Split Reins consist of leather straps or rope attached to the outer ends of a bit and extend to the rider's or driver's hands. Split Reins are the means by which a horse rider or driver communicates directional commands to the horse's head. Pulling on the reins can be used to steer or stop the horse. The sides of a horse's mouth are sensitive, so pulling on the reins pulls the bit, which then pulls the horse's head from side to side, which is how the horse is controlled.
On some types of harnesses there might be supporting rings to carry the reins over the horse's back. When pairs of horses are used in drawing a wagon or coach it is usual for the outer side of each pair to be connected to reins and the inside of the bits connected by a short bridging strap or rope. The driver carries "four-in-hand" or "six-in-hand" being the number of reins connecting to the pairs of horses.
A rein may be attached to a halter to lead or guide the horse in a circle for training purposes or to lead a packhorse, but a simple lead rope is more often used for these purposes. A longe line is sometimes called a "longe rein," but it is actually a flat line about 30 feet (9.1 m) long, usually made of nylon or cotton web, about one inch wide, thus longer and wider than even a driving rein]
Horses should never be tied by the reins. Not only do they break easily, but, being attached to a bit in the horse's sensitive mouth, a great deal of pain can be inflicted if a bridled horse sets back against being tied.
Ships within 24 hrs on Split Reins