A mecate is a rein made of a single piece of rope, usually twisted horse hair or nylon. Mecates are used on hackamores and snaffle bits. A bosal is the noseband of a hackamore and when a headstall is attached it is known as a hackamore.
Once attached properly the mecate has both a looped rein and a length used as a lead rope. The knot used to attach the mecate to a hackamore is also used to adjust the size of the hackamore noseband by taking more or less wraps of the mecate around the base of the noseband just in front of the heel knot.
Follow along with the pictures as we go through these easy steps to tie a mecate to a bosal:
1. Hold the bosal in front of you in the same position you’d hold it to put it on a horse. Lay the mecate across the bosal heel knot so the knot in the mecate ends up under the bosal.
2. Begin wrapping the mecate around the base of the bosal just in front of the heel knot. Wrap in a counter-clockwise rotation so the tail of the mecate will come out on the left side of the horse when you’re finished.
3. Make as many wraps as you need to fit your horse. It’s trial and error at first so you may need to add or remove a wrap before use. When you have finished wrapping pull the rein loop through the noseband from underneath. Pay special attention to get all the twists and kinks out so it hangs straight.
4. An easy way to measure for rein length is by pulling the hackamore and rein loop apart as far as you can reach. It is personal preference to a large degree so you may want it longer or shorter than shown.
5. Now hold the rein loop in place on the bosal with your left hand and make a half hitch around the complete bosal with the tail or lead of the mecate.
6. Pull the half hitch down snug with the tail of the mecate. Pull each end of the rein loop down snug.
7. Now try it on your horse to see if the bosal is the correct size on its nose and the rein length is correct. In general, you want the hackamore to fit snugly enough that it doesn’t bounce up and down as the horse moves but loose enough so your horse feels the release when the reins are released after a pull.
Dennis Moreland Tack produces both mane hair and nylon mecates in various sizes. To find out more about our mecates call 817-312-5305 or visit: http://www.dmtack.com/pcategory/reins/mecates/