A mecate is a handy type of direct, continuous rein. Mecates (also called McCarty’s) are generally made of 22 or 24-foot pieces of twisted horsehair or nylon and they are used on both hackamores and snaffles. When tied correctly, a mecate has a looped rein and a lead. The looped portion is a continuous rein for direct reining your green horses and colts. When you step off you have the lead handy to lead your horse anywhere you need to go!
To keep the lead out of your way while you ride, there’s 3 easy ways to secure it on your belt or saddle. Follow along on the video as Dennis shows you how to do all 3.
The first step, no matter which method you use to attach your lead, is always to decide the length you want between your horse’s head and the point of attachment. You want to be careful not to leave it so long that your horse can step on it or through it while you’re riding. On the other hand you don’t want it so short that it’s putting pressure on your horse’s face.
To attach your mecate to your belt, you will want to be standing about where you would mount your horse. Determine the length of lead you want between your horse’s face and your belt and fold the rope in half at that length. Thread the fold up through your belt or from front to back through your belt loop. When you dismount simply pull the fold back through your belt with the tails of the mecate.
The 2nd way you can attach your mecate is to tie a double half hitch around the saddle horn. You’ll want to consider however that the lead won’t come loose if your horse happens to step on it. When you tie it around your saddle horn the mecate will be in the way if you plan to rope and dally.
The 3rd method is to coil your mecate and attach it to your saddle at the swell with your saddle strings. Determine the length you’d like to have between your horse’s head and the saddle. Take a few small coils in the end of the mecate lead. I like to attach the coils facing counter-clockwise (flip it over 180o) as this prevents it from feeding out as I ride. Put the coils between the saddle strings. Wrap the top string around the coils once. Bring the other saddle string over the top of the tail of the saddle string you just wrapped around the coils. Make a fold in it and pull the fold back under and through the tail of the wrapped string to make a slip knot. Pull the knot tight. Use the wrapped saddle string tail to make a double slip knot by folding and pulling it through the loop in the 1st slip knot. Pull the knot tight. This is easy to get untied by pulling the ends of the saddle strings.
To learn how to tie your mecate to a hackamore see my Tack Tip “How to Tie a Mecate to a Bosal”. To learn how to tie a mecate to a snaffle visit my Tack Tip “How to Attach Your Mecate to Your Snaffle with Slobber Straps”.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!