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Split reins - pros & cons, what is the proper use

This is a discussion on Split reins - pros & cons, what is the proper use within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        09-24-2013, 05:07 PM
      #21
    Trained
    I love split reins, for all the reasons already stated! (Especially by smrobs )

    For me, I have to have leather reins. I don't do nylon anymore. I used to run barrels in short nylon knotted reins but I just can't anymore. I switched to a heavy leather knotted barrel rein.

    However, I always school in split reins. Some people say "Oh, just let out your roping reins to school" but that doesn't work for me. I tried it. It just feels awkward. Either so short I can't reach the thing at the walk, or split reins
         
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        09-24-2013, 05:59 PM
      #22
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    I've ridden for the last 5+ years with a 10' long single loop of rope:



    About a year ago, I bought some leather split reins which I never tried. Well, tried them this afternoon. I think I might like them if I get used to them. But for those who have used them, or did use them:

    What are the advantages or disadvantages?

    Did you have both ends on one side of the horse, or one end hanging on either side?

    Are 8' split reins too long for a 15.2 mare? They sure seemed to dangle a long ways down, although I was pleased that Mia showed no concern for the things flopping around her front legs.

    I have no opinion at all, so I'm very open to advice. FWIW, she did seem more responsive to neck reining with the leather.
    I like the soft, braided nylon split reins. Leather is ok too if not too heavy and thick. When starting a horse, I lay them across the neck but eventually end up with both reins on one side. 8 feet is kind of long for me. I really don't care for closed reins at all. Just a personal preference. Those ones you are using would drive me nuts.
         
        09-24-2013, 10:43 PM
      #23
    Trained
    I'm just the opposite...lol! I can't feel a darn thing if they aren't thick and heavy. And I know my mare would ignore light reins. XD
         
        09-25-2013, 12:03 AM
      #24
    Showing
    My personal favorites are these. They are what I have on all of my bridles and they're the only kind I'll buy anymore. Mostly because they are the same basic quality as Herman Oak leather...but without the price . I always go with 3/4 inch width because that's wide enough to have good weight and feel but not heavy enough to feel bulky in my hands.
    NRS - 3/4" x 8' Water Loop Ends Split Reins - NRSworld.com


    Another thing that wasn't in my first post that I've seen other mention is the safety factor in a fall. As stated, there is no chance of a horse getting their foot hung in the loop of the reins. At worst, they might step on a rein and break the water tie, which is an easy fix. With 8 feet hanging there, it's easier to keep hold of a rein to keep them from running off.

    I suspect the reason that so many people are taught "drop the reins when you fall" is because of the fear of pulling the horse down on top of you. I've seen that more times than I care to remember with roping reins but I've never seen it with split reins. I'm sure it's still a possibility, but with splits, then the reins are just more likely to slide through your hand a little as opposed to putting all your weight on the horse's mouth when your hand comes to the middle of them.

    Very similar to what is seen in this video at :58 and 8:15, except the horse falls right on over.


    And, like others have mentioned, there is 8 feet of play there for how long you want your reins. You can have them up snug for contact or you can have them draped nearly to the ground. You can loosen them for a horse to drink out of a creek or a tank without having to bend over and stretch your arm down their neck to keep from losing them.
    SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
         
        09-25-2013, 12:53 AM
      #25
    Trained
    Thanks for the link to those reins smrobs...I keep meaning to buy new reins but I'm so hesitant. I'm really picky about the feel and scared I won't like them when they get home. I think I'll order a pair of those. :)
    smrobs likes this.
         
        09-25-2013, 12:57 AM
      #26
    Trained
    I didn't get a chance to ride today, but I appreciate all the responses. I hope to get Mia out tomorrow morning, and I'll try the leather reins again using some of the ideas on this thread.
    smrobs and Cynical25 like this.
         
        09-25-2013, 12:48 PM
      #27
    Weanling
    Split reins are the only thing I ride in. However i'm really picky on them. I like thick heavy reins, they have a lot more feel to them. You can be so much more subtle because the weight of the reins can do a lot of the work for you. I also refuse to ride in split reins with snaps.

    Eight foot reins are pretty standard, I only switch to my seven foot reins if i'm on a horse short enough where the ends of my reins are in the dirt.

    Pro:
    Better feel
    Built in over and under
    Easier to ride in
    IME I can't find roping reins that are long enough for the life of me, I never have that problem with split reins
    Built in desensitization ( the flapping around the horses legs and I like to twirl them around in the saddle too just to get the horses jused to one more thing)
    Build in over and under
    Built in leadrope. If I have a greenie I often do a loop around my saddle horn on my other rein and have enough room to lunge if I walk a small circle or do other things.

    Con:
    It can be difficult to find ones that fit for how picky I am
    They can be difficult for beginners to ride in

    Most of the time I ride with the reins crossed over the neck and I have never dropped a rein. With the reins I buy, that even if I were to drop a reins it's pretty much going to stay put.
    KigerQueen likes this.
         
        09-25-2013, 01:03 PM
      #28
    Yearling
    I love riding in split reins.

    Now if only black ones were easy to find.

    Anyone know where I can get a pair of black split reins ? The only ones I have are brown.
         
        09-25-2013, 01:05 PM
      #29
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Drifting    
    Anyone know where I can get a pair of black split reins ? The only ones I have are brown.
    I imagine a saddle shop could dip dye a set of un-oiled ones for you...
         
        09-25-2013, 01:13 PM
      #30
    Yearling
    We don't have a lot of those where I live, at least not without a bit of driving. But that's a good idea.
         

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