How to Shorten Your Split Reins in the (Cutting) Herd


If you ride a cutter you may already be using this technique to shorten your reins in the herd. If you watch cutting events you’ve seen riders clutch their reins in one hand as they’re separating the cow they want to cut. Do you wonder what they’re doing with their hand? In this video Matt Budge of Matt Budge Performance Horses shows us how to shorten and lengthen our reins instantly with only one hand.

By using this technique you avoid having to walk or slide your hand up and down the reins. If you’re riding in a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) class you will still satisfy NCHA Judging Rule 3 (riding with a loose rein throughout a performance is a requirement and will be recognized)* if you had appropriate length in your reins to start with. This takes some practice but can be a nice way to manage your reins with just one hand.

If you use split reins this can work for you regardless of what discipline you’re training for. Be sure to check the rules before using this technique while showing however as this may be against the rules in some associations or show events.

Every pair of reins at Dennis Moreland Tack is made by hand. I personally choose each hide I use so you will have the best pair of reins you’ve ever had. There are no gray signals with my reins. In the 1970s NCHA World Champion Curly Tully described my reins this way: “if you want a horse with feel you have to have a rein with feel”. I guarantee my reins have feel. Click here to check out my reins: or call me at 817-312-5305. I’ll help you get just the reins you need.

Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you.
*Official Handbook National Cutting Horse Association’s Rules and Regulations 2016

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