About leather reins and welds

What to look out for when buying a leather leash is the amount of welds and where these welds are located. In general, the fewer welds the better. A weld that gets stuck in your leathers eyes or having a weld of the leash right in your hands is something you want to avoid.

Why are welds in reins?

The leather of reins comes from cowhide. A cow naturally has a certain length and if strips are cut from a cowhide, those strips are 1.5 metres long, for example. If a 2.5-metre leash is then to be made, two strips of skin are needed. Where those two strips are stitched over each other, you get a weld. If that weld is exactly in your hands, you will have that thicker, yet somewhat stiff part of the lead in your hands. You don't want that. That's why you need to buy a size leash. So if you are riding a Shetlander, buy a Shetlander lead, if you have a KWPN, buy a full lead and if you have a pony that is a bit further in front of the carriage, maybe you should get a cob lead. If you know how long the lead is from the bit to the hand and you know how far your pony stands in front of the carriage, you'll be out in no time. There are also leathers without a weld. These are much more expensive, because they have to cut them out of a cowhide, so to speak. In that case, half a skin is used for one lead and that is obviously a lot more expensive.

Double bridle reins

Then you have the two-horse leashes. These have to be fully customised, as a harness like that splits at some point. Your leathers' eyelets are on the withers, so the split with the buckles should be well behind them. Actually, these buckles should be above your pony or horse's butt. If you go round a bend and your buckle is against the paddle eye, the horses will not be able to go round the bend properly because the outside horse will not have enough room. With a two-horse team, it is therefore very important that you have the right size. Also, you don't want the buckle or weld in your hands here either.

Find more information on types of reins in this blog.

Juliette Post/The Menner

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