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Reins are of great importance for communication between horse and rider, as they provide a direct connection between the rider's hand and the horse's mouth. There are various materials available, each offering a different type of grip.
Leather reins are supple yet strong. The leather needs to be well-maintained with the appropriate leather care products. Leather has a certain elasticity, making it feel smooth in the rider's hand. Typically, leather reins are relatively thin, allowing the rider to maintain a close-contact feel with the horse's mouth.
Rubber reins offer a strong grip due to the sticky, firmer material. There are different types of rubber reins, such as those with leather or rubber stops, or a completely smooth rein. Rubber is a very durable material, minimizing the risk of breaking or tearing. Rubber reins are generally slightly thicker, providing a "fuller" feeling in the rider's hand. This can offer some riders the extra support they are looking for.
Webbed reins, also known as stitched reins, feel like a fabric-like material. Webbed reins are typically equipped with rubber or leather rein stops to prevent the reins from slipping through the rider's hand. This type of reins is especially suitable for riders who prefer some play in the hand position. Riders who don't like the fixed, sticky feel of a grip or rubber rein may prefer webbed reins. The part of the rein attached to the bit and the section that rests against the horse's neck is typically made of a smooth (synthetic) leather part. This prevents chafing and friction on the horse's skin.