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


Wow, love that! That rope looks like it would feel really nice in the hands for reins too. Definitely going to make some :)

It has a great feel to is, soft and flexible but still with enough tension to feel sturdy. I was worried it would be too stiff/tight to work well but I was so pleased with it when I got it!

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