Favourite reins?

I did a search and it looks like the last time this topic was posted was in 2015 so instead of bumping that thread I’m starting a new one :slight_smile:

Do you have a favourite brand of reins? I’m in the market for new ones and would love some of your reviews.

I am currently riding a school horse (I part-board, so I get to ride him 3-4x per week) and the reins will be used by any other riders (over the summer I suspect I’ll be the only one riding him except maybe the odd adult beginner lesson here and there).

The reins currently on his bridle are cheapy web reins with hand stops. I 100% need the loops / hand stops so that’s a “must have” criteria. I also have a bit of a hard time closing my hand, at least once a lesson I get a reminder from my coach to close my fingers because I’ve let them get loose around the reins (this comes from the muscle memory of how I walk my dogs, I’m sure - I basically let their leashes dangle from my fingers because they have such good manners). I do not have arthritis or weakness in closing my fingers, I am just “lazy” I think in my muscle memory.

A friend at the barn has Dyon leather & rubber reins with stops that I really like but I can’t seem to find them online anywhere - this I think is the closest: https://www.dyon.be/en/bridlework/5-8-hunter-reins-with-7-leather-loops-without-stopper-black-full-new-english-collection

I have found a few nice pairs that only seem to come in brown, but I am looking for black.

Bonus points if I can find it them at a Canadian tack shop, but not a requirement.

Tell me about your favourite reins, and why you love them!

Thinline. I have a pair on both my snaffle and double bridle. They don’t make curb reins so my curb rein is some cheap ones I found with hand stops, because I also prefer hand stops.

The original reins that came with the Micklem bridles with the big pimples were the best. The new ones are too thick and inflexible.

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I like the Schockemohle Dura Soft. Soft leather, and the stoppers are spaced closer together which I prefer. I don’t like rubber on my reins but they make them with pimples too.

https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/schockemoehle-durasoft-reins-21359?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=NB_SSC_Shopping_Tack&utm_campaign=Tack&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4uaUBhC8ARIsANUuDjWHveVQWr2j_uwNezdh9HHoaT2VPHqkxfbQGpVsKppPk8GhGf2MAAIaAnGiEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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KL Select makes nice reins with the inside rubber material and stoppers:

I have a pair and have no complaints. I also have these reins which I love and they’re a great value. I find them to be similar or better quality leather than the KL Select for a lower price even with shipping from the UK (I believe when I ordered my bridle a couple years ago it was around $15 to ship to the US). The stoppers are much closer together than the ones on the KL Select reins.

They also make a similar style to the KL Select which I have too, though I haven’t gotten around to trying them since I liked the first pair so much!

They’re also having a 25% off sale right now which makes them even more reasonable.

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I second the Thinline reins, love them.

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These are my favorite too.

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I like Thinline reins, but…

The big problem I’ve had with them, and I’ve probably had 4 sets, is that, unless you take meticulous care of them (and really even if you do take meticulous care of them) the thinline material begins to deteriorate within a year.

(By meticulous care I mean wiping the reins down with plain water–no saddle soap must ever touch!–every time you ride, especially if the horse has sweated.) (Having typed this I realize that it doesn’t sound like much, but for me to have to clean the reins off every time I ride? I really had to beat myself up to do it).

And my sense is that riders on a school horse riding him every once in a while, they’re not going to be interested in taking meticulous care.

The reins I have now are from EvoEquine in Britain, which I love:

Evoequine reins

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Just because you buy a pair of reins with a school horse doesn’t mean everyone else riding that school horse gets to use the reins. Just replace the existing reins each time you ride. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain, but you don’t have to worry about the reins going missing either if you take them with you ( and we know how many threads there are about mis-use of other folks’ tack!)

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Mine are a number of years old and still going strong! My horses are tough on reins because it’s traditional to keep the PRE/Lusi manes long, and I seem to have a thing for heavy sweaters-- as in horses that sweat a lot.

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Braided reins like these. I’ve been using this type of rein for years.

Braided Reins | Shop Online – Freedman’s (freedmanharness.com)

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I have these and I adore them!

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Well, I’ll pit my heavy sweater (Irish Draught) against your PREs any day! She doesn’t have the excuse of the luxuriant mane either!

As for the thinline reins, I’d love to know your secret. I never got more than about 12-18 months out of them before they began ripping and showing their premature age.

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I have the shockmole reins and they were ok, the best I tried of all the normal grippy handstop type reins , but still not great for my hands. Long story short: lots of soft tissue damage, arthritis, things that make a stable grip hard. I have a hard time closing my hand and a fjord who really would prefer I carry all 450lbs of his head and neck.

I found these ps reins at farm house and they are the best so far. Amazingly thin but so so grippy.

https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ps-of-sweden-softysuper-grip-reins-21813?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=NB_Search_Tack_DSA&utm_campaign=Martingale&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4uaUBhC8ARIsANUuDjUTpUgQ9tSqHGwWQv-iUJje9FATJp22BF5W25Qm67q0N18LaHvQN18aAmbHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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My favorite reins are Edgewood laced, on my venerable old edgewood bridle. Well oiled, well used. This is the bridle i train my green horses in. No noseband.
They are just excellent reins, they feel like coming home.

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I am assuming your girl and my girl are a different kind of sweaty… I’m not sure what my secret is. People have said they shouldn’t get cold/stiff but here in New England they are certainly getting cold in the winter. Now that you mention it though, I never wipe them down, even with water. I might wipe off the leather bits with my regular saddle soap before a clinic or show. Maybe my layer of grime is keeping them together.

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Thinline is what I use. Given your criteria, they seem particularly well suited. I have not had any durability issues (had many for 4+ years) although when I lived in the midwest I thought they did get a bit stiff in the brutal cold. I like they are tacky, great feel, super in rain, easy to grip. Black and brown and with stops.

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Also love the Henry James reins!

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I am loving all of these suggestions, thank you!! @SeeSpotEvent has a great point… I live in the Canadian prairies so we get ALL of the weather options. -40c to +40c over the course of the year and 20-30c changes in a single day.

I am leaning towards thinline many of you prefer or PSoS that @DMK posted. I have a PSoS bridle (was my mares before she had to be PTS last month) that I could in theory put new reins on if/when I get another horse of my own. I like matchy-matchy and I dream of getting a “reincarnate” of my mare so my heart is leaning this direction (and this is a “future” statement so really it won’t be my deciding factor).

These are rubber with stops, and you can’t beat the price (they also come in different lengths, which is a bonus): https://www.lumiereequestrian.com/collections/reins/products/leather-rubber-grip-reins-black

I just got a Bobby’s bridle that came with rubber reins and I really like them, but they don’t have stops. I used to prefer thinner reins, but now I like the rubber reins that have a little more bulk to hold on to, as well as the grippiness, just so long as they aren’t the really stiff type.

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I purchased these during Land Rover on a whim, it’s been a game changer for my slippy hands. They are also super soft!

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