Hi. I noticed on some of your horses you use Romal reins. What advantages do Romal reins have in the show ring? Are they acceptable in western pleasure and horsemanship?
Yes we use both Romals and splits. I usually only use the Romals in the trail and western riding events. The pleasure and horsemanship classes work out better with split reins. You can use the Romals in the pleasure and horsemanship, however it works out best to use the splits. Years ago, Romals were the standard, especially out west. The Romals work best for trail because you can maneuver through obstacles and still keep a reasonably loose rein. Going through gates is easier, and it makes showing some horses easier with the steering. Romals work fine in the western riding especially on green horses where you might need a little more contact with the reins and horses face. It is all up to the exhibitor in what they feel comfortable with. Both look great, and how they feel and look with the horse is a personal preference, and both look great even on older well broke horses. The only problem I have with people using Romals, is when they do not know how to hold them. Your rein hand is thumbs up making a fist with no fingers between the reins. The Mecate, or tail end goes in your other hand and lays quietly on your leg. The Mecate end should not be held up higher unless you are doing cow horse or reining. Make sure you read up on all the rules for holding and adjusting rein length in the different classes. In reining, you can not slip or slide up the Romals. In trail and western riding, it is permissible. You can find out all the rules in the AQHA rulebook. These are the best guidelines to go by.