Monday, March 16, 2015

The History of the Mecate Reins and Hackamores

The Mecate Reins are the Rage of the Sage because they are so versatile.

The Mecate is the rein portion of the horse tack, called the Hackamore. The Hackamore is a type of headgear for horse training. The unique part of the Hackamore is that it does not have a bit. It uses a braided noseband called a Bosal. The Bosal is a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the horse's face, nose, and chin. The Mecate is a rope made from horse hair or soft feeling rope that serves as reins and lead rope.

The history of the Hackamore and Mecate goes all the way back to 4,000 BC. The first Hackamore was probably a piece of rope placed around the nose or head of a horse not long after domestication. These early devices for controlling horses may have been adapted from equipment used to control Camels. Over time, this means of controlling a horse became more sophisticated.

The Persians in 500 BC were one of the first to use a thick plaited noseband to help the horse look and move in the same direction. This was called a Hakma. On this Hakma was a third rein added at the nose, which allowed the rider to achieve more power from the horse. Later this third rein moved from the top of the noseband to under the chin, where it is still part of the modern Bosal style Hackamore with Mecate reins.

The Hackamore used in the United States came from the Spanish Vaqueros in California. From this, the American Cowboy adopted two different uses, the "Buckaroo" tradition closely resembling that of the original Vaqueros and the "Texas" tradition which blended some Spanish techniques with methods from the eastern states.

These types of Hackamores include the Bosal and side pull. The Bosal Hackamore uses the Vaqueros tradition of the braided noseband and the Mecate rope.

The Mecate is tied to the Bosal in a specialized manner that adjusts the fit of the Bosal around the muzzle of the horse and creates both a looped rein and a long free end that can be used for a number of purposes.

For the mounted rider, the free end is coiled and attached to the saddle or tucked under your belt. When the rider dismounts, the lead rein is not used to tie the horse to a solid object but used as a lead rope and a form of lunge line when needed.

The traditional Mecate used by the California Vaqueros was made from the long hair of a horse's tail and was hand braided. Modern Mecates are made with horse hair and synthetic rope with a horse hair tassel at one end and a leather popper at the other end.

A properly tied Mecate knot allows wraps of rope to be added to the knot in front of the rein loop in order to tighten the Bosal noseband on a horse or the rope can be unwrapped to loosen the Bosal.

This Vaquero style of Hackamore is used in Western Riding and is an indispensable part of the Vaquero way of making a California reined horse. It is also used with horses that have dental issues, where a bit would be painful. Some riders also like to use this style of Hackamore in the winter instead of a frozen metal bit.

Buckaroo Leather Products uses the influence of the Vaquero when creating the many styles of Hackamores and Mecates we have available. Buckaroo also offers many traditional "Old mexico" hand braided Rawhide Bosals.

Hand Woven 100% Alpaca Mecate Rein with the colors Summer Rose with Black and tan. The Alpaca fibers used in these Mecates are grown on a family ranch in South East Colorado. 

Complete Hackamore Set includes an all natural color beautifully hand braided 12 plait 5/8" Vaquero style, All rawhide core (no cable core) natural rawhide bosal.

 These are Braided in the old Vaquero tradition with a forelock tie, some of the finest braiding we have ever seen.

Mane Hair Mecate

Mane Hair Mecate 5/8" - 22' long, 6 Strand Braid.
Beautiful Quality hand braided feel and communication.

Mecate Rein with Leather Popper

This rein has a Nylon Mecate with Leather poppers. Available in 5/8" width and 23' length. This mecate is Perfect for the beginning stages of Horse training or everyday mecate use.

Buckaroo Leather Products has all your Hackamore, Mecate, and slobber strap needs. We have many styles to choose from and all are fashioned from the highest grade American Made leather, from Hermann Oak Leather. The quality of our horse tack can not be beat!! Proud to be American made!!

Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving the 
Western Horseman the safest most durable 
Quality American made leather horse tack....... Buckaroo John Brand Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand 
Visit Our Unique Store Today 
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