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Using a Bosal and Mecate

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How to Use A Bosal & Mecate

While bosals and mecate reins are most closely associated with the California reined horsemen, they are often used by trainers today to start young horses under saddle. The bosal traditionally has been made of rawhide, they can be made of many synthetic materials.  The best mecate, arguably, have been made of horse hair but nylon and many other materials are used today. Although many of mecate reins today are made of Many different materials, The way to attach the mecate is one aspect that has not changed since its creation.

Select a bosal and mecate for your horse. The smaller the diameter of the bosal, the more severe it is on the horse. A 3/4-inch diameter bosal will work on most horses. The mecate ideally should be the same diameter as the bosal.

Place the tassel end of the mecate through the bosal so it comes out the front of the bosal away from the horse.

Wrap the long portion of the mecate around the bosal toward the nose band two or more times. The number of times will determine the fit of the bosal on the horse's nose.

Bring a loop of the mecate through the bosal, back toward the horse for the reins. The exact length of the reins will depend on the horse and the rider's preference.

Make sure the reins are straight and not twisted before taking another wrap with the free end around the bosal to secure the reins

Take the free end of the mecate and pull it through the bosal between the reins and the final wrap. Pull until it is snug. The reins should now be in a position to go over the horse's head, while the free end will face the front for leading.

Be sure to adjust the bosal to the horse by adding or removing some of the initial wraps around the bosal. A good fit will allow the heel knot to put pressure on the horse's chin when the reins are pulled. Both the bosal and the rein length may need to be adjusted for different horses.

Be sure the free end, called your ride home, is snug in the final step so that the reins and lead will stay in position.

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