Horse Reins: The Guide to Choosing the Right Ones for Your Horse


For horse riders, reins are an essential tool to maintain control and communicate with their horse. Reins are the direct line of communication between the rider and horse, allowing the rider to signal direction and speed. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which reins are best suited for your horse. In this guide, we will explore the different types of horse reins and help you choose the right one for your horse.

Flat Reins

Flat reins are the most common type of riding reins and are used in a variety of disciplines. They are typically made of leather, nylon, or cotton and are straight in shape. Flat reins are versatile and can be used for all levels of riding, from beginners to advanced riders. They come in different widths and lengths, allowing riders to choose the best option for their grip and horse’s size.

Braided Reins

Braided reins are made by weaving together strips of leather or nylon, resulting in a textured and flexible rein. They offer a secure grip for the rider and are a popular choice for those who ride in wet conditions, as they do not slip as easily as smooth leather reins. Braided reins come in various colours and styles, making them a fashionable option for riders as well.

Laced Reins

Laced reins are similar to braided reins, but instead of weaving the strips of leather or nylon together, they are laced through holes in the reins. Laced reins provide a secure grip for the rider and are softer than flat reins, making them more comfortable for the horse. They are often used in dressage and other English riding disciplines.

Split Reins

Split reins are two separate reins that attach to the bit separately. This type of reins is used in Western riding and provides more direct and separate communication with the horse’s mouth. Riders can use one rein at a time or both reins together, depending on the situation. Split reins are typically made of leather and come in various lengths and widths.

Draw Reins

Draw reins are used to help train the horse to maintain a specific head position or head carriage. They attach to the girth of the horse and run through the bit, back to the rider’s hands. Draw reins are not meant to be used as a permanent fixture and should only be used under the guidance of a trainer.

It is essential to choose the right type of reins for your horse to ensure comfort and control while riding. Each type of reins has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your riding style, your horse’s needs, and your personal preference. Consider the material, grip, and type of riding you will be doing to choose the right reins for both you and your horse. With the correct reins, you and your horse can communicate better and enjoy a safer, more pleasant ride.