We stock rein chains in various styles, lengths and weights which can be assembled with your reins and the specific bit you have chosen to use.
It is probably better to get a longer chain than a shorter one. Shortening the length is not a big issue as long as you have someone with hand strength and two pairs of pliers or a vice and one pair of pliers. You can shorten the chains and put the extra links in a zip lock bag so they don't get lost. Further along you may break a chain or end up with a longer necked horse. If you have that little baggy handy, you may avoid buying new chains (not that we don’t want to sell you another pair, but if we save you money on this, perhaps you will remember).
Longer chains are traditional for better balance. It is better to have the mid to longer rein chains. Those who compete in working cow horse often find that chains about six inches long work better for those who like them. A “cow” being pushed with speed down the fence doesn’t look and figure: it just dives through. Yes, the entire bovine! Not often, but this is one of the reasons multiple time world champion Bobby Ingersoll reminds riders to make precise control favored over speed. He says, “Speed kills.” We saw that a few years back.
A lot depends on how bridled your horse is. This will change over time. If you can lift the reins a tiny bit, his/her neck will arch a little requiring less length. We do not want to have constant contact with the bit, no matter what type it is. We want ACCESS to the bit and immediate response then release. Write that down in several places to review. It will make a tremendous difference in your bridle journey.
The bridle must be considered when selecting appropriate reins, chains, curbs, etc. The weight either helps or pulls it off balance. Please search for a well made CA style bit for your horse. Romal reins are not for snaffles or the so called “Correction bit”. That would be a travesty.
Speaking of romal reins, you can show that you have experience by correctly calling them “romal reins,” rather than “romals." The romal itself is the elongated quirt section with a popper of various styles which is usually held in your right hand. The reins are joined and are generally held in your left hand when riding. The button near the bend can be moved a little to set the degree of your horse’s education.
I had one hand made half breed stiff jawed CA style bit that was given to me for Christmas by a dear old friend. He had bought it from the Wimmer family who developed the bit style with a silver inlaid S cheek. It came with the family’s heavy rein chains with the fence staple made swivel.
I tried it on dozens of horses that were not prepared for a classic CA bit. They all slobbered, worked the cricket, etc. despite their owners saying “He doesn’t like bits and won’t take it.” Surprise! Most that had been tried were junk that were not made properly and had horrible taste. One can’t blame a horse for not wanting to accept a bit like that. Can’t tell you how many times I turned down big offers to buy it. We’ll be making some of these as well as snaffles this year in the new CC metal workshop.