Romel Reins Western Rawhide from Tack Warehouse
History & Use of the Western Horse Romal Reins
Shop Romel Reins from Tack Warehouse - California Style Romal western style riding reins | Tack Warehouse From traditional Vaquero rawhide braided California Romal Reins in to leather Romel western reins.
Traditional California Vaquero History
Vaquero are the first Mexican then American Cowboy. In 1769 he rode into Alta California which was then under the flag of Spain, as was Texas. Texas was later part of Mexico with the first Lone Star flag in 1836 as a separate Nation after Texans took it from Mexico by force. In 1845 Texas was admitted into the United States and then in 1846, California was included as well. But the Vaqueros were already here and the “Cowboy Way” from these two great states; mainly California has spread across the US and today is spreading around the globe.
History of Romel Horse Reins
Romel Reins were introduced into the United States which was still land owned by Mexico; during the mid 1700’s by Spanish vaqueros that raised their cattle on the vast un fenced expanses of land now called California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. The traditional vaquero life depended on having hardy, well trained horses and this included the ability of the horses to go in romal reins as the romel is used on horses and only takes a very slight movement of the riders hand to direct the horse.
What is a Western Romel Rein?
The benefit of these western reins is that the rider can use one hand and you don't run the same risk of dropping them as a rider might with a split reins . The western romel rein is a closed rein and the end is a single a long romel that finished with a quirt. Romel reins care made in a variety of materials with rawhide romel being the most traditional and leather romel being most popular. As with most western style of horse reins the romel rein is available in various leather color, rein weights and these come with or without sliver accents used for western pleasure show horses. Western weighted romel reins are a standard in the working cow horse world and the Arabian western pleasure show ring. Romel reins are handmade. The finer the rawhide the longer it takes to braid and some reins take years to finish because of the button detail. Romal reins are made of strips of rawhide, and this can be leather or kangaroo and in diameter sizes to fit both small and large rider's hands.
The Romal Rein explained...
The romel rein is a western horse rein composed of 2 distinct parts: the rein part that is closed like a barrel rein and the romal with popper. The closed part of the rein connects to the western bit loops and make up approximately half the length of the entire piece of equipment that the rider holds to steer their horse. The single romal cord makes up the other half. Traditional romel western reins attach to the bit using rawhide or leather loops. Today we see steel snaps and the riders often use rein chains. Rein chains are used to give extra weight to the bit end of the roeml rein. This weight to help horses develop a good headset. The rein chains also help to protect the rein from contacting the horses mouth and to stay clean. Some horses prefer to not have the weight of the rein chains and perform better with leather or rawhide connectors or snaps. The romal end of the rein is generally larger in diameter or width and heavier than each rein. The distinguishing feature of the romel is the rawhide braided buttons on the lower end to give the rein weight and balance. The reins and romal end are joined using connector strap of braided rawhide or leather. In traditional Spanish vaquero methods; romal reins are comprised of two parts: the reins and the romal which is one piece on the end connected to the reins called a popper and although they can be made of harness leather the most common are hand braided rawhide. Many horse trainers start colts with split reins and then transition them into romels after they start to get into the bridle. The western romel rein is used with a shank bit.
Romel Rein Functionality...
Braided Romel rawhide buttons knots are braided to the first 18 inches of each rein. Rawhide romel buttons serve 3 purposes: 1. The buttons help to keep the body of the rein off the neck of the horse to protect the rein from drying out from horses sweat. 2. The rawhide romel rein buttons add weight to the rein to balance the weight of the rein chains. 3. The romel buttons put a little extra pressure on the side of the neck the rein lays against when cueing a horse to turn with the rein. It is commonly thought that the horse feels the rein buttons and responds better; as opposed to plain leather reins. At the end of the romal is a popper or quirt. The quart end was used by the vaqueros to both train the horse and also an on-board rider aid when moving cattle. The quart is constructed of a flat doubled piece of leather that is tooled for design, in this manner the leather makes a pop when it touches the horse.
Who Are the Romel Rein Braiders?
Luis Ortega from the early 1900's is a renowned braider of romel reins and of western rawhide horse equipment. A bit of interesting history is that Luis said “during my buckaroo days the romal was often made to correspond with the riders waist size, so that when roping extensively, it could be removed from the rein and fastened around the rider’s waist, out of the way”.
What style of horse event or rider uses a Romel Rein?
Many western riders competing in events where fine riding skills are judged are using more traditional equipment. Today we see many organizations in which riders are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful traditional styles brought to us so long ago. These are functional styles, steeped in tradition, tried and true for over 200 years so we know that they work. Romal Western Reins are used on horses which have transitioned into a western shank bit or western spade bit. Normally a western horse is started and going well in the western hackamore or a western snaffle bit. Along with many western events sponsored by various western horse breed associations the Romal style of western reins are used today by many western equestrians including contestants in the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s - NRCHA Bridle horse western events . The following is taken from the NRCHA’s rule book, “the reins can be held in either hand, with hand around rein in a fist position with thumbs up. The non-rein hand must be on the romal. The non-rein hand is not allowed, at any time, to touch the reins or a score of -0- will be applied. The rider is allowed to shorten the reins while the horse is in motion as long as their hands are held in a legal manner. No fingers are permitted between the reins in the Bridle classes, except in the Two Rein class” page 42.
The snaffle bit horse futurity originated on the west coast. So has reined cow horse competition evolved. Most of the horses are Showen in Romal reins. Cowboy Dressage has become a more recent popular western horse event and many riders show their horses using traditional rawhide romel reins or leather romel reins. Romel reins are also used by western pleasure riders and western riders showing in trail horse classes.
Why purchase your next set of romel horse reins from Tack Warehouse?
Today we are seeing a great resurgence of the beauty of the Vaquero style of western riding which has gained great respect across the USA and worldwide. Many western disciplines have always used some form of the California Vaquero style and today many more western riders are adopting those styles into their own. Tack Warehouse romel reins are quality handmade in the USA or Mexico by craftsman that have made these reins for generations and are dedicated to The California Vaquero. We only sell 100% authentic Vaquero products. Our products are the highest quality available, hand made, with hand cut, beveled strips of rawhide braided into traditional styles. There are many more “economically” made versions of these products available, built in India and other Asian countries. Our vision is to provide true quality with reasonable pricing. We focus on high plait numbers and fine workmanship. Plait numbers indicate how fine the braid work is. Higher plait numbers mean finer and more strips of rawhide are used in braiding. Bevel cuts are made on the back side of each strip, on the edges. This helps the braid work to lay down onto itself creating a smooth and beautiful product. Lower plait work without bevel cuts can create pieces that are rough on hands and on horses.