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Lets Talk Western Horse Reins Styles by Tack Warehouse

Western Split Herman Oak Horse Training Reins
Western Split Training Reins

Western Split Reins

Western split reins are normally made from two strips of harness leather, split reins can also be made of braided cotton rope, nylon, biothane and western rein widths vary. Tack Warehouse recommends a western rein width of 3/4-inch for most riding and using a 5/8-inch western rein when using a snaffle bit. Western split reins are not only common for trail riding but also used by riders for western events such as working cow horse, western pleasure, horsemanship, reining and western cutting. Cutting horse and Cow horse split reins tend to be weighted so they help keep the rein dropped along the horses neck. Western split reins is they are very versatile because they allows the western rider to make adjustments to one rein or the other or to direct the horse with one rein against their neck. Western horses are also trained to move when rider applies a neck rein.

At Tack Warehouse we stock many western split reins from different companies. Our favorite are Amish made from Monterey Bay Saddlery and are finished Herman Oak harness reins. This leather is considered the gold standard of leather and they have a substantial thickness, no stretch and come with the option of weighted ends and different lengths. We also recommend the reins with leather ties for western rider safety.

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Western Horse Romal Reins

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 Reins & Roping Reins

Roping reins are a single western rein attached to the bit on both sides in a loop around the horse’s neck . This style of western rein from a single length of leather can be braided nylon or cotton. There is usually a snap on one end. Barrel and Roping horse western reins are used for western roping and speed events, such as gymkhana. Barrel reins also referred to as roping reins are normally used to start beginner western riders using one hand.

Western Horse Mecate Rein & Bosal
Western Horse Mecate Rein & Bosal

Mecate Reins

Western mecate reins are western reins based on the vaquero tradition of riding and these are used with a horse bosal that fits over the horses nose and replaces the bit, also called a horse hackamore. Mecate reins are made of braided horse mane or tail hair, mohair, or nylon . Western mecate reins are one long length of rope attached to the bosal tied in a manner that they make 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 normally started under saddle in a bosal and mecate and 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.

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