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It can be hard to know which reins to choose, as there are so many different types available. The important thing to remember is that everybody has a different preference for how they like their horse reins to feel. There’s other important factors to consider, such as whether you’re looking for an affordable everyday rein, or a top quality rein for competitions. You’ll also need to think about choosing a colour to match your tack and getting the right length for your horse. Most importantly, you’ll need to buy reins that are suitable for activities you undertake while you ride.
Plain Leather Reins
Made from smooth leather, Plain Reins are flexible, narrow and have a neat and tidy appearance. Plain leather reins are often used in combination with a double bridle, and also for showing. They can also be the most comfortable option for someone who likes thin reins, and horses who like a light contact. They’re not often used for eventing or jumping, as they don’t offer a lot of grip and can be very slippery when wet.
Half Rubber Reins
Half rubber reins offer the same neat and tidy appearance as plain leather ones, but with the advantage of a half rubber lining to give extra grip. To the outside, half rubber reins give a smooth leather & stitched appearance, while the rubber on the inside allows for more grip, especially in the wet. As with plain leather reins, these reins can often be seen in the show ring.
Continental reins feature leather or synthetic hand stops along with leather sections to the either end of the reins. Traditionally, continental horse reins would me made from cotton webbing, which along with the leather hand stops would give a thin light feel and good grip. However, there is now a number of hybrid designs which feature the handy leather stops, alongside a rubber or nylon core to give even more grip. These reins are often used when extra grip is needed such as with a strong horse, for hacking, for hunting, jumping, or out on the eventing cross country course.
The most popular choice for the modern rider is definitely the rubber rein. Offering a huge amount of grip, these horse reins are the top choice for jumping , eventing and general riding. Leading tack manufacturers have come u with new and innovative materials and designs that make the rubber reins a much slimmer, softer and more flexible option than ever before. There’s also supergrip rubber reins now available for when a strong hold on the reins in extreme conditions is essential. Rubber reins often feature a nylon or leather core for extra strength and durability.