Longer barrel reins?
I have a few sets of barrel reins now (One is 6' and one is 7') that I've tried to use on Magic, but they just don't seem long enough. The 6' reins don't even reach all the way down her neck, and the 7' ones are just a tiny bit short for my liking (I can't quite remember where they end up on her neck, but I remember that I felt like I had to lean forward to keep from pulling back all the time.)
Is there such a thing as an 8' barrel rein? I've taken my 7' ones around to all the local shops and compared it to the ones they sell, and other than one adjustable length one that I don't particularly care for, I can't find anything longer.
Also, I've only recently started attempting to use barrel reins -- I've always used 8' split reins -- so I'm not really sure if there is a point where the reins are 'too long' or 'too short'. And I have some people tell me that I'm supposed to use only one hand, while others say to use two.
I'm doing speed events with them -- Since I'm used to split reins, I'll just keep using those for pleasure-type, but the excess rein gets in the way when I'm doing the speed events.
I like my barrel reins to come back to about my saddle horn BUT everyone is different. I just seem to find that any longer than that and it starts to get messy when you're going faster. Much shorter than that and I feel like my arms are all out of position and that I can't just relax and ride "on the buckle." Not sure about 8' barrel reins but I know standard is the 7'. It is completely up to you whether you want to use two hands or one. Do whatever works for you and your hrose.
One handed riding is usually done on a finished barrel horse or a horse in a shanked bit (Though you can go one handed in a snaffle)
Two handed is usually done on a more green horse.
As far as the reins, I like them to go right behind the saddle horn. I buy cotton roping reins and then just put knots in them until I find the length that I want them to be. Split reins I would never want to ride barrels in though just because they are generally heavy and really long and it would be hard to get up over their neck with them. Plus I wouldn't want to worry about dropping a rein or anything.
I'll agree with both of you, I like the reins to at least be able to loop over the horn...
ah yeah thats what I meant with heavy. Extra weight to knock things over and our judges arent as nice as yours!
What I do is take a spare 8' split rein (I always have one that gets either broken or chewed up by dogs so I have an odd number), punch some holes in the other end, and add a watertie to it. 8' is generally a really nice length for average sized horses.
I really hate split reins and the barrel rein is too short on my longer neck paint, so... I got laced english reins same color as my bridle. Works wonder! :)
I actually found some 10' "trail reins" (as far as I could tell, they're the same dang thing.) made by the same company that makes silvertip halters. Just for giggles, I popped them on my biggest/longest necked horse, 2-Pak, and they worked for him, so they should maybe be a tad long for Magic. But I can always tie knots in them! ^_^
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