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Discuss Heavy english reins at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

Okay, so I've been experimenting with bits and reins lately and I've found that I ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ froglander's Avatar
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    Heavy english reins

    Okay, so I've been experimenting with bits and reins lately and I've found that I like riding with my rope reins with slobber straps better than the reins on my english bridle. The reason being is that they are heavier.

    On another forum someone described it like this:

    My dressage bridle reins are leather lined with rubber - yes, they are pretty dull.
    Those sorts of reins seem to cry out for contact just to get feel in them.
    And that really fits what I am finding! So.../I/ don't mind riding with slobber straps and rope reins, but I don't think that's going to fly with my dressage instructor or if I actually managed to go to a show someday.

    So, my question, are there any english reins out there that would give you more of that "feel" you can get from a more western styled rein?

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    The heavier English reins are going to be full rubber reins with leather on the inside.....and truth be told the cheaper the reins, the lower quality everything with be & the heavier, thicker & stiffer they will be. lol I'm sure you could also find a flat leather rein with rubber on one side that is thick & heavy as well.......but again, they will be cheap quality & price to match.


    Have you tried the thinline reins by chance??? They are nice & soft, and the hands just "stay" on them, because of the thinline material. They aren't heavy though - not at all, but I'm thinking that would be the closest English type rein to rope reins..........


    Truth be told though - it's the not the rein that are the problem here.....it's the hands that aren't closing on the reins.....and everything else is in the riders mind lol I can remember never being happy with any reins.....but part of it was the lack of education my hands had, another part was my bum right hand that lacked a lot of fineness from a past broken wrist (this needed work to develop the mobility again - despite me having done 6mths of PT it wasn't enough!) & the rest was all in my head. lol
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    Just thought of something - the heaviest English reins I believe I've ever held were those rainbow reins with the leather stops between the colors. lol Speaking of which....I need a pair of rainbow reins for the little girl I teach! LOL
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    Pay equal (if not more) attention to your own self carriage as that of your horse

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    Senior Member+ froglander's Avatar
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    It's hard to describe

    For example, I like this blog post

    http://bettystaley.com/blog/?p=589

    And this image

    Name:  Solo-best-balance-that-day-700x560.jpg
Views: 170
Size:  113.1 KB

    Someone commented on a different thread/topic that I'd posted that blog link on:
    Betty's reins are not tight enough to pull the lips back, nor loose enough to sag. In a draping rein, the horse is 'feeling back to you' through the reins. This is not 'in between' tight reins and loose reins, but 'other than'. I've felt a draping rein (with the horse feeling back to me, through the bit and through the reins) all of about four times.
    And I just thought that described it well. So was wondering if there was an english equivalent.

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    Senior Member+ froglander's Avatar
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    Maybe heavy isn't the right word to use. It's like the difference between a basic, colorful nylon leadrope and a yacht braid lead rope. The yacht braid rope has more of a /feel/ to it. More...life to it. Does that make sense? That is what I am looking for in the reins as well
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    Senior Member+ anheiraboutme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froglander View Post
    Maybe heavy isn't the right word to use. It's like the difference between a basic, colorful nylon leadrope and a yacht braid lead rope. The yacht braid rope has more of a /feel/ to it. More...life to it. Does that make sense? That is what I am looking for in the reins as well
    I completely get what you're saying here. The yacht rope has a live feel whereas cheapo rope falls flat. The weight plays a part but so does the composition of the rope. Yacht rope is double braided; it is basically two ropes in one (core and exterior). I use the yacht rope in mecate and sport style and also am a big fan! I have Thinline reins as well. In my opinion, you are not going to find a good leather replacement for the rope. It just has a different feel that leather cannot match. I do like the feel of high-end plaited reins that have been well-oiled. They hang nicely and usually have a decent weight to them.

    If I were you, I would get the dressage styled rope reins so they look a little less clunky. Sure, you wouldn't want to show in them but they would look more refined and maybe not stand out so much to the instructor?



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    Hmm, I was looking at the dressage rulebook https://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2013/08-DR.pdf and couldn't actually find anything saying what was allowed for showing in regards to reins?

    Was flipping through a catalog last night and came across these?
    http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...d-b472616797f2

    Laced english reins might be an option too if I can find nice ones.

    Yay tack store visit planned for Sunday (new Dover tack store near Orlando FL just opened last Friday )

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    I love Schutz but am not a fan of those. I don't have personal experience with them so I am going based on the picture and description. They are polypropylene which will feel different than yacht rope. If you like the yacht rope, you may not like these because they will most likely be soft and squishy. Yacht rope is also known as double braid polyester. Cheap lead ropes are usually polypropylene for reference. Now, I'm sure the Schutz reins are the highest quality polypropylene and they look flat but personally, I wouldn't like them. It is neat that they have hand stops though, makes them look English-y.
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    Senior Member+ froglander's Avatar
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    Good point

    Reins are something I would prefer to buy from an actual tack store so I can see what they feel like in my hands. Will definitely be playing touch-feely with reins at any tack stores I happen to hit in the near future!
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    Perhaps I'm missing something as I'm not western???

    In English - Dressage specifically, the contact doesn't come from the rein....it comes from the riders hands. The photo shown - that's a flutter rein. Guaranteed that contact is too light & the rein will flutter with each step the horse takes.
    Nona and manesntails like this.
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