Do you want to train and show your horse in a 2 Rein outfit but aren’t sure if you’re holding the mecate and romals in an efficient and legal way? Dennis Moreland of Dennis Moreland Tack visits with cow horse trainer Wade Meador of Wade Meador Performance Horses, Marietta OK as Wade demonstrates 3 ways to hold both reins.
A 2 Rein Outfit is made up of a small diameter hackamore (bosalita) with mecate, and a bridle with romal reins. With a 2 Rein you hold the mecate and the romal reins together in one hand and use them together. By doing this, your horse still feels and understands your hackamore cues while learning to respond to the bridle. It’s important to work slowly and consistently to help your horse through the transition.
Wade explains, regardless of which method you choose “the mecate lead needs to be secured to your saddle horn, tied to a saddle string or pulled through a belt loop to keep it handy but out of the way of the mecate rein and romals. I want my romal reins on the outside of both my mecate rein and the tail. I want the mecate rein to be underneath and closest to my horse” says Wade. Wade explains once he picks up the reins “I’m going to have my mecate rein in front of my romal rein. In the (2020 NRCHA) rule book there is no one way you have to hold the reins, it’s whatever works for you” (the reins must stay in one hand). *
One way to hold the reins is to place your top 2 fingers (index and middle finger) over the top of the off side of the mecate and the bottom 2 fingers (ring and pinkie) over the top of the near side of the mecate (opposite if you ride right-handed). “In the 2 Rein, you’re allowed to stick fingers between the reins” Wade explains, “but once you get finished and ride one handed in a bridle you have to ride with a closed fist around the romal reins.” Wade next puts the romal in his hand under the mecate. When you hold the reins this way it gives you a wider area of rein to work with. It’s easier for your horse to understand and learn to respond to the bit. “When your horse needs help you can guide it in either direction” says Wade.
“Another way is to hold the mecate rein and romals is in a closed fist just as if you were going to go show in a bridle. You can adjust the length of your romals based on the horse and what it’s trained for and what’s it’s comfortable with” explains Wade.
Putting both sides of the mecate rein between your middle and ring finger is a 3rd way to hold the reins. With this method, your index and middle fingers are above the mecate and your ring and pinkie fingers are below it. Open your hand slightly to place the romals in your fist and hold them close-fisted.
Using the 2 Rein in your training program keeps your horse’s mouth light, gives him time to learn to carry the bit, and gives him confidence throughout the bitting process. A horse that is carefully trained through the snaffle, hackamore, 2 rein and bridle is a horse that can be maneuvered easily to handle just about anything you need him to do. He is a true pleasure to ride.
For quality handmade Hackamores, Bridles, and 2 Rein Outfits visit Dennis Moreland Tack at www.dmtack.com. If you have questions, please call 817-312-5305 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*2020 Rule Book-Official Handbook of the NRCHA National Reined Cow Horse Association Effective 11-16-19: pg. 30.