Best Horse Reins Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Horses are beautiful creatures that can’t help but inspire awe, especially considering their history. They are naturally wild, however, many have adopted the practice of domesticating them. This must be done before attempting to ride such large, vivacious animal. To direct your horse you’ll need to acquire a rein which is then attached to the bridle. These long straps can be made from a variety of materials such as leather or metal. There are differently styled reins that can be selected based on the task you are expected to perform. What are the best reins on the market and how can they be used effectively? Find out the answer these questions and more in our top 10 horse reins review.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Made in the United States
Heavy harness leather
Dressed with saddle butter
10 Best Horse Reins
1. Intrepid International
30 feet total rein length
Rolled nylon construction
Brass Trigger snaps
These horse reins can be very light
Length of horse rein can result in tangles
The Intrepid International horse driving line is constructed with a cotton web with rolled nylon fronts. This horse rein is a webbed driving line. The one-inch cotton located in the hand area adds to user comfort. The length of therein is made from nylon that has been rolled all the way through to the turrets. This style of horse rein is ideal for ground training with a total length of 30 feet.
The Intrepid International horse driving line features nylon construction that has been rolled all the way through to the turrets which promote structure durability.
Nylon is highly resistant to abrasion which makes it a great choice in material for horse reins as it is able to withstand heavy wear.
Cost and Value
The Intrepid International horse driving line has a medium price range.
2. Southwestern Equine Barrel Racing
8 feet total length
Vast color variety
This horse rein may be incorrectly packaged
Length may run marginally shorter than 8 feet
The Southwestern Equine barrel racing reins is braided with easy grip knots to increase rider efficiency. This horse rein 8 feet long and a great choice for professional riders. It is constructed from polyester and braided to eliminate the uncomfortable stretch generally experienced with this type of horse rein. The increases grip gives a rider more control going in and out of turns.
The total length of the Southwestern Equine barrel racing rein is 8 feet. This eliminates the stretch feeling generally experienced with this type of rein and gives a rider more control.
This horse rein is braided which adds strength and durability to each product. The ends of therein are knotted to provide a better grip and increase control.
Cost and Value
The Southwestern Equine barrel racing rein has a very low price range. Due to its length and unique construction, it is a great choice for trail riding. This design comes in a wide variety of colors allowing riders to express their personal preference.
3. Weaver Leather Cowboy Split
Made in the United States
Heavy harness leather
Dressed with saddle butter
The inside of these reins may be rough
Quality control on these horse reins may be low
The Weaver Leather cowboy split rein is hand rubbed and manufactured in the United States. This horse rein is a balanced high-quality product that promotes rider comfort. They are hand buttered and extremely durable. These flexible reins are dipped in oil and able to withstand the rigors of everyday use. The thick premium brand has weighted ends and a heavy leather harness.
The Weaver Leather cowboy split rein is constructed from premium grade leather that has been dipped in oil, dressed in saddle butter and hand rubbed.
Keeping leather well oiled is the secret to peak performance. This horse rein has been carefully prepared to increase durability and has weighted ends to provide a balanced feel when riding.
Cost and Value
The Weaver Leather cowboy split rein has a moderately low price range. Its chestnut color makes it widely appealing. This style comes with water loops and ties laces.
4. Weaver Leather Hollow Trail
10 feet long
These horse reins may be a challenge to maneuver
The reins can be lightweight
The Weaver Leather hollow trail rein is not only soft but durable and features a silver tip. This horse rein is extremely soft in texture but highly durable. It is crafted from ⅝ inch spun nylon which is what gives it the extra soft texture. It is handcrafted and comes in four unique colors which include black, brown and tan with the final color being a combination of the three.
The Weaver Leather hollow train rein is constructed from spun nylon which gives the structure and extra soft feel. While the soft fuzzy feeling adds to rider comfort the nylon material promotes product durability.
The total length of this horse rein is 10 feet and it has been handcrafted as is the standard with the Weaver Leather brand.
