Friday, January 31, 2014

Do It Yourself: Mecate Reins


So with wanting to start re-introducing the bit and my goal of getting Cash out on some trail rides I got the notion in my head that I'd like to have a set of Mecate reins.  Another horse at my barn has them and I love the idea and functionality of them.  But, I don't like nylon... at all.  Not a fan of the horse hair ones either, too scratchy.  I love cotton.  Problem is they don't sell Mecate reins in cotton.  I'm sure there must be a reason, but nonetheless I wanted cotton.  So I decided to get thrifty. 

I Googled "Cotton rope by the foot" and the first hit was a lovely website called  Perfect.  I ordered 22' and sat patiently (not!) around all week for it to show up. 
I started by making the "tassel" at the end by unraveling about 5 inches and picking out a few strands and wrapping them tightly around the base, I tied them off in the middle and it was good to go.
Partway through unraveling the ends. 
Next up was the leather popper at the end.  After locating a pile of scrap leather I had purchased once upon a blue moon for a craft I've long forgotten, I selected a piece and trimmed off about 1/4" of width to get it how I wanted.  I oiled and conditioned it and then cut two slits in it to splice it back on itself.

Once that was accomplished I had to attach it to the rope.  A bit of Googling taught me how to do a crown knot and back splice. I tied off the splice with some cotton string from my craft stash and trimmed all the ends.
The crown knot
The finished back splice
And, TA-DA!! Home-made Mecate reins at a fraction of the cost.  Now I'm just waiting on an eBay auction for some slobber straps and I'll be in business! Woo-hoo!!

Total Cost: $20 (including s&h for the rope)
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
Finished product

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A much more normal Cash


Where he is nice and mellow with an extra helping of lazy on the side.

Really, for how little I've been working him, he has been super good.  I try very hard not to think about how quickly he'd be progressing if I could ride him more.... daylight is coming folks, daylight is coming! (and warmth) Can't wait!

I've really been starting to stress lateral work with him, getting him side-passing, leg-yielding, turning on his haunches. In short, getting him OFF my leg.  He's picking it up finally, but it's sure been a long time coming.

I'm also starting to integrate the bit back into his life.  For now he will be carrying a snaffle under the halter and hackamore.  No contact, just for him to carry.  Once he's quiet with it and doesn't champ at it, I'll attach some reins and see what happens.  I ordered a full-cheek snaffle for him (was rather surprised I didn't have one already), I think it'll give a good transition from the side-pull hackamore to bit pressure.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Fire Breathing Dragon


Cool windy evening + fresh horse who hasn't been legitimately worked in two weeks =

And for what it's worth I did end up riding the beast.


Friday, January 3, 2014

What an amazingly beautiful winter day!


Wow, it got up to a balmy 55 degrees today so I took full advantage of the warm sunshine and spent the ENTIRE afternoon at the barn.  Since when has that happened?? I played with all the ponies, let the munchkin wander around, taught a lesson, and just had a great time.  And now my abs hurt from doing lots of sitting trot.  Good day.  Now I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

This is Rosemary, not me, driving Sassy

Yep, good day indeed.