How to Attach Reins to a Bridle

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How to Attach Reins to a Bridle

Reins are one of the most important pieces of equipment when you are riding a horse. Those pieces of material attached to the bit on the bridle are the direct line of communication with your horse. Making sure that you attach your reins properly is paramount for a good ride, for not only you but the horse as well. If you find that you need to replace your reins, eBay sellers offer a terrific selection of reins to choose from.


Types of Reins

There are many varieties of reins and, if you are just starting out, you may not be able to tell at a glance what kind you have or need. There are several types of reins with easy ways to identify them.


Types of Reins


Closed reins or loop reins

Single piece or buckle at the ends

Closed style helps prevent dropping of the reins

Double reins

Used on double bridles with two bits, normally two single reins, buckled or sewn

May be split reins on Western-style bridles

Draw reins or running reins

Long reins, leather or nylon

Attached to the saddle, run through the bit rings, then back to the rider

Lead rein

Third rein used on bridles

Different from lead ropes and direct rein aids

Long reins, longlines, or driving lines

Very long reins, used on carts where handlers work from the ground, or behind the horse

Mecate reins

Used on bosal style hackamore, single piece of rope

Makes up the closed rein and leading rope

Romal reins

Closed rein with long quirt at the end

Side reins

Used when lunging a horse, not actively used by the handler but attached to the saddle

Split reins

Used in Western riding, not attached at ends

Prevents horse tangling hooves in looped rein

Two reins

Can be laced and buckled in the middle, called a snaffle

If used at end of a shank of curb bit, it is a curb rein


Keeping your reins in good condition and replacing them when needed helps prevent accidents and avoid irritating your horse on its neck.


Attaching the Reins

Once you know what kind of rein you are using or replacing, there is a simple method to attach them. The type of riding you are doing plays a big part in how you attach the reins. Western and English styles both use methods that vary, though some of the styles of attachment are universal. The purpose of the varied styles is to increase efficiency for the various uses a handler may have.


Hang the bridle from a hook so it is easy to reach and handle. Ensure the bridle and bit face out towards you and in the same position if it were on the horse. Finally, find where your reins connect. This is normally on the O- or D-rings. If you use a bit with a shank, they can connect to the bottom of the shank.

Ways to Attach Reins

There are two general ways to attach reins without sewing. Traditionally, bridle-makers sew the English style around the rings in the bridle, but this is not convenient if you do not plan to always use the same bit. The first way to attach them is with leather ties. Loop the end of the reins around the ring or shank, making sure that the loop faces out away from the horse's face. You simply push one end of a lace through the hole on the side facing away from the horse. Thread another lace through the second hole and pull so that both ends are on the outside of the rein. Tie it off in an overhand knot.
If you are using a Chicago screw, you need to use a screwdriver to open the screw. Once you have it open, loop the rein through the attachment point on the bit with the short end on the outside. Push the Chicago screw through the side that faces away from the horse. Thread the post of the screw into the front and make sure the screw is on the same side as the horse. Tighten the screw and you are done.


How to Buy Reins on eBay

Taking care of horses is a full-time job, as is caring for their tack. Buying through eBay allows you to buy what you need without taking a lot of time away from caring for your animals. The search feature on eBay allows you to use very specific search terms, such as split reins, to narrow your search to the exact item you are looking for. You can easily compare products offered by sellers to make sure the item you are considering fits your needs exactly.

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