Cost and Value
The Weaver Leather hollow train rein has a medium price range.
5. Prorider Knotted
8 feet total length
Teal and black color design
Buckles to attach to the bit
Can be used for everyday riding or competitions
These horse reins do not come in alternative colors
This design does not have any variations
The Prorider knotted western barrel rein is braided and constructed from nylon. This horse rein is designed to be easily attached to a bit that has buckled. Its total length measures between 7ft and 8ft with a teal and black color pattern. This style is ideal for competitive riders as it features premium quality construction. It can also be used for everyday riding.
This design features a knotted design which improved durability as well as mane 8-futility. The 8-foot total length of the Provider knotted western barrel rein is ideal for efficiency.
This horse ring can be used for any type of riding including barrel racing, reining and even trail riding.
Cost and Value
The Prorider knotted western barrel rein has a very low price range. This design comes with Conway buckles that can be used to attach the reins to your bit
6. Prorider Knotted Western Barrel
Up to 8 feet in length
Provides a variety of alternative colors
Can be used for a wide variety of activities
these horse reins can be faulty
Quality control on these reins may be low
The Prorider knotted western barrel rein (607p) is between 7ft and 8ft in length with multiple color variations available. This horse rein features conway buckles that can easily be used to attach the reins to your bit. It is constructed from premium grade materials which make it a great selection to be used at competitions. The reins are durable enough to be utilized for everyday use including trail riding.
The knotted construction of this Prorider western barrel rein gives it a high level of durability allowing it to be used as an everyday item or by professional riders for competitions.
This horse rein goes up to 8ft in length which is ideal for users allowing them a wide range of maneuverability.
Cost and Value
The Prorider knotted western barrel reins (607p) has a very low price range. It can be used for a wide variety of activities including barrel racing, reining and trail riding.
7. Turquoise Cross
Split rein design
Can coordinate with a range of saddles
This horse rein can be incorrectly packaged
Quality control on this rein may be low
The Turquoise cross leather split rein is extremely comfortable for riders to use and is ideal for everyday use. This horse rein has a dark brown color and has been oiled to increase performance as well as durability. The simple design is easily integrated with a wide variety of saddles and gives users a comfortable feel when riding. It can easily withstand everyday use by any rider.
The Turquoise cross leather split reins can be used for everyday riding. They are ideal for trail riding and offers users a high level of control when it comes to where and how they can hold the rein.
This horse rein has a split design and is constructed from leather. This makes it extremely durable and the ideal choice to be used for a variety of riding activities.
Cost and Value
The Turquoise cross leather split rein as a moderately low price range.
8. Cashel Trail
Ideal for trail riding
Comes in a variety of colors
Easy to grip
These reins may not be suited for larger horses
The reins are lightweight
The Cashel trail rein is easy to grip and has waterproof protection for riders. This horse rein is designed to be used ideally for trail riding. It has 2 end snaps along with 2 adjustable buckles that also comes with keepers. Its total length goes all the way up to 9 feet. It is coated with biothane and is completely waterproof. There are three colors to choose from including brown and natural.
The Cashel trail rein is designed to be used ideally for trail riding. The total length of 9 feet makes it easy to keep both hands on the rein when riding.
This horse rein is coated with biothane which not only increases the product durability but it also provides waterproof protection for riders.
Cost and Value
The Cashel trail rein has a high price range. It has a very soft feel which improves rider comfort during use.
9. Henri de Rivel
Lined with rubber
The lining in these reins can cause it to become stiff
This rein may be poorly constructed
The Henri de Rivel lined reins are constructed from leather and lined with soft rubber webbing. This horse rein has a european design. The Henri de Rivel brand is known for quality products that are offered at affordable prices. Their horse reins are constructed at their own factories for high quality control. They are constantly innovating to provide riders with the best options available.
The Henri de Rivel lined reins is constructed from leather for high performance and durability. The soft webbed rubber lining helps to improve rider grip while reducing the usual bulky feel.
