didn't like them for reasons that had nothing to do with normal riding. I've heard others say what TL wrote. I didn't try them long enough to experience it, but it makes sense to me. I didn't see ANY indication that it hurt the horse in any way.
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