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When your reins are too long it can lead to problems in the pattern. Have your barrel reins slipped over your horses head? Or do you find yourself having extra slack in the turn and it takes bringing your elbow past your hip for your horse to feel you? Then your reins are costing you valuable time! Every time you fumble for your spot on the reins it costs time. Be athletic and shorten your reins so you can get to your spot on the reins quicker.
#1 They touch your horn when you are just sitting on your horse
If you're just sitting on your barrel horse and your barrel reins can touch your saddle horn they are too long. Just think when your horse tucks their head + the extra couple inches if you ride in a leverage shank bit, suddenly you have gobs of reins in your hands.
#2 There is a bunch of extra slack in the reins
If you're running and you have a bunch of reins flopping against your horse's neck, you have too much rein. This makes you slower and less athletic when you have to fumble to get to your spot on the reins.
#3 You don’t have to reach when leaving a barrel.
If you are sitting back and don’t have to reach or lean forward to give your horse their head. Your reins are too long! Your reins should encourage you to get up and out of the saddle.
Barrel Rein types to avoid: rope, braided nylon, thick fuzzy reins - all of these may be pretty to look at, but over time they stretch and pretty soon you will have 10 knots on each side of the reins and still have too much rein.
Barrel Rein types to use: leather, braided leather or biothane reins. I love biothane reins! I bought a pair from Cactus Saddlery. I love how they are rubbery which helps my hands to stick to them and not too stiff!
I hope these were helpful! Share on your story if these helped you! 👈