Clinton Anderson explains how to safely secure and tie up with Mecate reins.
When riding, there are two ways to secure the lead rope end of Mecate reins. You can either tie it around the horn or push it up through your belt loop.
To tie it to the horn, you will make a series of half-hitches until the rope hangs down about even with the horse’s knee. This will leave it long enough for you to use the end of it, but short enough to avoid the horse stepping on it.
To use the second option, bring the lead rope around the right side of the pommel of the saddle, then up to your left hip. Make a loop and push it up between your belt and jeans, from the bottom, so that the loop hangs over the top. Always put it past the second keeper of your jeans to keep it from falling out.
It will stay in place while riding, but will come out easily if pressure is applied, making it a safe option. For either option, the slack in the rope should hang down slightly lower than the loop rein, hanging two to three inches below it. The reason being that you don’t want the lead to hinder the horse’s head if you are flexing to the right when mounted. If the lead is too short, your horse can’t flex far enough because he’ll run into pressure.
How to safely tie up
1 Pull the reins to the left side of horse’s neck and make a figure 8 in the reins. Pull the loop over the horse’s head and adjust so that the reins are in four equal lengths.
2 Gather the loops under the horse’s neck. Take the end of your lead rope and go around all four lines. Then tuck the end of the lead rope through itself to form a half hitch.
3 Repeat Step 2 to make one more half hitch. Now you can safely tie your horse and he will not hurt himself if he pulls back.