How to Shorten and Lengthen Your Reins While Cutting

If you watch cutting events you’ve seen riders clutch their reins in one hand as they’re separating the cow they want to cut. Do you wonder what they’re doing with their hand? If you ride a cutter you may already be using this technique to shorten your reins in the herd. Follow along in the video as Matt Budge of Budge Performance Horses shows us how to shorten and lengthen our reins http://bit.ly/2aORzXO instantly with only one hand.

“When you’re coming up through the herd to make your cut you may want to help your horse out just a little by shortening your reins” says Matt. “To do this open the last 3 fingers of your rein hand. Rotate your wrist up and loop those fingers around the part of the rein that’s in front of your first finger” he says. You’ll automatically wrap those fingers around the rein ends that are coming out of the back of your hand as you close your hand. “When it’s time to let that length back out just open those 3 fingers and release that part of the rein” Matt says.

By using this technique you avoid having to walk or slide your hand up and down the reins. If you’re riding in a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) class you will still satisfy NCHA Judging Rule 3 (riding with a loose rein throughout a performance is a requirement and will be recognized)* if you had appropriate length in your reins to start with. This takes some practice but can be a nice way to manage your reins with just one hand.

If you use split reins this can work for you regardless of what discipline you’re training for. Be sure to check the rules before using this technique while showing however as this may be against the rules in some associations or show events.

Every pair of reins at Dennis Moreland Tack is made by hand out of dense, tight-fibered leather. I personally choose each hide so you will have the best pair of reins you’ve ever ridden with. My reins will last for years and get better with age. NCHA World Champion Curly Tully describes my reins this way: “if you want a horse with feel you have to have a rein with feel”. I guarantee my reins have feel. I make both harness leather and doubled and stitched split reins. If you have any questions give me a call at 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com. I’ll be glad to help you get just the reins you need.

Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!

* National Cutting Horse Association Official Handbook Rules and Regulations 2019