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How do you make yacht rope reins?

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  • How do you make yacht rope reins?

    I want to make a pair of these: http://secondhandtack.com/blue-yacht-rope-reins-30

    They look pretty easy; it looks like I just need yacht rope and slobber straps.

    Is there any sort of fancy/crucial rein making mechanics that I should be aware of? How long should the rope length be? And where the heck to I buy yacht rope?

  • #2
    Those look pretty simple.

    You can get yacht rope at a marine supply or boating store. Also, some of the big feed/tack/hardware stores carry it, as well. There are probably a lot of online suppliers, as well.

    It looks like, on those, they just burned the ends to seal them and keep the rope from fraying. You can do that with a match or a lighter. There is also a tool, the name of which escapes me right now, that has one end that grips the rope like Chinese thumb cuffs and a pointed awl on the other end that you use to thread the rope back into itself to make a smooth and very strong end.

    I am not a fan of snaps on any reins other than romels with chains because I don't like jangling on the bit when I'm handling my reins as much as I do when working a horse in a snaffle, but that's personal preference. When I've set up similar reins, I just put the slobber straps through the bit rings to avoid using snaps.

    You can probably find quite a bit of information online. I think some people call them "sport reins" as opposed to a mecate rein that has a tail used as a lead. Length is your personal preference depending on how you ride. Reins long enough to mosey down the trail, loose and relaxed, would get in your way if you were actually trying to rope or run barrels.
    Last edited by BayRoan; Jun. 8, 2012, 02:41 PM. Reason: punctuation error


    • #3
      The tricky part is doing the yacht braid. You can buy the metal 'needle' thingys and instructions, but it is not a piece of cake. My husband (I'm happy to say) can do the braid and I have quite a bit of his lead lines, etc.

      A fisherman would be able to show you.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


      • #4
        Fair warning: if your horse dumps you, there is nothing in this set up that will give unless the snaps break. Slobber straps attached to yacht rope would hold a yacht.

        Just a thought on behalf of the horse's mouth.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
          The tricky part is doing the yacht braid. You can buy the metal 'needle' thingys and instructions, but it is not a piece of cake. My husband (I'm happy to say) can do the braid and I have quite a bit of his lead lines, etc.

          A fisherman would be able to show you.
          The stuff I see is double braided line, polyester or nylon. It's a real PITA to splice but it looks as though they've just knotted it around a leather strap with the snap on it. There are lots of double braided lead ropes out there that OP could buy and cut up that might be long enough to get the effect.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • #6
            Reins long enough to mosey down the trail, loose and relaxed, would get in your way if you were actually trying to rope or run barrels.
            Well, yes, if you didn't know how to use them. I have a 24' yacht rope mecate with slobber straps, most of the buckaroos with snaffle bit horses do rope with this setup.
            If you have a mecate, you can shorten reins/lengthen mecate, or vice/versa, to suit your situation. You need a little length to the mecate to do groundwork with a 16 hh+ horse. And you can sure shorten your reins down a bit if you need to.
            But yes, you are supposed to have long reins, and put a loop in them to do work where you need to shorten up. To put the loop in them, you pretty much make the reins into a big figure 8, one loop being all reins and the other loop would include the slobber strap and the bit through the horse's mouth, continuing on up the other slobber strap to your hand.
            If you know how to shorten up on your reins, you can neck rein with a snaffle in a way that doesn't point the horse's nose in the opposite direction of travel.

            For barrel racing, I'd probaby get a short, grippy rein.