Horse hair mecate reins?
I have a 4 y/o cutting horse that I've recently acquired. He is broke, but typical young horse that needs a lot of riding and work. I've never used mecate reins before but have seen a lot of people using them recently. Am considering getting some to aid in neck reining, and suppling exercises. Would appreciate any insight or suggestions on the subject.
you want to use the mecate tied to the bosal hackamore right? Used on a bosal hanger, with fiador throatlatch. Great training tool if you know how to use it. No pulling, it's a bump or a nudge as I was shown, must be correct because 3 horses I started responded well. You also hold your hands wider apart than riding with a snaffle & higher. Have someone show you how to tie the mecate. I love this set up for leading the horse too.
I, personally, am not a fan of mecate sets on a snaffle bit. I know a lot of the big name trainers use them and promote them but I hate the way they make the bit feel in my hands. There is too much motion in them when the horse is traveling and I loose touch with their mouth. Plus, because one side is heavier due to the 'lead' portion of it, it makes the bit feel unbalanced to me. If I can feel the difference through the reins, I can only imagine what the horse feels in his mouth.
IMHO, I would only ever use a mecate on a bosal hackamore like it was designed. For my snaffle bits, I much prefer a nice pair of harness leather split reins.
I wasn't even aware they used mecate with snaffles, and for the very reasons you stated smrobs. Good post, thanks.
The mecate reins made with horse hair are extremely lightweight so the extra weight on one side of the bosal is negligible. Yet I see this same setup used with a snaffle bit and rope. Now to me that means there is more weight on one side of the horse's mouth because of the long piece one tucks into their belt.
Great point, SMRobs and Saddlebag. I should have clarified that I am using a mylar bent snaffle and the reins would be attached to it. The nylon mecate reins seem to be pretty popular for the "show ring" but I'm not training to show right now. The horsehair material is more attractive to me from what I've read, the prickly nature offers a benefit in training in neck reining, etc.
Also , good point about the "extra" left over lead. I have some concerns on just how to make that work so that I'm not trying to carry the extra. I read a few other places where people wrap it around the horn to get it out of the way.
I am currently using some good, leather split reins..but want to experiement with a different option that might yield better results in combination with working on leg cues, body position, etc.
I agree with the posters that do NOT like to use a mecate with a bit, or anything where it is fastened to one side of the mouth rather than in the middle, because of the extra weight on that side.
I like having a line on while riding but do not want to use a halter and bridle/headstall at the same time. I have been trying a 'get-down' rope and like it so far. About a 14' to 16' foot line tied with a bowline knot high on the neck and handled the same way as the lead end of a mecate.
I have some 1/2 inch lines but they seem too wide and bulky, and a 1/4 inch line that seems a bit too narrow and isn't quite long enough for me to move them around a during my cinch tightening routine. Have been wanting to go to a marine store and get some 3/8 inch yatch line but they are all so far away I haven't made it there yet.
I love my horsehair mecates; I have had them for three years and have used them on alot of different headstalls. I love the weight that it gives and the advantages of having both lead rope and reins.
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I thought I would add a followup to this thread. I purchased some half inch mane mecates and have used them twice on my gelding. I really, really like them. It does take some adjustment getting used to the extra lead portion, but I can already tell that they are aiding in neck reining training. I appreciate everyone's replies!
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