Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
I used to like them, and the last bridle, no, the one before that, I made with long heavy double thickness split reins, about 2 meters long and about an inch across of two layers of harness leather. By the time I got round to using it I didn’t like it much. When I two rein a horse into a snaffle bridle there’s just too much stuff flapping about, they were a good weight, but too long and more to worry about than I’d like. Not so bad to just ride in but for what I made it for totally irritating.
I’m planning to make another with much shorter reins and a little buckle to connect them, and maybe run some nylon cord between the leather strips of the reins to give it a bit more body.
Other than that smrobs made a few really good points about them too, like you can use it as a quirt. And tying horses with the reins is standard practice in most places I have worked (though I won’t even lead them by the reins myself). Some people punch a hole in the end to hook a bit of wire through the rein and make a little wire hook and hang it on a rail or a tree higher than the horse’s head. That way if the horse pulls away it will just pull the wire out or break the little bit on the end of the rein with hole rather than snap the rein.
Depending on how you are handling the reins they can be good or bad, like I mentioned above I find them a little unwieldy if I have a mecate in hand too. Though, come to think of it, training a horse straight into a snaffle they would probably be preferable in some ways, less to mess about with to widen or narrow a bridge when direct reining I guess.