In 2016, Andrea Fappani shook up the reigning world by winning the NRHA Futurity in romal reins; not a common occurrence in the reining pen today. But perhaps we are starting to see a shift? Here in Arizona at the Cactus Reining Classic, I noticed more and more people showing and schooling in romal reins. Traditionally, most reiners will school and show in a pair of nice leather split reins. With the ranch riding classes taking off across the industry, romal reins have become more of a hot topic, to romal or not romal is the new question. For the west coast horsemen, romal reins are a little more common than perhaps on the east coast. In an article released in the NRHA Reiner magazine of February of this year, Fappani explains why you might consider using romal reins instead of traditional leather reins. “the main difference between showing in roman reins and split reins, one-handed, is that the horse feels the reins on his neck a little more than he would the split rein because of the hand placement”. If you’re thinking about showing your horse in romal reins here are a few things to consider.
- Make sure you pick out a quality romal, just like with a poorly made bit, it can cause more harm than good!
- Proper fit- you want a set that fits your horses neck. For example, if you have a long-necked horse, a very short rein can keep them over bridled and dull. Vice versa, too much length on a short-necked horse can create too much slack, causing you to have to make big gestures with your hands for slight communication.
- Typically, romal reins are used to help younger horses learn the basics of neck reining and to help them learn to be trained on, one-handed. It is a great training tool when used correctly! If you don’t have any knowledge about using them, don’t be afraid to seek out advice.
Want to learn more about using romal reins? Check out these great resources:
Pictures Courtesy of: https://www.quarterhorsenews.com/qhn-insider?start=20