Types of Snaps

What is ya’ll’s favorite types of snaps to use on the reins?
There’s swivel, trigger and a clip snaps! I’m curious why and why nots!
Thank you!

I don’t use snaps because they clang on the bit. I use reins with either a water loop or reins with a buckle.



I even intentionally use side reins backwards to get the loop end on the bit, instead of the clip.

I love snaps because I can get them off easily but I don’t use the trigger type because they will sometimes pop off if you pull abruptly. I like these:


I like snaps for the trail, where I’m generally riding on a loose rein & using a halter-bridle, so I can easily turn reins into lead rope. I’m guessing this is what OP is looking for as well. My horses have had no complaints (they would definitely tell me if they did!).

I have scissor snaps on mine, primarily bc that is what I found in my shed, lol, but they are easy to use with gloves on & have been secure over many miles of riding mtns/woods at all gaits. I do make sure & clip them so the tab is on the outside so horse doesn’t get poked. When I do buy them, I get the solid-feeling brass ones, which seem to be appropriately sturdy. I don’t like small trigger snaps, especially now that I suddenly have thumb arthritis in my dominant hand (bite me, genetics), they are too fiddly.


I have swivel trigger snaps on all my reins. I put the longer tab to the inside when clipped on as that seems to help from accidental disconnects if the horse rubs.

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I use biothane English reins, no snaps. I carry a carabiner or two on my saddle so I have a clip should I need one. The best carabiner doubles as a bottle opener :wink:

I prefer clip snaps if I’d had to choose, but I regularly ride with reins with a buckle – nearly as easy to swap if necessary and more secure.

I won’t use reins with scissor snaps – my horse has an itchy head and she likes to scratch it on her leg quite frequently. Nothing like having a rein suddenly fall off!

I like nickel plated trigger snaps. I have had one come open when a horse rubs it’s face a few times in 20 years but it’s really rare. I say nickel plated because they have actually held up better for me than brass. I used to think brass was a better metal but I’ve had two brass snaps fall apart when I used them for reins, like literally fall apart, not just the horse rubbing them open. So I don’t buy brass anymore, only the cheaper nickel coated type and they hold up great. I think I’ve broken one of them in my whole equine-life and only half the clasp broke so it was still usable to get me home.

I know folks say that horses don’t like the metal clanging around, but I’ve really never noticed a problem with it. I don’t like water loops on reins (unless they also have snaps on them) because otherwise the reins want to twist when you put them over the horse’s head and I hate having to untwist them. Snaps just work well for me and I like them. :slight_smile:

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oh, those are the ones I call scissor snaps, I like those. I think of trigger snaps as the one on lead ropes. Thanks for the pics to clear up any word confusion!

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So I read this and thought “oh no, maybe I’m wrong” and put both “trigger snaps” and “scissor snaps” into a photo search on a search engine and both came up as the type of snap I posted. So I guess the names are more or less interchangeable. :grin:

I think what you’re thinking of are bull snaps like this:

No, I do hate bull snaps tho (but I usually see them without the tab sticking out, that would make them easier to open)! I have snaps on my lead ropes (my rural internet makes uploading pics hard) like - oh, like the kind on a double ended snap. I thought that was a trigger snap but maybe not. I guess we can at least sort out snap terminology, rofl.

If you have the app “Snip” on your computer (standard with Microsoft) you can snip the picture and then copy and paste it into your post. That’s what I did with the picture above.

Thanks! I will remember that for future. I’m most often on my phone, but there is probably a way to do something similar if I get some energy to explore.

I have always called those “bolt snaps:”

Ah-ha, THAT’S it! I was trying to think of the word & my aging brain failed me again. Sorry for the sidetrack, OP, but useful to figure out if we’re all talking about the same thing. Small bolt snaps are the ones I struggle a bit with fiddly-ness, but the trigger/scissor snaps work well. :slight_smile:

I like bolt snaps for my lead ropes and sometimes other things, like the center piece on the breast collar. I really don’t like bull snaps because my fingers seem to fumble with them, but they are okay on lead ropes because I tend not to take them on and off my halters much. I have a feeling bull snaps are probably the strongest, but I like the bolt snaps because they are super easy to use one handed. :slight_smile:

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