With so many different types of reins on the market, understanding the different uses for them can get quite confusing!  

Two of the most popular styles of reins in the ever growing equestrian world include; padded leather and rubber grip. To help aid your decision as a rider in choosing the most appropriate reins for you and your horse, we will identify the benefits and explain the superb qualities of both styles.



This elegant style of rein provides a soft, supple feel in the riders hand allowing for a close, sensitive feel in the contact. The thin fashionable profile of the padded leather makes them perfect for the show ring and dressage scene. The premium quality and comfort also makes them superb for everyday schooling.

Padded nappa leather reins (flat)

Benefits: Elegant profile, premium quality, padded for comfort and softness. 

Disciplines: Dressage, showing, eventing and everyday schooling. 

How to clean: Using warm water and a cloth wipe away any excess sweat and dirt. Then, using a premium leather cleaner and conditioner, thoroughly wipe over the leather reins to hydrate the leather keeping it soft and supple. We recommend using Bense & Eicke Beeswax Leather Balsam as it protects and restores the leather in seconds, making the reins soft, supple and waterproof.

Bense & Eicke Beeswax Leather Balsam


These reins are an absolute must in the eventing scene! Not only do they pose as a cheaper alternative but the durability of the soft rubber compound allows for optimum grip even in the wettest conditions! Rubber reins are extremely easy to clean as they do not absorb sweat and dirt from the horse — making them perfect for those long, sweaty hacks and adventurous beach rides. The thick rubber with leather stoppers enables a comfortable, even contact between the riders hands and the horses bit.

Leather & rubber grip reins (flat)

Benefits: Easy to clean, optimum grip and durable rubber compound.

Disciplines: Eventing, showjumping, trail riding/hacking, beach rides and everyday schooling.

How to clean: Place the rubber reins in a bucket of warm water to soak, removing the dirt and sweat residue, to further cleanse use a toothbrush or similar to scrub away any stubborn dirt, rinse again. Do not use soap, leather cleaners or conditioners on the rubber compound as this can make the grip slippery.

To clean the leather part of the reins, use leather cleaner and conditioner.


Very popular in higher level dressage when a double bridle is used. 

Double reins come with one standard rein, which connects to the bradoon bit and has a centre buckle and one curb rein, which connects to the curb bit with no centre buckle and no keepers either.

The curb rein does not have keepers or a centre buckle as you would never use a martingale on these reins due to the severity of the curb bit.

Disciplines: Dressage and showing.

Double Bridle Reins (Set) - Rolled


These reins are very popular in western riding where the reins are much longer and do not attached at the end. They usually don’t have stoppers or keepers, they are just long lengths of leather.

There purpose is very useful as they can be adjusted to any desired length, making them very convenient for breaking in young horses and riding inexperienced horses.

Disciplines: Western pleasure, reining, cutting, trail riding etc.


Running reins are used as a training tool to teach the horse to give to rein pressure. They can be used in several different ways. Trainers attach one end of the running reins between the horses front legs through the girth, this encourages the horse to carry its head in a lower frame. Another method of use is to attach the end of the running reins to the pommel of the saddle, as shown in the photo above. This enables a more direct contact which imitates the contact to the riders hands, this prevents the horse from pulling their head down or raising it above its withers.

Disciplines: Training tool, to be used by experienced riders only.

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