Split Reins vs. Not - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Split Reins vs. Not

Why do I hear such negative feedback for full, looped reins (not split ones)? I am genuinely curious. I get that the horse can get tangled in a looped rein if it breaks free and runs off, but with split reins isn't there a danger they will step on the reins and hurt their mouth? Well, I guess they can step on the full ones just as easily as the split...

Anyways, what do you ride with, and why? I currently ride with split reins, for really no reason other than I'm an epic failure at tying the reins together so I always end up with split ones anyways.

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post #2 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 09:52 PM
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i ride with closed loop reins, with scissor snaps connecting them to the hackamore.

*knock on wood* i have never had a issue with the reins being caught on anything.

i don't care for split reins, personally, because i tend to do a lot of shuffling of stuff (reins, water bottle, camera, food) and i can barely keep hold of a looped rein, forget split reins. its not unusual to see me riding with the reins in my teeth or looped around the saddle bag while i root remove a layer of clothing, etc.

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post #3 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 09:53 PM
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Right now I'm using bright red nylon reins that were split until I sewed the ends together. I no longer live in fear of dropping one of them and not being able to reach it. With Big's long nech and head there's no way I would be able to reach up and get the dropped rein.

I tried tying the ends together, which worked as far as it went, but then they were too short. So I just overlap sewed the two ends together about 2 inches and now they are looped and long enough.

So, what do you do if you drop a rein? You're in the saddle and the rein is hanging from your horse's mouth? Can you reach far enough to get it back?

No way I can with Mr. Big. I've tried, just to see if I could. I'm not long enough by a good foot or more.

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post #4 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 09:56 PM
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I ride with split reins on my horses cause the ones conected are never long enuff.

live for the moment.
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:13 PM
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I ride with long nylon split reins that I tied together. I don't like the single barrel racing-type reins much. So I can either have tied reins that I can drop so they're on Abby's neck if I need to do something with my hands or I can untie them and use them separately.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:20 PM
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Poseidon, you probably have the same situation I had. Except when I tied them they weren't long enough so I sewed the ends together.

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:22 PM
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I use barrel racing reins. Mainly because I'm a barrel racer and I'm just used to them. Plus, I am the type to set my reins on the horses neck anyways because my horses work mainly off of leg pressure. It would be hard to do that with split reins.

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post #8 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SailorGriz View Post
Poseidon, you probably have the same situation I had. Except when I tied them they weren't long enough so I sewed the ends together.
Mine are like 7' so if I sewed the ends I would have 14' massive loop. Bahaha. With them being tied, I also have like a foot or so left over that I occasionally use to give Abby a smack on the shoulder or behind when she's being fresh and decides to have a "Who's the alpha mare" test when I'm on her back.
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:33 PM
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I used to do what some of you guys did- tie my split reins together.

Then a friend of mine introduced me to 8' leather roping reins (all one piece). It was love at first ride! But true 8' roping reins are kind of hard to find. Most of them seem to be shorter, and sometimes even the ones labeled 8' are shorter than 8'! I like to get true 8' reins when I can find them, the kind with the water loop ties on the ends, and then make bigger water loops and actually end up with reins over 8'. As a matter of fact, I think 8' is the bare minimum for trail riding (at least for me).

One time I bought a pair of 8' split reins, made myself some extra water loops, and then made them into two sets of 8' roping reins.

I put snaps on each end.

One bit of safety advice- if you are NOT using split reins, and you get off your horse, unsnap one end. My friend had her horse step through her reins and the horse panicked and the leather lacing that ties the water loops on, which you think would break, didn't. The poor horse backed in circles panicked for a couple of minutes before he calmed down enough to catch him. But other than that, we have never had a problem with them getting caught on anything.

I think both types of reins have their pros and cons, so which ever ones you use are sort of personal preference. Personally, I am no co-ordinated enough not drop a split rein, so I like mine all one piece.
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 10:59 PM
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I ride in one loop reins. I learned English, so am used to this. In fact, English leather reins are usually of a very nice length and quality. YOu can easily buy them and put them on a western bridle.
Currently I used heavy rope reins that are one loop. They have nice slobber straps, too. This way, I pick up one rein at a time and the weight plus slobber strap means the horse feels the signal before any real bit pressure. I can also shorten and lengthen the rein in a split second, something I find hard to do in split reins.
Howeve, for trail riding, I might prefer either split reins or a mecate setup.
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