How to Hold the Mecate Rein Correctly

Mecate is a Spanish word for the hackamore rein . This rope is sometimes referred to as a McCarty. The rope is tied to the hackamore to make a looped rein and a lead. The lead end of the rein is not only used to lead the horse but can also be used to hobble the front feet while saddling. This use was routine in the days of the great cattle ranches of the west before fences were commonplace.

To hold the mecate correctly grasp the rein with both hands with your knuckles up and your thumbs facing inward. As you grasp take a loop in the excess mecate and hold the loop with the rein in your left hand. Be sure to leave enough length between your hands that they are approximately shoulder width apart. The excess length of rope in the loop can be used to shorten and lengthen the mecate as needed while you ride.

Close your fingers around the mecate and continue to hold it with your knuckles up and your thumbs facing inward as you maneuver the rein for turns and stops etc. When using the mecate to signal your horse pull the rein with one hand at a time only. Do not pull with both hands at the same time. The pull should be released when the horse gives to the pull and before another pull is made.

Good mecates are made of twisted horse mane hair or nylon. The mane hair mecate must be twisted from the mane of only young horses. Hair from adult horse manes or tails or steer tails is rough and coarse and doesn’t make a soft pliable rein that feels good in the hand and on the neck and jaw of the horse. The hair should be twisted evenly and not too tightly so the rein is “alive” in the hand. Both mane hair mecates and nylon mecates are available in various lengths and widths. When riding with the hackamore the width of the mecate should be approximately the same width as the nose button of the bosal (hackamore) being ridden. Click here to learn how to attach your mecate to a hackamore:

Dennis Moreland Tack makes both mane hair and nylon mecates by hand in a variety of widths and lengths. To learn more click or call 817-312-5305.

We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!

Also see How to Tie a Mecate to a Bosal