Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tying Mecate Reins to Slobber Straps

Responding to a reader question on You Tube about how to tie Mecate Reins to Slobber Straps,.... Proudtobeafarmgirl made a comment on the Lariat is More for Just Roping post,....."great video, no static and not much wind. Thank you for showing how to make a halter from the lariat, handy thing to know. Can you or do you have a video on how to tie the macate reins on to a snaffle with slobber straps?" OK Proudtobeafarmgirl, I offer this post.

Mecate Reins are one piece reins traditionally made out of hair so that it is prickly to the horse neck which adds in cueing a horse for neck reining. Nowdays yacht or rappelling rope mecate's are as common as hair mecates.

Mecates, sometimes called McCarthy reins which is the bastardized english version of the Spanish term, are normally tied to bits using leather connector pieces, called slobber straps, that are designed to keep the expensive hair mecate's away from the horses mouth not only to protect against the horses chewing on them or his slobber from getting on the reins, as the name implies, but to keep the prickly hair mecate from bothering the horse's sensitive mouth and lips.

In the video, I explain how I have my mecates tied, using knots on both outsides of the slobber straps as I think this balances the bit better, but I have included a picture below to show the traditional method of tying the near side or left side mecate to the slobber strap.

Generally you would create an 8 foot one piece rein with the mecate and have about a 12-14 foot length for a "get down" rope to lead from the ground with. This piece is traditionally "S" rolled and tucked into the belt from the bottom up so it will pull out easily if the rider gets tossed. It can also be coiled and tied to a saddle string.

The photo below shows the traditional method of looping the mecate through the near side slobber strap and brining the mecate back through underneath itself to lock it down. Either way, the method showed in the video or the picture below will work just fine.


  1. Very informative blog you got here. Ever considered adding a post about hoof supplements? I think it would make a great addition to the site. :)

  2. wondering about balance in the bit with
    one side having two weights of reins vs.
    the other with just a rein. do you add
    heavier knot/slobber strap on the side
    that doesn't have the get down rope?