This horse rein has a european design that is consistent with the product brand. This offers riders high quality on product and performance.
Cost and Value
The Henri de Rivel lined reins have a medium price range.
10. Other Braided Cotton
7 feet in length
Variety of colors available
The white color design on this rein holds on to dust and dirt
The price on these reins vary based on color
The Other braided cotton rein is 7 feet long and comes in a variety of colors. This horse rein is braided and flat. It is constructed from cotton and comes with a trigger snap made from nickel. It is extremely durable, offers a good grip and comfort for riders using the unique design. The 7 foot long rein is ideal for a variety of riding activities.
The Other braided cotton rain is constructed from 100% cotton for comfort and durability. Its trigger snaps are made from nickel giving it a premium finish and allowing the product to be easily connected to your bit.
The total length of this horse rein is 7 feet making it easily maneuverable and allowing users to utilize it for a variety of different riding activities.
Cost and Value
The Other braided cotton rein has a very low price range and offers users a range of color options.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Horse reins can be rolled or braided to increase durability. This process ensures that the layered construction resists abrasions and or tears thus promoting the longevity of the product. This is especially useful for reins that are made from materials such as cotton. These fibers tend to have visible loose strands that can be caught against metal and edges and being to fray. Keeping these materials braided ensures the structure does not come loose while riding.
A variety of reins are constructed from leather. Although this is a strong and durable material with many property benefits, the material has a few weaknesses that can be addressed to improve durability. For example, applying oil to leather stops it from drying out. When leather becomes too dry it can crack and begin to break down. Some manufacturers oil reins by hand before distribution but oils can be purchased separately to ensure you reins are kept in good condition.
The oiling of a leather rein also prevents it from absorbing too much water or moisture especially if you have been riding in the rain. Leather is naturally absorbent and when it takes on too much water it can cause the material to swell and become warped. When the water evaporates it tends to take any internal oils along with it. If not well greased this can leave your rein lose its flexibility, becoming stiff and unworkable. Regularly oiling your leather reins will help maintain their strength and ensure peak performance.
Some manufacturers coat their reins with a product called biothane. It is a coated webbing made commonly from polyester and coated with a thin layer of plastic. Since this is a synthetic material, it is water resistant and does not tend to absorb moisture easily. This coating not only strengthens the integrity of the product but it also offers waterproofing properties. This is ideal for leather reins and for riders who may need their reins to withstand the rain and exposure to moisture.
Nylon is sometimes used to make horse reins instead of leather as it offers riders a few added benefits. Nylon is a synthetic fiber that offers a high level of strength and durability. It is also not as absorbent so it can be used in the rain without losing its flexibility, shape or efficiency. This also means that it will not dry out and is not prone to the same level of environmental damage. It is also easier to upkeep as it does not require supplies found outside of a traditional home. Soap and or water can be used to refresh a nylon rein or it can simply tumbled in a washing machine.
Rubber is commonly used in the webbing or the lining of a horse rein. This helps to keep the product lightweight and increase its durability. When used in the rein lining, this material improves user grip and lowers the risk of your rein slipping out of your hands while riding. This material also provides excellent contact which is essential for communicating with your horse especially when engaging in competitive sport.
Leather is one of the most common materials used in the manufacturing of horse reins due to its strength and tremendous ability to withstand high amounts of wear. Good quality leather extends the longevity of the product and has a direct effect on its efficiency. If a high grade of leather is used and cut appropriately it can give the feel of weighted reins. This improves its drop and can also reduce the level of wear experienced during use. Heavier reins are easier to maneuver and highly effective when driving your horse.
Cotton is a great material to use in the webbing of a horse rein. It is a very strong naturally occurring material which ensures the durability of your product. It is a very light material and offers a high level of comfort for riders. It also improves their grip and prevents the reins from slipping out their hands while riding. It is a fairly inexpensive material and use of it during the manufacturing process helps to make reins more affordable.
