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Old 03-10-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
DocsMinnieElixer
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minnesota
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Default Reins swinging annoying horse..

I just got my new spade rig and let my horse pack it around for two short rides now with the romel over the horn to let her get used to it. She seems pretty comfortable with the bit, is rolling the cricket and keeping a real content expression while walking around with it. When she starts to trot or lope the ronels and chains are swinging back and forth so much she is getting really irritated and actually sort of spooks or tries to jump forward to escape them. She is a real light faced horse and I can imagine she is feeling like she is either being cued to do something that she isn't, or she is feeling like she's being punished or something. I have 10 inch rein chains and a rolled leather romel. I have seen a rig before that had a leather strap tied to each rein chain to keep them from swinging as much. has anyone else used one? Does everyone else's reins swing a lot or bother their horse at first? I realize they are swinging more now because I'm not picking up my bridle rein at all so they are fairly long, just want to make sure I'm introducing the equipment to her correctly so i don't scare her. She isn't new to a curb bit, but this is my first attempt at "starting over" with one of my horses with the hopes of making her a bridle horse. I also want to be sure I have the right equipment. I'm not happy with the romels, not quite soft enough for my liking so I'm in the works of getting a pair of braided leather ones made. Is a 10 inch rein chain too long?
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #2
Baquero
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Excellent questions, I can answer some of them but it would help if you have a picture of your current set up so I can explain a few things and others can understand. Do you have a picture of your set up?
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:00 AM   #3
DocsMinnieElixer
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I was also hoping to get a picture up, but don't have one at the moment. I will be sure to get one the next time I am out to ride her. I do have a pic of the reins that I've been using, the bit, and the headstall. The chains are 10" marsh chains but I don't have a picture of those.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg romel1.jpg (101.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg romel3.jpg (97.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg mooncheek.jpg (61.1 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg marisita.jpg (59.0 KB, 9 views)
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
Jimmy
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I am not an expert, but pretty sure you can't call that a spade. It does not have braces, which are a crucial aspect to the action of a spade. It is just a high port stiff bit.
Also, it is possible your chains swings so much, because your rolled leather reins are too light. You need a good set of braided rawhide reins with buttons. They add weight, and are an integral part of the whole system. If you are interested in traditional, then get traditional. What you have is sort of an eclectic combination of pieces that don't add up, imo.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
DocsMinnieElixer
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Please excuse my ignorance. I am just starting out and I have been trying to get what I can on a pretty limited budget. I have a reining mentor that I've been working with, but not anyone that is knowledgeable about traditional gear. If this bit is lacking in construction I will look into other bits. There is one I've been eyeballing that has the braces I just havn't had the money for it quite yet. The mouthpiece was called a "tall spade" by the manufacturer, and I guess I didn't know any better. I won't be using the reins anymore, I am looking into having a pair made for me, but I am looking at thin braided leather romels. Does anyone else use braided leather and do you find them comfortable and functional?? I am trying to buy the best quality I can while keeping my tack addiction below my husbands radar. LOL which has been a pain so far, but I'll keep plugging away at it. Thank you for the enlightenment, I don't wan't to set myself or my horse up for failure right off the bat.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
Jimmy
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A good place to start is Lostbuckaroo.com. Once your there, there are also a lot of links to other gear sites and instructional videos.
I had a pair of romel reins once that were braided kangaroo hide, with rawhide buttons. Also the braided latigo leather reins are okay too. If you invest in a good pair of romel reins, they will last you a life time.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
DocsMinnieElixer
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Thank you for the info to the site, I am trying to find as much info as I can to help gain a better understanding of this type of horsemanship. From the tidbits I have picked up it has made a tremendous difference in my horses and how quiet and responsive they ride. I want to be sure I'm setting things up right for them while at the same time, not causing my non-horsey husband to divorce me. LOL
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #8
Baquero
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DocsMinnieElixir I applaud you for your efforts on your horsemanship. Let me see if I can give you a few pointers that should help. For starters, I do not like the rolled leather reins. As has been mentioned they are too light, and when you roll the leather it doesn't allow it to flex as well, this inhibits the signals you send to your horse and doesn't allow a good "feel" a while ago I experimented with a set of rolled leather reins, I added weight to them, changed the romal, ran them over and back against a fence panel trying to get them soft and supple and in the end they just didn't work out.

I understand the issue of spending the money. Quality gear is expensive, it is hard to come by good using gear that is cheap. I appreciate well made gear, and the good stuff takes time and materials to make. www.lostbuckaroo.com, www.capriolas.com and www.buckaroobusinesses.net are good online resources. There are many people out there making quality gear if you know what to look for. The problem is knowing what to look for, can take time to know what is right for your style of riding and your horse. Sometimes hearing what others prefer can help so I will share my opinion and you can form your own from it and others.

I like my bridle reins to be 42" long because on the horses I ride it, creates the right balance between rein and chain. The rein chains and reins should have a droop and balance to them that will make them look like one unit. Some people put too many links in there chains or the reins are too long so the angles are all messed up and you don't signal the same way that you could. Most places will give you an option for 42" or 54" reins. The 54" reins are meant to be ridden without rein chains, and the 42" are built to use rein chains. I like the versatility and weight of rein chains. They allow me to change length and weight compared to a 54" rein and I can add or shorten the chains for different horses. I also like to use leather connectors for my chains and reins so that I don't wear on the expensive rawhide. A good set of reins will last a few lifetimes.

