Not everyone understands why someone would use Mecate reins for riding but they are very helpful in teaching your horse how to give to pressure when it is applied. What I found was that these reins are not cheap at all, especially for good ones. I found that most quality mecate reins cost around $150-$200 and that is without slobber straps. So like any other person wanting to get the best bang for their buck, I went to work searching. Turns out that they are not cheap anywhere. So after doing some more research, I found that there are a bunch of different materials that are used for reins. Anything from Yak hair to horse hair and even human hair sometimes. The one that intrigued me the most was parachute cord ropes, parachute cord is used for making all kinds of things and I am not terrible at braiding (I was pretty good at boondoggle as a kid) so I looked into making them myself.
I found a couple of places that sell supplies to make mecate reins but the one I liked the most was U-Braid-It or Amazon is a great place to find good priced paracord as well like this listing. They even sold me instructions and suggested the lengths of paracord that I needed to be able to make a 22-foot mecate rein.
Here is the start of my 22-foot mecate reins that I braided, the hemostat was very helpful in keeping everything nice and tight.
Here you can see that I braided twelve strands of paracord around a paracord core.
This shot shows how I got the pattern I was going for six strands of brown on the left side and the brown, grey, turquoise, turquoise, grey then brown on the right side gave a really cool pattern.
The process of braiding is not terribly hard to do a twelve strand mecate rein and after a while, it became second nature to work on it. After a few days of working on it here and there, and also having to undo some braids that were done wrong. I had finished the length that I wanted.
The hardest part was doing the Gaucho knot to finish the rope so that everything stayed but with a little practice I got that finished nicely too. All together the cost for the mecate rein turned out to be about $75 and around 10 hours to get a $150 rein. Which is way better in my book plus I learned a new skill!
So now I can make mecate reins when I need them and they are very strong and feel great. Plus now I have something to do in the winter when the weather is bad. Have you ever made your own tack gear? Or found any other ways to save money on horse tack? Let me know in the comments below.
Here is the second rope that I made!
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Great looking reins! I was told by them, yesterday, they didn’t have the paracord instructions, not until the fall, did they sell you the mohair instructions?
Thanks for the compliment! I purchase plans from them a few years ago so they may have changed them up a bit, which would be why they aren’t ready yet. I would assume that their mohair rein instructions would be similar but you would be best off to ask the kind folks at U-Braidit.
Great job on the reins. About how much paracord did that take? Did you do 6 strands doubled over or was it 12 individual strands ? I assume you left the cores in the paracord or did you remove.
I doubled mine over, so twelve strands made from 6 doubled. I don’t remember how long everything had to be but it was quite the length. Yes the core was left in and it was a doubled over parachord.
Thanks for reading,
I am doing my own mecate reins. They are 8 strand with a core…cant figure it how tight I should braid it and if I should push the braid up on the core or pull it down on the core…
When I was braiding mine I would make sure I kept the core pulled tight and then make sure the braid was pulled tight. This was to help create some structure and so that when it was done it wouldn’t “pull” apart. So to answer your question I tried to make sure it was a tight braid so that it created a good rope.
Thanks for reading,
Thank you for your help! And curious on 2 things does it still have good flexible movement? I guess supple still is the word I I am looking for! And did you preshrink your password or have any issues to it without if you didmy preshrink?
Yes it has great “feel” it isn’t stiff. I would suggest preshrinking your parachord or you may run into issues.
Thanks for reading,
Hey, I was wondering is there a tutorial on how to do that braid? It looks great!! I’m still working on a lead and fixing my grandpas bullwhip keeps breaking… But my crackers turned out great. Thanks for sharing how you made yours!
I do not have a tutorial for this braid, you may be able to find one. It is a pretty common one. I’m glad that my post was helpful. Thanks for reading,