Polyester is sometimes used in the products created to coat horse reins such as Bothane. This is beneficial as the synthetic fiber is not only strong but lacks the ability to absorb water and moisture effectively. This, therefore, makes it a great waterproofing material which can overlay other materials such as leather to prevent it from warping when wet or losing its moisture and flexibility. Used effectively it increases product durability and efficiency.
Horse reins can be as short as 5 to 6 feet and can get as long as 10 feet. Some brands offer reins as long as 30 feet in length. The length of your rein depends on a number of factors such as style, purpose, and adjustability. For example, western reins tend to be on average 6 feet in length. These can be adjusted to a length that is comfortable for you when you ride. If competing in a pleasure event longer reins tend to give your horse a more pleasing and distinguished look.
Many brands carry reins that range between 7 feet and 8 feet. This length is ideal for racing competitions. It gives the rider enough room to maneuver both long and short turns and can quickly and easily be adjusted due to the lack of slack. This also makes it easy for quick and concise communication with your horse and gives you the ability to make split-second decisions. Based on the type of your rein you may need to adjust its length to accommodate set up.
English styled reins, for instance, are connected on either side of the horse and then clipped together before reaching the rider. This style requires a longer rein than you would if you were to use the split style reins where the two sides of the rein never meet. Closed reins require the shortest distance and typically carry a shorter length than split reins. The type of riding you intend to do as well as the style of rein are good indicators when selecting the length of rope that will work well for you.
There are four main styles of rein used for horseback riding and each can affect your ability to communicate with your horse. This is due to the way each rein type is attached to the bit. An English rein for example generally comes in pairs and although they are attached to separate bits they are then connected together. These generally have a lot of stretch and can be braided. They may also feature webbing which is used to prevent the rein from slipping out your hands while riding.
Spit reins are the most commonly used in competitions such as western pleasure or horsemanship. These do not attach to each other as is the case with an English rein, however, they are flat and smooth and usually require a longer length of rein. A split rein can measure anywhere from 6 feet to 8 feet in length. This allows for increased maneuverability and better communication between a horse and its rider.
Western closed reins are attached to the bit and then looped around the horse's neck which prevents the rein from becoming tangled or from being caught under the horse if it accidentally slips out of your grasp. This type of rein helps protect both you and your horse and can be made from materials such as nylon, polyester, and cotton. These promote a comfortable fit for your horse as well as added comfort in the hands of the rider.
Mecate reins are not widely used. This is due to the fact that it requires a specific bridle and must be attached using a unique knot. With such a variety when it comes to rein selection, it is easy to select one that suits your riding style. Your selection rein selection will decide how efficiently you and your horse perform whether you are doing everyday riding or participating in a competition.
Weighted reins help to ensure the durability of your horse reins. Bases on the way the leather is cut the weight of the reins can fall in alternate placed that can cause a high degree of wear. Reins that are weighted properly will give a better grip and drape properly creating balance. Reins that are balanced generally do not suffer as much damage from wear as those that are lightweight or fall at an imbalance.
English reins tend to use smaller saddles that are much lighter than those used with other styled reins. They are more of a military mount but can be used for a variety of riding activities including speed games, equitation, and roping. It is an excellent choice for someone learning to ride for the first time as these types of reins and saddles are designed to avoid disruption of your horse’s movements.
English riders also tend to use closed reins. This type of horse rein is used in rodeo events since they are tied together and offer a greater level of stability. It prevents the rider from accidentally dropping the reins as well as the possibility of it falling under the horse which can easily cause injury to both the horse and its rider. Western riders also use a single closed rein for this type of event.
Split reins are traditionally used by western riders. They are not tied together as is the case with English or loop reins. This gives the added benefit of protecting your horse from becoming tangled in the rope and injuring itself after you have dismounted. These reins are much longer than most other styled reins and care should be taken to protect yourself and your horse. These can generally be used for horsemanship as they create an appealing drop. They can also be utilized for everyday use.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Some reins come with trigger snaps that can be used to attach it to your bridle. These can be made from materials such as nickel which is extremely durable and resistant to damage from impact and elements. These devices are operated using a pressurized spring which ensures your reins will be adequately secure once attached to the bridle.
