Remember when your only choice for a bell boot was to wrestle the rubber bugger on over the horse’s hoof’ Then some brilliant person came up with the idea of putting closures on them, so you only needed the pull-ons for particular situations.
Well, Koper Equine has come up with a similar solution to rein-stops, the long pieces on your reins that stop running-martingale rings from getting caught on the bit buckles. Instead of either purchasing reins with matching stops sewn on them or pulling on the rubber ones you can buy, you can simply use Easy-On Reins Stops. They connect and disconnect with Chicago screws.
Chicago screws, also known as screw posts, have long been used on Western bridles to hold the reins to the bit and the cheek pieces to the bit (see photo of Chicago screw). they’re also used to attach a breakaway leather fuse to turnout halters.
The only tool you need to attach them is a straight screwdriver, although some people have trouble keeping the flat end of the screw still while screwing the post in. If that’s the case, grab something grippy like a flat rubber jar gripper and press it against the end to keep it still while you screw the pieces together.
With a hole punch and some spare dots, you can add inexpensive bling to your tack (see browband photo). We also used the dots to identify tack, such as Dobbin’s bridle has a blue dot on it or Red’s halter has a red dot or use the shank with the pink dot. The dots are inexpensive, simple and fun.
Koper offers many color choices for the dots, from leather-matching colors to flat colors to metallic or even jeweled choices, and four leather colors. $19.95 for reins stops. Additional dots are sold in pairs at $4 and up. www.koperequine.com, 803-420-6040.