Tried and True: How to Get the Best Use Out of Your Romal Reins

It’s not hard to guess why romal reins have continued to be an important piece of tack utilized by horse owners for centuries and why they continue to be one of the most popular products purchased from Dennis Moreland Tack. A sight commonly seen in the reined cow horse events, romal reins serve as a versatile piece of equipment that can be flexible and fancy enough to ride into the show pen with, or durable enough to use during a long day’s work on the ranch. The functionality of these type of reins have led to an increased number of competitors using them in the ranch riding, reining, and even western pleasure events.

The romal aspect of romal reins comes from the tail of the reins that resembles a quirt, which is connected to a set of reins by an attachment. The romal can be used as a training aid in finishing bridle horses, as well as providing balance for the rider and a way to keep your free hand occupied. The buttons and tail towards the bottom help give weight and balance to the romal, while the buttons on the reins help provide balance to the bit­ as it sits in your horse’s mouth. The setup of these reins allows for minimal movement of the rider’s hand and creates more precise, light cues to the horse through the bit. As romal reins grow in popularity and usage, it is important to understand the proper ways to utilize these reins and avoid penalties in the show pen.

 

Sam Rose, NRCHA Judges Committee Chairman, says there are several ways riders can recognize mistakes in romal rein use and find ways to prevent penalties or unfair advantages with romal reins.

“The diagram in the NRCHA rulebook shows that you have to have a closed hand,” says Rose. “What I’ve seen, and I think everybody has, is when they go around they open their hand with their rein.”

Rose goes on to explain how when a rider opens their hand holding the reins, it could lead to a “bubble” being created that has one rein bunching up and applying more pressure on one side than the other one. This is known as slipping a rein and leads to a one-point penalty.

Another common mistake riders can make when showing in romal reins is allowing a finger to slip in between the two reins below the attachment, which leads to a score of -0- if this occurs. Rose suggests using a different technique of holding the reins to help prevent fingers from finding their way between the reins.

“If you’re having trouble wanting to get your finger in that rein,” explains Rose, “Just run that rein down and get your thumb over the romal, and nothing can get in the middle of it there.”

When used properly, romal reins are an effective piece of equipment that can help keep the bit balanced in your horse’s mouth and allow you to have improved control and communication with your horse. Please be sure to follow along on the video as Sam Rose provides an in-depth demonstration of the ways that you can create better usage of your romal reins to improve your experience in the show pen and avoid any unnecessary penalties.

Dennis Moreland Tack builds high-quality, dependable romal reins that will meet your needs. Whether you need a new set of romal reins for the upcoming show season, a set to use on the ranch, or just for comfort and convenience in any kind of riding you do, we offer a variety of rawhide, leather, nylon and kangaroo romal reins. Call or text 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com to find the reins that will best suit you.

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