Steve Harris - Rawhide Braider @

I have braided a lotta bridle reins over the years. Somewhere I have a sweet photo of my young wife braiding buttons as I watch with a smashed hand wrapped up.

It is important to make reins out of the right weight of rawhide. When the strands are too thin they don't have much feel, and when you split off too much they are not lively. 

Typically reins are 42" and use rein chains. Some fellas put a leather "fuse" between the rein and the chain so if the rein is hooked on a cow horn or a fence rail, the bit does not injure the horse's mouth. 




 Years ago I was riding a company horse. We had cattle rodeered in a hay meadow on a windy, snot-running cold April day. I remember the ducks blowing away when we jumped them up from the puddles. My steed was big and liked to run, especially in the wind. Well, the bridle was old, and a rein chain broke! We covered some country fast.

Eight plat bridle reins have a square cross section. The strings are heavy, well beveled, and have no core. Finished buttons are intricate and solid The only knots that slide are the sliders; there are two of them. Forty two inches is the standard length for closed reins, and the romal is the same. Our poppers are wide and long—reminiscent of the California quirt. Your brand or initials are caved there at no extra charge. Our twelve plat romal is stiff enough to reach with, yet the connector is limber so the reins will not cue the romal. We pay attention to choosing exactly the right weight and curing of hides to make reins—these are heirlooms as well as tools.

Twelve plat bridle reins are traditional and functional. They are round rather than square, and have a distinctive weave change. We use a braided cord core under the rawhide, and carefully select the right weight of hide to cut for the feel of reins. The popper is 16 plat, and the connector is braided roo. The rein body is about 5/16, and the romal is about 7/16. The knots are accented with colored rawhide.

Our Kangaroo bridle reins are braided twice. A delicate four plat rawhide core gives the reins life and feel; 12 or sixteen plat kangaroo braid over that provides durability and comfort. Knots are two-tone rawhide.

~ Sometimes I make a pair of Santa Inez reins ~

We are building a hackamore inventory for 2021-23.

We will make reins again in future years.