For the past few months, every time my dressage trainer hops aboard Jack she comments on how strange my floppy reins feel. But for the past few years, those PS of Sweden Softy reins have been my absolute favorite. They are thin, felt comfortable in my small hands, not rubber (since I was in the habit of riding gloveless) and needed no breaking-in.
But after getting a pair of Lund Eventer Series rubber reins, part of the best logo prize package ever, I have started to see the benefits of rubber reins for dressage. My infant-sized hands have gotten used to holding the thicker width and whether it’s the bit (a double-jointed wonder bit) or the reins, I can attest that Jack seems to enjoy a steadier connection with this set up.
So, if I were to venture into the territory of dressage rubber reins… are there any reins out there that people just love? I’d like something quality that will stand up to both the (currently) frigid temps as well as the nasty humid heat of summer, that doesn’t need breaking in, and that won’t break the bank (less than $100 ideally).
I discovered Thinline reins this summer when I had my horse in training. I was using rubber reins that came with a SmartPak bridle, I liked the feel of them, but they were glove destroyers. Now that I’ve found Thinline I don’t think I’ll use any other reins. They’re soft and grippy and they won’t kill your hands if you forget gloves. They are a little stiff when I first get on in cold weather, but they seem to soften up quickly once I start riding.
Awesome, thanks, will look into them!
Honestly, every pair of fast rubber reins I’ve had eventually wears through where my hands go. So, I’ve always gone the relatively cheap route with them. I do have a pair of the nunn finer thin rubber reins, and have to say I both love and hate them. My tiny hands like the size, but I find them to be absurdly slippery when wet or covered in sweat. 🤤
Eek- I wonder about the slip! Will look into them though 🙂
I’ve been enjoying the Nun Finer biothane reins recently. They do get slick in the summer when the horses necks get super sweaty but so do all rubber reins (or so the ones I’ve tried do) My favorite part is how thin and supple the reins are but still feel like I have grip with them. I hate big chunky thick rubber reins with a passion so that’s why I went with the biothane ones when my ps of Sweden rubber reins started to wear out. Plus I think the biothane might last longer than rubber. Only saying this bc my mom’s had various biothane tack (bridles and reins) that are still going strong after 7+ years. Granted she doesn’t show and just trail rides but I do like that she’s still using the same reins.
Oh and the reins are great when it’s 28° outside… I have tested them in the cold! 😂
Nunn Finer is sounding like a great option! And gawd you’re a braver woman than I for riding in 28*- no thank you!
OH Great topic! I look forward to all the responses. I have the softee reins from PS sweden and loved them but they definitely have almost fallen apart now. They look like crap (Which I realized in my PRO PHOTOS at Blue Goose last fall)…..and really have not held up well but I love the softness and springiness of them. But i would not buy them again (They came with my PS bridle back in the day). I now have a pair of rubber reins that i am using that someone gave me they are thicker than i like for dressage but I like having more to hold onto. I have a nice pair of web ones my bridle from Eponia came with but they are very hard to use they are almost like brillo pads they are so hard to touch. Scratchy and not comfy. I LIKE them but they are in my tack trunk for now with the colder weather my hands would actually get scraped by them even with gloves on.
I can’t wait to see more replies and will look at Thinlines! I don’t have infant sized hands (Giggling here at that) but have man sized hands but I still like nice reins!!
My PS reins came with my bridle too. And yes, Thinline seems worth a look for sure!
I second Thinline! I LOVE mine. I have two sets – the longer ones for dressage and then the shorter ones with ‘knots’ for jumping. They aren’t always the cheapest but I do LOVE them!
Thinline seems worth a shot and I’ll definitely check them out!
Same as Austen, my rubber reins all wear through where my hands go after a couple years so I just buy cheap. I love the Micklem reins. Right now I have a cheap pair of black rubber lined reins with black leather on the outside that seemed a little more traditional looking for dressage. I can’t ride in anything but rubber, it feels too thin to me!
I won’t lie, going from the rubber reins to the PS ones is feeling a bit stark these days. Thanks for the recommendation though, will look into the Micklem!
I have the jumper version, but I’m pretty sure they do dressage as well… LOVE LOVE LOVE my Dy’On rubber reins. They are soft like butter, but super grippy. I can’t say enough good things about them. $$ but will last a lifetime and I dug around a ton for a good deal on them when the Euro was low.
How long have you had them? And they hold up well in the TX heat?
Hands down my favorite rubber reins are Nunn Finer Soft Touch.
That’s another for Nunn Finer! Will definitely be looking into it 🙂