Horse & Rider - - Tack Talk -

Tra­di­tional mecates are made from mane or tail hair. This isn’t just for looks—it serves a func­tion. The hack­amore phase of train­ing fo­cuses on teach­ing your horse neck-rein­ing to ad­vance his train­ing from the di­rect pull of a snaf­fle. If you’ve held a horse­hair mecate in your hands, you know it’s quite prickly. So much so, that tra­di­tion­ally, riders wear gloves when us­ing the equip­ment. You horse feels that prick­li­ness when you lay the rein against his neck to teach him to neck-rein, and he in­stinc­tively moves away from it. The prick­les from the horse­hair help to re­in­force the neck-rein cue. To­day you can find mecates made of ny­lon cord, mo­hair, and other ma­te­ri­als. I pre­fer horse­hair be­cause it adds to the feel when teach­ing your horse to move away from the neck-rein cue.

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