Tying the Mecate
There is a certain romance that surrounds
the history and tradition of the Hackamore. The hackamore has
woven its' way from Spain by way of the Conquistadors through
Mexico to California and into the modern western horse world.
Thus, the terminology for the different parts of the hackamore
are of Spanish origin. The term Hackamore is used when describing
the complete set of the bosal, the mecate, the headstall and
the fiador. The bosalita is the pencil(sized) bosal used in the
two rein set.
The material used in the construction of the different parts
of the hackamore had to be readily available to the working vaquero
or cowboy. Rawhide, leather and horse hair were always at hand.
The technique of construction was dependent on the skill and
time constraints of the maker.
This article will show you one method of tying the mecate (may-kah'-tay)
on the bosal. The mecate is a rope traditionally made from twisted
mane hair. Usually 22 feet in length and has a button with a
tassel on one end called a mota. The mecate is used as both the
reins and as a lead rope. The mecate varies from 3/8" to
1" in diameter. The most commonly used are 3/8" to
3/4". A general rule is to use the same diameter or mecate
as the diameter of the cheek of the bosal. The mecate size should
not vary more than a 1/8" larger of smaller than the diameter
of the bosal.