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, Alpaca fiber, or soft feeling rope that serves as reins and lead rope.
The 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, alpaca fiber, 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. Watch our video here:
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