Day 13: Working With Romal Reins

The cool thing about our sport: It’s really versatile. That starts with the breed of horses and ends with the tack you can use. Maik Bartmann will introduce you to a special set of reins, the Romal Reins.

Maik BartmannPicture by Dead Or Alive

Maik Bartmann has been training horse since 1993. He is an AQHA, NRHA and NRCHA judge and a multiple German and European Champion in Reining and Working Cowhorse.

The Romal Reins consists of two parts: the Romal and the reins. “If you do not know a lot about those reins, you might notice the ‚buttons‘ that are part of the reins. The put a little weight on the reins and they help giving more detailed cues,” Maik explains. Romal Reins stem from the Californian style of western riding. “They are mandatory in some cattle events, but they continue to become more popular in classes such as Ranch Riding, Trail, Reining and the Versatility Ranch Horse.” Maik points out that as a judge he often witnesses that people are not really accomplished when it comes to using the Romal Reins. “The rules books determine that your hand have to be closed around the reins, your thumb should be on top.” Watch the video to see Maik demonstrate the correct handling of the Romal Reins. “Don’t use them like split reins,” he stresses. “I always tell my clients to image they are holding a flower bouquet.”

Maik also points out the the hand that holds the reins should be in 16 inch distance to the hand that holds the Romal. That means: The hands should be 40 centimetres apart. “If you hold the reins as usual, you can place your other hand on your thigh.” If you want to shorten the reins, you can pull with the hand on the Romal – but only if the horse is standing still, Maik stresses. “For example when hesitating.” If you want to shorten the reins while moving, you can open your hand on the rein and ‚wiggle‘ the rein up. Check out the video to see what that looks like.

When working a gate, you can grab the Romal with hand that holds the rein, then work the gate. If you need to grab the horn, you can grab it while holding the Romal. “You can always contact me via phone or social media if you have any questions!“


Zeit für etwas anderes – oder vielleicht sogar etwas ganz Neues: Maik Bartmann erklärt, wie man die Romal Reins richtig nutzt.

Maik BartmannFoto: Dead Or Alive

Maik Bartmann trainiert seit 1993 hauptberuflich Pferde. Er ist AQHA-, NRHA- und NRCHA- Richter und mehrfacher Deutscher und Europameister in Reining und Working Cowhorse.

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