Rein Legnth - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-01-2008, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Rein Legnth

In WP open shows, how long do you normally give slack In your reins. Like how low do you let them hang? I was looking up some pictures and a lot of people let them go pretty long. I was wondering because I use rope reins (If anybody knows what I'm talking about) there nylon and connected all In one with 2 clips at the end. I bought them at TSC and I think there to short for my filly. My arabian and walker both keep there head high In the air. So It was never a problem before, but my filly keeps her head low. The only way I keep from bumping her mouth Is leaning my hand up a little on her neck. Then when I go to side pull (or plow rein) her, I feel like I'm picking up on her mouth to much. The lady I got her from had older light oil braided leather reins that were decently long and a solid connected piece with 2 clip ends. I feel so guilty, because when I go to move my hand I am connecting to the bit. She Is VERY light, I was riding her and when I went to turn her, I push my leg on her a tad to get her to bend around my leg In the turn. Her nose came all the way to my heel. But when I was riding with the previous owners reins, she turned her head just enough to turn. This time she actually flexed her self to me, and I had to nudge her with my heal. I think I'm confusing her, how long of reins do you WP riders use? I HATE split reins lol so Its so hard for me to find a good set of longer reins. That are just the right length. Keep In mind she's only about 14.1 or possibly 14.2H. So to long could drag :(, my poor baby thinks I'm a crazy rider. She's a sweet heart and super forgiving If you do something wrong, even at 2. As long as you pet her after wards :P. She likes to rest her head on your arm or shoulder and close her eyes when you rub her neck. Plus the person I got her from had some kind of grudge against her because she's not some kind of flight headed speed demon!!

Blue- 6yr.old TWHBEA gelding
Cheyenne- 2yr.old BS APHA mare
Cowboy- Spotted 3yr.old walker gelding
Lacy- 19yr.old AHA (arabian) mare
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-01-2008, 09:53 PM
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Regardless of how you hate split reins, that is what you need.

Secondly, you let your horse on as long of a rein as you need to control them. You don't want them hanging to the floor, but you don't want to have tight contact on their mouth. You want to make sure you can always control their mouths.

Since your filly is young and you don't like split reins I personally would use a bosal.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-01-2008, 10:07 PM
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I agree. You are supposed to use split reins (even if they are really short like 6ft ones)

And the slack should be so that it's not a straight line to your hands, but you can still control your horse. Judges like to see a horse under control on a smaller drape, then an out of control horse on the very low drape.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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I don't use split reins because that's when I normally loose control of my horse. I have been split rein traumatized lol. When I was younger I was riding a 25yr.old 16H TB gelding, and when I asked for a trot a chicken blurt out of know where and I accidentally kicked him. So he took off at a lope, and I was scared out of my mind, when I went to pull back I dropped one of my reins. (split) I was screaming until my mom and the BO came out and grabbed my horse. I know my parents keep saying get over It, but then I got on a 3yr.old Pinto/arab and EVERYTHING seemed to spook her lol. I was using her show bridle, which has leather split reins, they were really stiff. Instead of taking off she would jump to the side. So I was told to reach down and do a one rein stop until she calms down. When I gave slack on my one rein to grab the other the tip smacked me In the face. I leaned on the rein and she jumped I gripped and down I went lol.I'm a horrible split rein rider, I have no idea why, since then I'm nervous riding with split reins. With my arabian I ride her In a side pull rope halter, and I used nylon split reins. But I tied them at the end, I can't do that with the leather one's :(. I'm a big baby I know, but hey after riding with split LEATHER reins both times I fell off. Not only that, how do you guys hang on when you fall off lol. Your always suppose to go down still holding the rein incase the horse tries to run. But what if slide off the rein or something, I'm so not talking myself out of this one am I?? Evil split leather reins.

Blue- 6yr.old TWHBEA gelding
Cheyenne- 2yr.old BS APHA mare
Cowboy- Spotted 3yr.old walker gelding
Lacy- 19yr.old AHA (arabian) mare
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 10:09 AM
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I hate to say this, but if you are going to show western pleasure you are required to use split reins. At most shows, if you use rope reins you will be DQed. While practicing, you can tie the leather split reins together at the ends, but I would really practice getting your grip on the reins more secure so you will be comfortable with them. If it requires starting with nylon split reins then moving to leather split reins, then do that. But for WP, you have to use split reins. Also, if you are in a curb bit you have to show one handed. If your filly is 5yo or under, then you can show in a snaffle or bosel and use two hands. For the bosel, the reins are not split, for the snaffle, they still are. I can tell you are nervous about it, but you do need to work up to using them if you plan on showing WP (or horsemanship, reining, trail, etc). Best of luck, and just take small, easy steps to get yourself comfortable.

Oh, and I have never held onto the reins when I have been thrown. Just doesn't happen with me, and in all honesty, most horses won't go that far.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't DQed when I showed my arabian In open WP, I used nylon connect reins. She didn't place, but she certainly wasn't DQed. I'm not looking to show professional or In big shows or anything, just Open and fun shows. I will try I promise :( , I'm not scared that she will do anything funny. For some reason I just don't like split reins. I'll get over It, she doesn't go In a curb, just a normal snaffle. When my mom called the owner/host of the shows (Linda), she didn't say anything about any of this LOL. I guess your right, WP Is made for the leather yucky split reins. I have some that I bought with my walkers bridle. There like soft, and rubberish? Yet were still considered leather. They seem easy to bend and move, so I will either start with those or the nylon. I can't tie leather lol, It always comes back apart. Also everybody tells me with split reins, there only suppose to fall to one side of there neck? Instead of splitting them In-half on both sides? Is this true? She doesn't neck rein, so I can not show one handed.

Blue- 6yr.old TWHBEA gelding
Cheyenne- 2yr.old BS APHA mare
Cowboy- Spotted 3yr.old walker gelding
Lacy- 19yr.old AHA (arabian) mare
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 12:37 PM
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If you're showing her in split reins and a snaffle, you do hold them in two hands. Each rein crosses over to the opposite sides of the neck, and each hand holds each rein with some room between so your hands can move freely. Also, make sure you have a leather curb strap on the snaffle bit. It is not tight like a curb strap on a curb bit, but is pretty lose and doesn't act on the horse. This needs to be on there for safety reasons, mainly so that you don't accidentaly pull the snaffle through the horses mouth. It can happen, but rarely.

Your open shows may be different, but in all the ones I used to do (has been a few years, though), a horse would never place and would be DQed for rope reins. Maybe yours are different, I don't know. Just speaking from what I have seen before.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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They had a horse rearing that took 1st place, so yes I think the DQ have changed lol. Because I was told If the judge thinks the horse Is out of control you have to leave the arena. Yet he placed top of the class lol, Is that not crazy? I'd call that just a tad out of hand :(. It wasn't a WP class, but I'd consider that dangerous, specially when your not "required" to wear a helmet Is just "recommended". Thanks for your help :)

Blue- 6yr.old TWHBEA gelding
Cheyenne- 2yr.old BS APHA mare
Cowboy- Spotted 3yr.old walker gelding
Lacy- 19yr.old AHA (arabian) mare
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 04:54 PM
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Sorry to but in again, but you can use romal reins. Then you would be totally legal and you wouldn't need split reins.

What about that idea?
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-02-2008, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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I've never heard of that type of rein before??

Blue- 6yr.old TWHBEA gelding
Cheyenne- 2yr.old BS APHA mare
Cowboy- Spotted 3yr.old walker gelding
Lacy- 19yr.old AHA (arabian) mare
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