Romal rein use continues to gain in popularity. They are commonly used for showing, cow work, pleasure and trail riding, big loop roping, and more. Follow along on the video as Dennis Moreland of Dennis Moreland Tack and horse trainer Ben Baldus of Baldus Horsemanship in Gainesville, TX discuss selection, use and care of romal reins.
With some exceptions, for example NRCHA bridle horse events, split reins can be used in most classes at western horse shows. Most riders are experienced and comfortable using split reins, but Ben explains that there are distinct advantages to using romals, including in the show pen.
“Using romals and keeping your hand closed around the top of the romals, as Dennis is demonstrating, is going to help keep your horse straight. It’s also going to help you make sure your horse is better broke. Sometimes in a pair of split leather reins, we have a tendency to unknowingly cheat. We might shorten up one rein or the other rein or put our fingers between them” says Ben. This can help the horse through the maneuvers but is against the rules in most western horse show classes.
“When I’m showing, it helps me to keep the horse straight” says Ben. “So, in the rundown or lead change, I’m picking my hand up to bridle my horse, and get her straight through the maneuvers. That romal helps me when I’m showing her” explains Ben. The buttons on romal reins also help cue the horse when the rider asks it to neck rein advises Ben.
“My romals have weight” explains Dennis. That weight will help a horse realize you’re moving your hand and respond to the romal reins before the rotation of the bit occurs. This training is helpful regardless of what type of reins you plan to use in the future.
“I always say romals are good for your posture. If you’re riding split reins, they will pull you forward. If you’re riding romals, you sit up straight because you’ve got the rein (in your fist) right here in front of the saddle horn” advises Dennis.
Romal reins are easy to take care of. Regardless of which type of romals you have, Vaquero Rawhide Cream or a little bit of Bentley’s Saddle Soap rubbed into the rawhide, leather, or kangaroo when it’s dirty or dry is usually all it takes. It’s good practice to do this often enough that your romal reins don’t become dry.
Dennis offers 4 types of romal reins. The traditional rawhide romals come in 2 core sizes. The ¼ inch core fits most riders. For small hands there is a 3/16th inch core. This size also works well for ropers who carry a long rope. Kangaroo Romal Reins are soft and supple but have plenty of weight. They are available in 7 color and design patterns. The Leather Romal Reins with Rawhide Buttons are the heaviest romals offered. The Nylon Romal Reins with Rawhide Buttons are great starter romals and are perfect for work and showing.
If you have any questions or would like help choosing your romals, email email@example.com or call 817-312-5305. Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and is here to help you!