Other brands use water loops and tie laces to secure the rein to the bit. These entail short pieces of leather that you pass through the loops on the bit and using the laces you can secure the rein to the bit and then tie the loop back to the reins. This requires a much higher level of skill than simply using a trigger snap.
Rein choice depends a great deal on what type of riding you are doing and your experience level. Flat reins are great for horsemanship and every day riding, they are easy to maneuver especially for someone experienced. As a beginner or speed competitor, it is essential to have a good grip and minimize the chances of your reins slipping from your hand. Round reins tend to be braided or twisted which provides extra grip for more control.
Other Factors to Consider
Intrepid International is a family business that has made a name for itself in this industry over the past 20 plus years. They carry an extensive live inclusive of almost any type of gear needed for horseback riding. From saddle pads, riding apparel and horse tacks to barn supplies, footwear and training aids. They have continued to service their loyal customer base with high quality products globally and will continue to maintain that service as they expand into new territories.
Southwestern Equine is another family owned and operated brand that has used their personal experience with riding on a personal and competitive level to fuel their innovations over the years. They know what a rider truly needs and they have effectively used this in developing their brand and global scale. They offer high quality products at prices their consumers can afford and give them comparable options within their market. They are customer driven and continue to implement feedback from consumers which has facilitated their position at the the top of the pack.
Weaver Leather stand behind their core beliefs which include the promise to deliver high quality products and high quality service. They have the reputation for hand crafting every product that leaves their doors since 1973 which is what makes them hard to beat when it comes to quality. As they continue to grow they vow to keep their customers first and deliver products they can depend on that is built to last.
There are a few features that have been adapted that can increase comfort for riders as well as their horses. Many reins have webbing made from materials such as rubber or cotton. This material allows the rider to get a firm grip on their reins and avoid it slipping out of their hands or tangling under their horse. It also increases the comfort for horses during contact. This feature is also used to increase product durability and longevity.
Some horse reins are also lined with rubber to improve grip. This is especially useful when using flat reins as these can easily slip out of your hands. The rubber lining also helps to keep the ends protected and decrease the possibility of the material becoming frayed and falling apart. This is especially the case with leather which can be damaged when exposed to rain and excessive amounts of moisture.
Additional measures such as coating the rein in a water-resistant material such bothane can preserve the integrity of the rein. This coating is made from polyester which gives it water resistant properties. This ensures your leather rein does not take on water and become dry and stiff. It can prevent you from having to condition your rein too often as it will help it to retain its moisture.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the best rein length for a beginner?
Ideally reins should be between 7 feet and 9 feet long. This gives a rider a great deal of maneuverability as there is very little slack. It also makes it easier to communicate with your horse as not much movement is needed as the reins are tight. Rein length should be taken into consideration when selecting the size horse you decide to ride as shorter reins may not work well with oversized horses. Getting a rein on the longer side of the size range may reduce the risk of it slipping out of your hands when riding.
q: What role does flexibility or stretch play in rein selection?
When a rein is flexible it is easy to maneuver and does not put as much strain on your hands and wrists when trying to communicate with your horse. It gives you more room without sacrificing necessary contact. A rein that has just a bit of stretch is also beneficial to your horse as it limits the force you need to apply to the part of the bridle that is in its mouth. Bottom line, it adds a significant degree of comfort to both horse and rider.
q: Are trigger snaps standard with rein purchases?
No. Not all reins use trigger snaps to secure the rein to the bit. Some manufacturers still use water loops and tie lace. Tying water loops can be a challenge for new riders and it demands a certain level of skill. Trigger snaps are well suited for beginners. A perusal of the manufacturers website should reveal what method is used with the type of rein you have selected.