|Here you can see my cordeo -- a round braided Western rein.|
Stiff Circlet (like the Tellington Jones neckrope)
Circlets work well for the basics of neck reining a bridleless horse and providing some more support when used in conjunction with the reins, but I find them hard to give precise aids with. The stiff cord simply cuts out a lot of small turns and adjustments with the fingers and wrists.
Strap (dog leash, stirrup leather)
A dog leash was my first cordeo! It actually worked quite well, other than being too short. The thin nylon also didn’t give the best feel. You can even get some nice leather leashes. However, a similar cordeo can be made beautifully (and the leather even tooled) from a stirrup leather. That is a wonderful option, as it allows you to adjust it simply by using the buckle along the holes.
Narrow rope (Parelli Savvy String)
I see this used a lot, but unfortunately, it seems to cause some problems, unless it is a very small horse. The string is quite short and causes the rider to have to lean forward, versus being able to sit back and hold one side in each hand like reins, with the cordeo still hooked in a circle.
Thick rope (part of a lead)
This is nice and accessible for most, but it can be hard to get a regular 8’ lead rope to keep a circle when hooked onto itself. Plus, the thickness can cut a bit of communication as it covers so much “square inchage” on the horse’s neck. However, it is great for having a cordeo without having to pay anything!
Western round braided rein
This is my personal favorite. Not only does it look beautiful, but it is easy to tie a knot in, in case you want to attach a line to the cordeo yet don’t want it to slide down. It gives a nice feel, as it is leather, with enough flexibility to give different aids. Plus, it is usually long enough for most sizes of horses. I have really appreciated mine!