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Best Horse Reins for 2020

Reins are an important part of any riders equipment. Find the right ones, and your horse will quickly and easily understand the cues you are giving.

They also need to be comfortable for you, too. Too short, and they will cause you to hunch over and won’t allow your horse to have a bit of freedom or reach down to drink. Too long, and you will have too much rein to control and hold which will make your commands more difficult.

But you also need to be able to shorten them if you’re going faster, or training, for more control.

Below are some of the best horse reins available to buy online if you are after something at a good price.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Hy Rubber Grip Reins
    • Different sizes available
    • Good grip
    Check Price
    Hy Plain Leather Reins
    • Colour options
    • Low price
    Check Price
    Kerbl 32666 Non-Slip Rubber Reins
    • Long length
    • Still easy to control for experienced riders
    Check Price

    The Top 8 Horse Reins Reviewed

    1.
    Hy Rubber Grip Reins

    A fine example of how you can get a decent pair of quality reins without having to break the bank.

    The leather is a good weight yet supple, allowing you a decent amount of freedom of movement. They are neat too, at a good length and width.

    You can choose from either black or brown to match their other pieces of equipment, as well as from two different thicknesses to suit a pony or standard-sized horse.

    Features

    • Different sizes available
    • Good grip

    Specifications

    • Length: 56”
    • Width: Pony 1/2”, Full 5/8”
    • Material: Leather
    • Colour: Brown, Black

    2.
    Hy Plain Leather Reins

    Another high-quality pick, offering a good amount of choice based on your horse.

    You can choose whether to buy for a pony or horse, the former being 48” in length and the latter 52”. The pony width is 1/2” and full 5/8”, so you can buy a choice which matches your horse’s size.

    It is also available in black or brown, and the slightly shorter length means it is a good pick for anyone who may be going faster with their horse so needs more control.

    Features

    • Colour options
    • Low price

    Specifications

    • Length: 48”, 52”
    • Width: Pony 1/2”, Full 5/8”
    • Material: Leather
    • Colour: Black, Brown

    3.
    Whitaker Lynton 5/8" Rubber Reins with Dimpled Grip

    These are a striking looking pair of reins.

    They’re made from genuine leather featuring tonal stitching and a natural finish. You can buy in three lengths, for a cob, pony or full-sized horse, and the strong leather is more of a rubber feel which offers long-term quality.

    Because they are just one width and slightly thicker than other models for cobs or ponies, they are harder and more rigid. They can be a bit more difficult to navigate, so we would say it is best for riders who know what they are doing.

    Features

    • Look lovely
    • Three sizes available

    Specifications

    • Length: Cob 54”, Pony 48”, Full 60”
    • Width: 5/8”
    • Material: Leather
    • Colour: Black, Havana

    4.
    Hy Plaited Reins

    Leather plaited reins offer great stable quality.

    These ones are made in two widths for full or pony, and in the two most common colours around. Because they are plaited, they give great grip with or without gloves and are complete with billet fastenings and a central buckle joining each rein.

    The soft supple leather also makes them comfortable to hold, and easy to control.

    Features

    • Good grip
    • Supple control

    Specifications

    • Length: 54”
    • Width: 5/8”, 1/2”
    • Material: Leather
    • Colour: Black, Brown

    5.
    Cottage Craft Supergrip Reins

    These are part webbing reins with rubber webbing for excellent enhanced grip, flexibility and comfort in all weather conditions.

    Non-slip is great for anyone who is maybe not quite used to riding a horse just yet, so needs to learn how best to hold them and make the right movements.

    They feature hook and eye fastenings, making them easily removable for the user, and also come with stops. Perfect for all disciplines.

    Features

    • Good for all weathers

    Specifications

    • Length: 58”, 48”
    • Width: 5/8”
    • Material: Leather, Fabric
    • Colour: Black, Havana

    6.
    Kerbl 32666 Non-Slip Rubber Reins

    Rubberised for a better grip, and hard-wearing, these reins are super long for experienced horse riders.

    Long reins encourage more use of their hind legs for balance and also help them not to panic if the rider falls off. These ones are very inexpensive and sit well in your hand. They are a bit thinner than others at around 0.7”, but any experienced owners shouldn’t find this an issue.

    Features

    • Long length
    • Still easy to control for experienced riders

    Specifications

    • Length: 118"
    • Width: 20mm
    • Material: Rubber
    • Colour: Black

    7.
    Shires Aviemore Soft Rubber Grip Reins

    A really lovely soft rein which is comfortable to grip and a really nice price.

    There are rubber pimple grips for a softer, but no less effective grip. The metal attachments are stainless steel which is perfect for preventing rust and maintaining quality, and the hook stud billets are easy to manage.

    Features

    • Black or brown available
    • Nice grip

    Specifications

    • Length: 54"
    • Width: 19mm
    • Material: Rubber
    • Colour: Black, Havana

    8.
    Windsor Equestrian Leather Plaited Reins

    These are plaited reins with hook stud billets, and a good standard length and width for most uses.

    They’re nice and supple, giving you a bit of room to manoeuvre, and have hook and stud billets.

    Features

    • Good standard sizing

    Specifications

    • Length: 54”
    • Width: 5/8”
    • Material: Leather
    • Colour: Black

    Buying Guide

    What To Look For In A Horse Rein

    One big thing to look out for is quality. A heavier rein will allow your horse to feel your commands more, as they will be able to know what you’re doing with your hands.

    Inexpensive reins which are lightweight will be more difficult for you to manoeuvre correctly, and you may find yourself pulling more than you need to which could make your horse’s mouth and bit uncomfortable.

    Good quality material will also last longer, rather than fraying or breaking away at the seams.

    Width

    Reins are available in multiple widths, which is usually given in a fraction in inches.

    The most common for a full-sized horse is around 5/8”, which is about 0.625 inches technically. However, for ponies and smaller horses, it is common to get 1/2”.

    Length

    Common lengths are 48”, 54” and 58-60”. These sizes suit ponies, cobs and full-size horses in order.

    One rule doesn’t fit all, but it is a good guide to follow.

    Material

    Heavy leather is the best option. Thick rope is also good. This way, they will be able to react to your hand movements easier, and they will also be able to balance themselves in response.

    If they are made from lightweight leather or nylon webbing, as discussed above you will need to be quite experienced so you know just how much weight to put on the reins in order for your horse to respond to your demands. Your horse should also be quite experienced at riding.

    Billets

    Where the bit attaches to the reins and cheekpieces is called the billets. These can be either hook stud billets or buckle billets. The reins and cheekpieces should have matching billets, so if you already have the cheekpiece, buy a set of reins which match up.

    Colour

    Most are available in black or brown, which are the two most common colours of saddlery.

    There is no ‘one is better than the other’ scenario – you may want black as it is the most common colour and you will therefore find it easier to buy equipment which matches, or you may want brown as you have a dark horse and want something which stands out a bit more.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How do I hold horse reins?

    In English riding, the reins are typically connected, forming a loop. Loop reins are the most common, used in dressage, jumping, polo, and horse racing.

    So as it is just a loop, you have to hold opposite ends of the rein in a comfortable position and wrap the rein around your first three fingers. It should not wrap around your thumb or pinky. Your hands should be approximately 10–15cm apart, and never further apart than the width of your horse’s neck. Keep hands relaxed, and your elbows at an angle around 90°.

    Because so much of your hand holds the reins, it is a good idea to get a material and hold which is comfortable.