I might get in trouble for letting some of the secrets out of the bag. Most of the old reins I've seen were 8 plait. (plaits are the number of strings used to braid the reins) Bill Dorrance prefered them because they fit your hands better. They also have much better feel. To braid 12 and 16 plait reins they must have a core, most use some cheap rope and split the rawhide down paper thin, so your feel is from the rope. The other thing about paper thin rawhide strings is they will curl at the edges or begin to fray and rub on the horse with use. This is one of the reasons why I like 8 plait square reins. I have found that these reins work for what I do, but a lot of the NRCHA guys have different reins and they are great horsemen. I know a lot of great hands who enjoy 12 plait reins. There are a lot of different styles that work. The important thing is the weight and the way they hang to be able to work off of your signals. Remember we want to work off of signals down the reins instead of leverage. This doesn't come over night, but is what we are working towards.

Next we can talk about the bit, there are a few things about the bit you have chosen that could be better, but I have seen worse. The problem with not having braces is that it doesn't encourage the horse to pick up and carry the bit. This makes it more difficult to use signals instead of leverage. This bit does not have a spade it is a high port" the spade or spoon is a rounded piece at the top of the port. The other thing is the bit looks to be made of stainless steel and pretty light in comparison to a traditional bridle spade bit. Spade bits can vary anywhere from a 1.5-2 lbs. The bit you have chosen also appears to have a really fast action to it, this wouldn't be a bit that I would recommend for someone starting out.

Again I applaud your efforts in your horsemanship I have seen worse. I think you are headed in the right direction. The Marsh Brothers make some nice chains, and your headstall looks nice. The swinging chains thing will happen with a really nice set up. But it won't happen the same was as it is with the rolled leather reins. A nice set up will sway, but it won't bounce as much. When you get all the pieces of gear set up correctly they work together for you, not against what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #9
DocsMinnieElixer
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All the information is greatly appreciated. I had also been wondering what length of reins to buy, as my mares are fairly small, and short necked. I have been eyeballing a Sliester bit that maybe you all could take a look at and let me know if it is a bit you would consider to start out a horse on a limited budget?

I have sold those reins and I am now just in limbo trying to decide between some different reins. I have found a pair of Vogt braided kangaroo reins, having a pair of braided leather reins custom made, or holding out for a used pair of rawhide reins. Does anyone have a preference for the kangaroo? Do you find braided leather reins to be too slippery, and should I just wait for rawhide? Bear with me, another question on reins. I came across a pair of used braided rawhide reins. They look to me to be the "Mexican" style rawhide reins that are a little more coarse looking. Can you give me your opinion on them? I attached pics of the bit and reins I've been looking at.
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File Type: jpg spade.jpg (96.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg mexreins.jpg (97.8 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
Baquero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMinnieElixer View Post
All the information is greatly appreciated. I had also been wondering what length of reins to buy, as my mares are fairly small, and short necked. I have been eyeballing a Sliester bit that maybe you all could take a look at and let me know if it is a bit you would consider to start out a horse on a limited budget?

I have sold those reins and I am now just in limbo trying to decide between some different reins. I have found a pair of Vogt braided kangaroo reins, having a pair of braided leather reins custom made, or holding out for a used pair of rawhide reins. Does anyone have a preference for the kangaroo? Do you find braided leather reins to be too slippery, and should I just wait for rawhide? Bear with me, another question on reins. I came across a pair of used braided rawhide reins. They look to me to be the "Mexican" style rawhide reins that are a little more coarse looking. Can you give me your opinion on them? I attached pics of the bit and reins I've been looking at.
I will give my opinion, and again this is just one man's opinion from my experience. It depends a little on your what your goals are and what you want to try and accomplish with this horse. If you want to make a true bridle horse, then it is almost necessary to have the correct gear. Some really great horsemen have made some excellent horses with less, but for someone starting out using sub-par gear will only make it more difficult to accomplish what you want. It's like running a race through the sand in a pair of snow shoes, there is a slim chance you might win the race if you are a very gifted athlete. But you brought the wrong equipment to the event and have better chances of success if you prepared better. I have seen people who try to make a bridle horse only to get frustrated because they don't achieve the results they want. The number one reason is because the gear they are using inhibits there ability to communicate properly with there horse, this is frustrating for the horse and the rider. So my encouragement is always to not settle for things. Often times people start out with less quality gear and end up buying nicer things wishing they hadn't wasted there money on the less quality stuff. If you want to make a true bridle horse then you will be asking a lot of your horse, help him out by getting the right equipment. I am also very picky about the metal I put in my horses mouth because if I am going to make them into a bridle horse they will have that bit for life so I choose what works for each horse. This advice isn't necessarily pointed towards DocsMinnieElixir because as I mentioned you are on the right path working towards doing the right thing.

The reins pictured don't look all that bad and would probably work well for someone starting out. They look really dry to me, the first thing I would do if I purchased them would be to use some rawhide cream and condition them. If they are the right price the ones pictured might be an ok option. But don't buy rawhide just for the sake of having rawhide. A good pair of kangaroo reins will work as well.

I don't think that the bit will help you communicate well with your horse. The bit looks lighter than the last one you posted. The spoon is swept back at a steep angle and I don't like the design of the braces. A few places to look for some decent bits would be the businesses that were mentioned above. Also Marsh Brothers bits, Franco Bits, and Jeremiah Watt's line of bits. All of these have good options for people just starting out.

Maybe tell us a little about the horse you are working with, how is he coming along?
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