Dear Dr. Deb: I attended your clinic in Taupo, NZ in Feb this year.
I've trawled my notes and cannot find the scribble I made recommending weight and length of (marine) rope to make a longe rein.
Are you able please to enlighten me?
Hi, Brenna: Sure, glad to help. If you want to make long reins (pair), or a longe line (single) out of rope, the stuff is called “yacht braid”. A standard halter-and-lead outfit has the lead rope made of 5/8” yacht braid. But if you use this weight for a longer rope, such as would be needed for a longe rein or pair of reins, they get too heavy. So what you get instead is 3/8” yacht braid and that, in my experience, is just exactly perfect.
Alternatively, if you want a pair of long reins or a single longe line made out of flat webbing, absolutely avoid the lightweight nylon stuff; not only is it way too light in weight and lacking in “substance”, but the edges are sharp and can really cut the hand. So what you look for is the heaviest weight, triple- or quadruple-stitched, triple thickness (because it is folded over before being stitched), cotton web. If you can’t find that, then buy the ordinary single or double-weight cotton web and soak it in hot paraffin. Then rub the line over the edge of a cutting board or other firmly fixed edge to get the excess paraffin off. The paraffin will increase the weight and gives the cotton a nice feel once you’ve worked it over the board. -- Cheers -- Dr. Deb