Split Reins vs. Not - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 11:03 PM
Green Broke
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I use split reins that I tie together. I was riding my wife's horse once and she doesn't tie her reins together. I dropped one and as I reached for it, her horse stepped on the rein, which cause him to fling his head back. Needless to say, I got a big headbutt from him.

I also like to drop the reins on the horses neck when riding and use the excess after the knot if I need to reinforce a cue they are not listening to.

I've never liked the looped reins because they are too short. I think it is personal preference what you should use.

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post #12 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 11:03 PM
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I bought (well, won actually) a pair of 10ft roping reins and I loooove them. I like my split reins too but I had them mainly for the added length. Now that I have some nice long roping reins, I'm addicted. I love being able to hop off in the middle of the trail, loop the reins on the saddle horn, and do whatever I need to without worrying about a rein dropping, or never having to worry about dropping a rein mid-ride and having to figure out how to pick it up without stopping (however, that makes for some great tests of balance... haha). I've found that 10ft is enough to be able to really give my mare her head when she needs it and still be able to have a small loop beyond my hand (I dislike having to hold the very edge of the rein to give her her head and praying that she doesn't trip and cause me to lose the reins completely).

If you're interested in long roping reins (I hate the look of tied together split reins, it reminds me of camp where all our horse tack is cheap junk), I got mine from Sunset Halters ( Roping Reins by Sunset Halters ). They're really comfortable in my hands, and they're mildly weighted so they're extra great for neck reining.

To answer your question about why people dislike connected reins so much: I think it's the whole getting a leg through thing. It's happened before at my camp (we tie all the split reins together, usually in the spot where the kid should hold on, because the kids that ride the horses have a hard time keeping track of 2 reins at once) where a horse has gotten it's foot through the loop of reins and since the reins are only around 6/7ft, they freak out since they feel confined. I think if longer roping reins were commonly available people would have less of an issue, or if people took the time to loop those reins over the horn so they can't fall down the horse's neck. Now we use rubber bands to connect the reins at my camp, that way the horse can easily break the rubber band with a little struggle instead of terrifying itself because it has a rein tightly holding it's leg.
I think split reins are harder to step on that a connected rein (since they end up dragging off to the outside of the legs, usually, unlike a roping rein that hangs down directly under the jaw) and that's why people are less worried about them, or maybe people don't leave horses tied/loose with split reins because they see that that's a bad idea... I'm not entirely sure.

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post #13 of 29 Old 05-15-2011, 11:43 PM
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Location: Idaho
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My sewn together reins stretch out to almost 12 feet. They are six foot split reins fastened together. 10 foot reins would be too short--when Big puts his head down to feed (he isn't supposed to but still does sometimes) 10 foot reins would be pulled out of my hands--or I'd hang on and go right over his head/neck. Ouch.

But, I do want to change to leather reins, maybe, and will figure out how to join them since I probably won't find a 12 foot leather rein. Then again, what I have works and is maintenance free. Hard to beat that combination!

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post #14 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 12:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I've been happy with the loop reins I've bought here:

Rope Reins

They come in 7, 8, 9 & 10 foot lengths. I find 10 just a little long, but want to order some 9 footers soon.
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post #15 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 07:19 AM
Green Broke
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When I was younger, that is all we used were split reins. Never had a problem with them. Now I use barrel reins or rope reins. I find it easier and safer if I loose my grip. I know one rein won't fall.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 08:54 AM
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I use a Snaffle bit with slobber straps and a horse hair Mecate. You can make the rein portion any length you are comfortable with. The rule of thumb is to hang the bridle from the horn and adjust the rein length so the bottom of the loop is at the fetlock of the horse. That length has worked well for me.

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post #17 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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When I used to ride western I used soft rope single-loop reins. I tried the whole split rein deal and it really didn't work out for me lol. I do alot with my hands, especialy on trail rides, and I could never keep hold of both split reins. I always ended up dropping one or two unless I bridged them!
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tennessee View Post
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.
Hard to work a horse off leg pressure when you have split reins?

I trail ride in either. I prefer gaming/roping reins for novices so that they don't drop a rein. But I view trails as another opportunity to school my horse. Open areas we may do some lope circles. Much easier to isolate his shoulders or hips if I can manually move them with my legs and reins.
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post #19 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 11:40 AM
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I'm sure that there are lots of reasons for using split reins--and equal numbers of reasons not to.

But the bottom line is NOT what kind of reins one uses--but whether or not one gets on a horse at all. Don't just feed it--RIDE it!

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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post #20 of 29 Old 05-16-2011, 12:01 PM
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I only use split reins unless I know that I am going to be doing a lot of roping. That's the only time I like roping reins.

I refuse to buy any that are shorter than 8' long and one of the reasons I like splits is because I can adjust them to the exact length that I want without having that loop behind my hand to get snagged on my saddle horn as I'm steering.

I also like the split reins because I ride a lot of youngsters and sometimes it comes in handy to have a built in whip attached right to your hand. Just use one of the rein ends to give a whop on the butt. Also, if I happen to come off of a youngster, the longer reins make it easier to hang on to them and keep them from getting away.

I think that one of the main reasons why I don't like using roping reins is because you have to keep a snap on one or both sides of the bit with them. If there is a snap on just one side, then the bit feels unbalanced in my hands and if I have a snap on both sides, I lose a lot of the feeling I get from the bit because there is too much motion down there to really feel the horse's mouth.

There are 2 different ways to hold your split reins.

1: hold them both in one hand with the ends hanging off the same side of your horse.

2: criss-cross them over the horse's neck, essentially giving you a roping type rein with all the benefits of a split rein as well.
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