What To Look For In A Horse Rein
One big thing to look out for is quality. A heavier rein will allow your horse to feel your commands more, as they will be able to know what you’re doing with your hands.
Inexpensive reins which are lightweight will be more difficult for you to manoeuvre correctly, and you may find yourself pulling more than you need to which could make your horse’s mouth and bit uncomfortable.
Good quality material will also last longer, rather than fraying or breaking away at the seams.
Reins are available in multiple widths, which is usually given in a fraction in inches.
The most common for a full-sized horse is around 5/8”, which is about 0.625 inches technically. However, for ponies and smaller horses, it is common to get 1/2”.
Common lengths are 48”, 54” and 58-60”. These sizes suit ponies, cobs and full-size horses in order.
One rule doesn’t fit all, but it is a good guide to follow.
Heavy leather is the best option. Thick rope is also good. This way, they will be able to react to your hand movements easier, and they will also be able to balance themselves in response.
If they are made from lightweight leather or nylon webbing, as discussed above you will need to be quite experienced so you know just how much weight to put on the reins in order for your horse to respond to your demands. Your horse should also be quite experienced at riding.
Where the bit attaches to the reins and cheekpieces is called the billets. These can be either hook stud billets or buckle billets. The reins and cheekpieces should have matching billets, so if you already have the cheekpiece, buy a set of reins which match up.
Most are available in black or brown, which are the two most common colours of saddlery.
There is no ‘one is better than the other’ scenario – you may want black as it is the most common colour and you will therefore find it easier to buy equipment which matches, or you may want brown as you have a dark horse and want something which stands out a bit more.