I've been reading up on different types of reins and what people like, and I've come to realize something. There are people out there who have ridden with enough different types of reins that they actually have favorites. Insane! Cathy liked leather braided reins, so I just grew up always using those and never thought twice about it. When I got my jumping bridle, it came with normal rubber reins, which was my first foray into things not braided. I love them. So grippy and easy to hold... "huh", I thought, "maybe there is something to this fancy rein business".
Naturally, I have spent plenty of time looking at all the cool different options. A general consensus among the people of the internet is that thinline reins are the most amazing thing ever. I have two objections:
1) I need something with stops. I have a nasty tendency to hold my right rein shorter than my left and this is an easy artificial way to correct it.
2) I hate hook studs. I have learned the way of buckle ends and I am NEVER GOING BACK unless it is for when I get myself a pretty hunter bridle.
So. After perusing both internet and local tack store(s?), I have come to this realization: I want these reins for my jumping bridle. In havana with brass. It's not really set in stone. I need to hold some in person first and make sure I like how they feel in my hand, but I love the soft grippiness.
Which brings us back to the dressage bridle. I could get those (or similar) reins in black, but they don't have stops. I could get leather reins with stops, but people of the internet assure me those are super slippery. I have a pair of the world's cheapest, nastiest web reins with stops that I don't love. Basically, web is hard to clean and the "leather" is so cheap that I'd worry about using it if Izzy felt strong at all.
I did find one interesting thing: yummy reins. If you scroll down the page, they have the lovely soft grip reins WITH STOPS. Yeah... for the tiny price of $130, I could have dream reins. Of course, the reins would then have cost as much as the bridle (which I got used), but really.
I'm still deciding. I know I don't want web with rubber and stops, because, how would one go about CLEANING that? Yeah. I guess you just buy new $200 reins every time they get dirty. Also. Who on earth pays $200 for nasty web reins? Seriously. That's 10 times what I paid for mine and two feet of leather certainly isn't worth $180.
As an aside, I didn't even know I needed a new dressage girth until Five Star Tack released their new line. It's not on the website yet, but check out their blog. Yeah... pretty pretty pretty dressage girth.
Anywhoodle, I'm off to ride the lovely mare this afternoon with my new bridle and... either mismatched havana rubber reins or nasty web reins. Tomorrow, I leave for Seattle, where I will meet up with Denali's Mom, who has promised a grand tour of tack stores. That's right folks: I will be touching expensive stuff (but unless I get paid today, I won't be buying much of it).