View Full Version : reins: help me choose!

Jan. 9, 2010, 04:29 PM
I have narrowed it down to 2 types of loop reins but just for the life of me can't choose.

I would love to hear some opinions/suggestions from those who have tried either type.

First, from my previous posts you guys probably know I have issues with my grip(it varies by day) now im having numbness in some fingers too so regular reins are frustrating and hard to use( I even switched to rubber which is better than laced but not completely helpful).

I just cant put the reins off any longer because normal reins are frustrating me( hence I need something until I know what's wrong with my hands)

here's the contestants:


Jan. 10, 2010, 11:30 AM
See if you can order both and return which ever doesn't work as well.

They have different amounts of play in the connection. You need to work with them a bit to figure out how to give a smidge more rein or take it in. Also how to lengthen and shorten for different gaits.

Ask Piaffe for her thoughts. Invite has been thinking about reins, too. Cadriver has excellent thoughts and teaches, so her knowledge is great.

Jan. 10, 2010, 04:44 PM
Thanks whicker, I facebook messaged piaffing and I shall wait for the others to chime in here too.

Im happy I got a gst cheque as it will pay for the reins!:D

Jan. 11, 2010, 03:58 AM
I don't like the cotten ones, they will collapse in your hands (i.e. fold in half) and you won't feel like you are holding anything, especially if you don't have much feeling. Also the D rings on the reins are going to create weight and a little bit of flop... The cotten webbing also gets stiff with dirt.

I think the loops work better I've tried them, the key is to getting them adjusted at the right place and then mark your reins. You might want them in a certain place for hacking, flat work, dressage, jumping etc.

The big thing is you are going to have to learn when useing loops that you wont' be lenghthening and shortening your reins much so you need to do some of that with your arms, and your horse might need to travel in a bit more of a collected frame when doing trot and canter work...

I do like the idea of trying both though. It is a personal preference... freedom rider is usually willing to work with you so it doesn't hurt to ask.

Just my .02
Diane Kastama

Jan. 11, 2010, 02:42 PM
Thank you, Diane!
I am so glad you have taken the forum under your wing.

Another rein question:
Do having bump markers or some way of lengthening and shortening the loop help as a technique? I mean, in how one uses the rein.

One of the things that one of my driving friends showed me a long time ago, was a practice rein box. Please would you explain what it is and if it would be useful for our technique.

Jan. 12, 2010, 11:12 PM
Here is a good explanation of a rein board.

It uses a board 2 pullies and weights. But will give you and idea and a picture.

An easier solution is to take to longe lines, attach 2 plastic milk bottles with sand in them or something to add weight about 2 lbs. Sit in a chair and have another chair faceing you with the seat towards you, run the lines over the top of the seat back with the wieghts on the far side, then you can shorten your lines until the weights are off the ground and then practice shortening and lengthing your reins.

You can watch how the weights move and affect the horses mouth. It really shows how much just a little will really give.

I tend to drive with reins with rein stops which really give me a feel for where I want my reins, mostly for when I want to lengthen, I can let the reins slip to the next rein stop, it is very quick and a finite distance. Also at a glance I can tell whether 1 rein is longer then the other.

But for those without much grip the loop reins are great. You would probably want them set for canter and trot work. Then just hold the reins regular for walk work when the horse is stretched out and you don't need as much contact.


Jan. 13, 2010, 06:32 PM
Hey guys! I emailed freedomrider for thier opinion on which they would suggest for me given my hand issues.

They said that the handle reins would work as they are flexible but wont fully collape (maybe they improved the design cadriver?) the drawback would be they're not super accurate in adjustability like the rein bows. They said the loops for the rein bows are sturdy yet narrow so they would not be ideal if there is numbness because of the narrowness. They are quite accurate in adjustability.

Based on that would the slight adjustability difference deter you from picking one over the other? They would be for schooling and low level shows(when I get my card) like im only talking hisghest 1st level.

the only time we dont try to work collected is at the walk(free walk on the buckle ) So the not constantly adjusting is ok, and will probably help! as of now my reins are always slipping and Im adjusting them every 10 strides!

Jan. 14, 2010, 03:16 PM
Adjustability is nice. I forgot about those rein bows being narrow. I don't like narrow but you can always wrap a bit of vet wrap or latex on them to make them thicker and a bit wider.

Loops for harness raceing are a bit wider and thicker and would work on riding reins also.
1st link goes to 1 pair
2nd link goes to a search that shows a bunch of different types




Jan. 15, 2010, 06:36 PM
Thanks cadriver I think I will try the rein bows with vetwrap, the other one is nice but I think I want a solid feel and besides the horse I ride is not overly fond of floppy reins.

the driving loops would they fit over rubber or laced reins? if they would one of the local shops has a harness section

Jan. 16, 2010, 12:33 AM
I would think they would, I have some in my barn, I will look tomorrow and see what they will fit over if I can find them:-)


Jan. 16, 2010, 09:23 AM
I don't like cotton either.

*Teddy* thanks for starting this thread and thanks to all for the great info posted. As we grow and expand I copy and paste like mad from this forum. Already there have been a few times where I have found myself with an *issue* and the lightbulb goes off that it was mentioned here.

Gosh only knows there is enough reinventing of the wheel when it comes to adaptive riding, it is so helpful to have this resource of awesome people!

Jan. 17, 2010, 11:02 AM
It makes me happy that my inquries are helping others!

Natalie A
Jan. 26, 2010, 07:11 PM
bump and a bit of a threadjack:

Has anyone found nylon rainbow reins with leather stops? I've hacked around with the first ones on this page (http://www.freedomrider.com/Reins-Nylon-Color-Coded-Black-White-Rubber-Rainbow.html) and liked how they felt, but for doing more collected work I would like rein stops to avoid them slipping through my fingers. I could always have them put on for me, but would like to explore other options first. I don't like the feeling of web reins--do rubber reins feel the same way? There aren't any at the barn that I can try out for comparison. I can't believe I'm asking about reinbow reins, but my trainer suggested they might be a useful training tool with my vision issues. Thanks!

Jan. 27, 2010, 10:12 AM
I don't know that I have seen the nylon reins with stops. But I did find some other interesting reins on this site.


Also I did try my harness raceing loops out and they fit over most any size rein.


Jan. 29, 2010, 10:37 AM
Natalie...Could you get non-rainbows with stops and just paint them w/ fabric paint? I've never tried painting the rein, but have painted stops plenty. You DO have to touch them up periodically.

The other thing I've done is to take a really big needle and colored thread and put colored 'tacks' by each of the stops.

Jan. 29, 2010, 06:03 PM
I ended up buying the reinbows and I am super impressed with freedomrider! They were here in less than a week:D

I cant wait to try them in my lesson sunday :)

Jan. 29, 2010, 11:06 PM
Please let us know what you think after trying them.

Jan. 30, 2010, 11:04 PM
I will be sure to give you guys a update/opinion when I use them,
right now im sitting here and praying tomarrow will warrm up otherwise I will have to miss my lessoon:( its been almost -30 with the wwindchill for 3 days and frankly breathing/moving/staying warm is hard when its below -20

Feb. 7, 2010, 12:03 PM
I finally got out and was able to use the loops and what a difference it makes to use them, my contact was consistant.

It took awhile to figure out where to set them but we found a good spot for trot work and I will just have to walk on the buckle.

Feb. 8, 2010, 07:27 PM
Cool, glad they helped, and you were able to get out riding.