Western ReinsWhen we are asked at Tack Warehouse for western style riding reins we typically refer customers to western reins made from two strips of harness leather referred to as split reins. Western split reins come in a variety of material but the most common material for western reins; leather. But split reins can also be made of braided cotton rope, nylon, horse hair and other materials. The western split reins widths do vary. Western split reins also come in a wide variety of different leathers and colors; from black western split reins, latigo color western reins, harness and oiled harness western reins to oakbark western reins the colors are endless.
Western Split Reins
The most popular western rein is the oiled harness split rein. Our Tack Warehouse Monterey Bay brand is made in our custom shop by Amish craftsman. Our reins are made from Hermann Oak Harness leather and they are drum dipped in oil to finish the rein . The oil keeps the reins soft and protects the western reins for years from salt and environmental conditions that can dry out reins.
In addition to western split reins, reins come in barrel style or roping style which is a single rein with clip on one end, harness braided western style used for cowboy dressage riders, mecate style reins which are used on a bosal, romel style reins which is a combination of barrel style western rein and split rein with popper.
Tack Warehouse generally recommends to find a western rein that fits the riders hand and is comfortable for holding western reins. Generally reins with a width of 3/4-inch work for most styles of western riding and 5/8-inch when using a snaffle bit on your horse. Split reins are common for trail riding but most often used for starting horses and for western events like working cow horse, western pleasure, horsemanship, reining and cutting. Many seasoned western riders also seek weighted western split reins that are heavy so they stay down and do not flap when performing at western riding events. Riding with weighted split reins gives your horse slack, because ad riders feel the downward pull of gravity from the rein. These also help the horse feel the rein’s weight, and the western riders cues will be amplified because of the weighted drape of the split rein. Western reins made from lightweight leather or nylon webbing often cheap imports; lack the weight and this makes it difficult for the horse to feel the reins and stay balanced.
Western Rein Length
The length of the split reins vary as well. Riders want to make sure their split reins are long enough to drape and allow the horse to stretch their neck out; but, not too long that the reins drag on the ground.
Adjusting Split ReinsWestern split reins are versatile and allow the western rider to make adjustments to wither one rein or both and to direct their horse with one rein placed against the horses neck. This is called neck reining and is when the rider applies a neck rein or use both hands and the horse responds. When showing western riders use what is called the “pistol grip” where as a horse trainer starting a horse will typically hold both reins in one hand or two. Other riders hold the reins in one hand with their index finger in between the two reins. Western trainer’s hold the reins making a bridge by laying one rein on either side of their horse’s neck. Next crossing the western split reins over each other, and then holding one rein in each hand or holding both reins in one hand. The rider holds their hands like they are holding bicycle handles; this while making a “bridge” as the split reins cross over their horse’s neck. This allows the rider to use two hands and then work the horse with each side of the bit independently depending on which rein is engaged. You can also use a bridge when riding one-handed. The downside to the split reins is that it is easy for inexperienced western riders to drop one of the reins.
Riding With The Western ReinThe type of western rein the rider chooses is also dependent on the type of western horse bit. Snaffle bits are western bits without shanks and are designed to be ridden two handed . Snaffle bits use a direct rein that works by applying pressure from the rider’s hand directly to the bit’s mouthpiece. So riding in a snaffle bit with just one hand could causes the western bit to collapse on the horse’s tongue and pinch the horses jaw in a nutcracker effect. Whereas western Curb bits; these are western bits with shanks that are designed for the rider to use on their horse and their horse ridden one handed. Some western shank bits are designed so that the shanks move independently from each other and in this case the western rider can use two hands when training or schooling their horses.
Amish Western Split Harness Reins.Shop Tack Warehouse for custom designed Amish western split reins that are made in the USA with finished Herman oak harness leather and these are considered the gold standard of leather used to make western split reins. Our western split reins have a substantial thickness and weight and no stretch and come with additional weighted ends. They come in harness oil and also in black and other colors. Tack Warehouse recommends western reins with leather ties for western rider safety as Chicago screws can come loose. Western Split Reins Shop Tack Warehouse
Split Rein MaterialsTack Warehouse Western reins are made from synthetic or natural materials and come in a variety of styles including split reins, single reins and romal reins. Split reins consist of two separate reins that each attach to your horses bit; roper and barrel racing reins are single reins, one long continuous rein that attaches to both the ends of the bit and comes in a variety of lengths. Romal western reins are an adjustable loop rein with an attached romal usually finished with a leather popper. Tack Warehouse proudly offers quality reins by Schutz Brothers Tack, Classic Equine, Weaver Leather, Amish Harness Reins Made in The USA Lets Talk Western Horse Reins with Tack Warehouse
Split Reins - Western Rein Width & Use
Although typically made from two strips of harness leather, split reins can also be made of braided cotton rope and widths vary. Tack Warehouse recommend a width of 3/4-inch for most riding and 5/8-inch when using a snaffle bit. Split reins are common for trail riding but also western events like working cow horse, western pleasure, horsemanship, reining and cutting.
The benefit of western split reins is they are versatile and allows the rider to make adjustments to one rein or the other or direct your horse with one rein against their neck, apply a neck rein or use both hands.
At Tack Warehouse we stock Amish have finished herman oak harness reins which are considered the gold standard of leather and they have a substantial thickness and no stretch and come with weighted ends we also recommend the reins with leather ties for western rider safety. Western Split Reins Shop Tack Warehouse
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.
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. The benefit of these reins is that you can use one hand and you don't run the same risk of dropping them as you might with a split reins
Barrel & Roping Reins
Roping reins are attached to the bit on both sides in a loop around the horse’s neck and are made from a single length of leather, braided nylon or cotton. There is usually a snap on one end. Barrel and Roping horse western reins are used for roping and speed events, such as barrel racing. Barrel or roping reins are easy beginner western rider using one hand
Western mecate reins are based on vaquero tradition and used with a horse bosal, also called a horse hackamore. Mecate reins are made of horse mane or tail hair, mohair, or nylon . Western mecate reins include one long length of rope attached to the bosal that then makes a loop around the horse’s neck, with the remainder used as a lead rope that is tied around the saddle horn. Western horses are usually started in a bosal and mecate horses can be shown in this a bosal and mecate if they fall in certain age limits. Tack Warehouse recommends bamboo and mane hair; rather then stiff tail hair.
Shop for your next set of western reins from Tack Warehouse.