I have been asked several times what was that gear I was using as reins: these are Mecates, also called sometimes McCarty reins or McCarthy outfit.
How to tie a mecate to a snaffle bit?
The mecate is a piece of equipment originally used but the Californio Vaqueros. Traditionally, colts were started in a hackamore and mecate, that was their first step to the bridle horse.
Nowadays, mecates can be used in connection with a bit and becomes the first step of the education. This is followed by the bosal, the two-reins and finally the bridle.
Some may not like the fact that it is quite long, traditionally 22′ (about 6.7 meters). But I do like the possibilities it offers:
- You can adjust the length of your reins to the size of your horse, or the type of work you want to do ;
- You have a lead rope at your disposal at any moment to do some groundwork if necessary, to lead your horse on a tricky trail or to tie your horse up…