I agree with SH that the neck rein starts from the seat/legs, outside(neck rein) then backed up with inside rein if need be.
I have heard also that the mcarty is supposed to assist with the neck rein from the prickles but I haven't really noticed either to be honest.
I do like mcartys on bosals and my snaffle setups for outside work and I have found the stiffness of a new one has more to do with the twister/maker. I bought one off of Martin Blacks website last year for my husband. It is horribly stiff and I don't enjoy using it at all!(by no means the worst I have felt, but not what I expected for the money I paid) I bought that one to replace a Larry Schutte that had been sent back to be re-twisted at least three times and it is finally retired. Although it was well broken in the feel never changes on his ropes. I had a brand new one and it felt just as good as the old one and fifty times better than the Martin Black one. We also traded for a few made by Helen Dougal Corbari, again they are great to use from the beginning-brand new.
Reins no matter what they are made of, leather, rawhide, horse hair, rope, are hard to buy without feeling in your hand first. But a lot of this stuff isn't sold in any tack store for someone to go around and "pet" them before buying unfortunately!
As far as the prickles, with time and use they break off. With the good mane hair ones I don't feel they are that prickly even when new. I don't tie my get-down end onto my saddle or horn. I run it through a belt loop and down the front of my pant leg so I unknowingly don't drag it through the brush. It is not only my hands but the front of my thigh that has to feel it..LOL
(I attached a pic of the old Schutte and the newer Martin Black rope so you can see how they smooth down with use)
I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
Last edited by COWCHICK77; 12-06-2013 at 12:52 AM.