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Y Knot Rope Tack
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Midwest Horse Fair
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NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP PRODUCTS
Unique Trim ~ Leather Accessories
Rope Halters, Lead Ropes, Long Lines,
Reins, Sticks & Strings, Hackamores,
Headstalls, Mecates & More
These act somewhat like mini slobber straps and can connect to almost any bit, ring, etc. They can be used with or without snaps and are attached to reins that have eye spliced ends. I make them in 3 different styles: double heart braid, lace ties, Chicago screws. Connect the strap to a bit or add a snap by opening and closing the strap using a nickel plate, solid brass or stainless steel conway buckle.
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Not available for purchase separately
All the leather accessories I offer with my rope products are made of premium leather. Zack White Leather in North Carolina has been my supplier for many years but I realize most of the leather sold in the US today is actually tanned and processed in Mexico or other countries. I do the best I can to use "made in the USA" materials but sometimes there are not many options available.
I buy leather strips in varying widths, then cut them as needed to make the various rein connectors and lead rope poppers. We round the ends and bevel the edges of the rein straps, but there is nothing fancy about the leather items I use with my rope products - no tooling or sewing - just practical and functional leather goods. While I have done some leather tooling in the past, I am in the rope tack business - not the leather business - and I don't have the time, leather sewing machine, etc. to do the really nice leather work.
Most leather items can be purchased separately and are priced on the Reins pages, Lead Rope pages and also on this page.
Connect reins to almost any bit, bitless bridle rings, halter loops, etc. with these simple connectors - use with or without snaps. They are attached to reins that have back spliced ends. Leather laces go through the holes on one side of the strap, then through the rope and then through the holes on the other side. The laces are tied to secure the water strap to the rope. Attach to bits, etc. by untying the laces, putting one side of the strap through the bit, snap, etc. then retying the laces. Be careful not to pull the lace ties out of the rope.
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dark brown bridle
medium brown bridle
3/8" wide poppers
Because leather is a natural product, it should be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. It is animal skin after all, and like any skin, it can get dry and cracked if not taken care of properly. The various tanning processes add oils and waxes which help protect the leather, but routine cleaning and oiling will be necessary to keep leather items in good condition.
It is also a good idea to check leather items often for wear and damage. Make sure leather ties are tied tightly - so any stress will be on the thicker strap and/or rope instead of the thinner lace ties.
When washing rope items with leather connectors, etc., it is best if you can remove the leather or at least keep it from coming in contact with soapy water. Detergents will strip the oil from the leather and it will need reconditioning. If the leather does get wet, please be aware that the dye may bleed (at least for the first few times it gets wet). Be careful of what the leather items drip onto or lay against while wet. This includes poppers on lead ropes if they get wet with regular use.
Leather has always been a staple of horse gear but the higher maintenance requirements of leather is why I offer rope tack with non-leather options as well as with the traditional leather goods.
$22.50 set of 2
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Romans 12:2 ERV
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Available for purchase separately: $12.00 set of 2
Available for purchase separately: $3.50 each
$18.00 set of 2
Leather poppers on the tail ends of lead ropes and strings will likely get a lot of abuse - dragged in the dirt, sand, mud, water or get stepped on or chewed on. That is why poppers need to be made of very durable leather. That is also one of the reasons why I attach my poppers on an eye splice - it will be easy to replace a popper that gets torn or chewed off. Poppers that are attached by punching through the end of the rope (the method used by most other businesses) are almost impossible to replace and the rope fibers are damaged in the process. The eye splice avoids damage to the rope and weights the end of the lead rope better.
Poppers for lead ropes (3/8", 1/2" & 5/8" rope) are 1/2" wide and about 8" long when attached. I cut the leather about 17 - 18" long, depending on the best use of the length of leather strip. For strings and feather weight lines (1/4" rope), the poppers are 3/8" wide and about 7" long when attached, about 14 - 15" total length. Slits are cut for the braid attachment and my business name is stamped on each end.
I make most of my poppers with 7-8 oz latigo leather. This weight is the right thickness to be durable and heavy-duty but pliable enough to make the double heart braid attachment. It also adds the right amount of weight to the end of the lead rope or string. Color options are black or burgundy. The burgundy will vary from a lighter to a darker reddish brown color.
For those who would rather have a brown popper, I can make it in 6-7 oz lace leather. The lace leather is not as firm as latigo but it is still tough and durable. It is a better weight for poppers than bridle leather which is only available in 9-10 oz weight. (I used bridle leather for brown poppers in the past but it is just too thick and heavy for a popper and is very difficult to attach with the double heart braid.)
1/2" wide poppers
I offer plain and functional strap goods. The ends are rounded and the edges are beveled but there is no tooling. I stamp the leather with my business name but there is no other decoration. I have more detailed information for each kind of connector below.
These are used to attach mecate reins or loop reins to a bit - usually a snaffle bit with larger rings. I make them in 2 styles:
Lace or latigo leather is used for trim on the ends of certain styles of reins and for the leather ties on my slobber straps, water straps and buckle straps. The leather is 1/4" wide for the decorative "fobs" and for the ties on my slobber straps. It is about 1/8" wide for the ties on water straps and buckle straps. I normally buy leather in 1/8" and 1/4" wide strips that are 5 - 6 oz weight. I sometimes pick up a bag of latigo leather lace from Hobby Lobby if I can find it in the right colors and widths.
Colors range from black, burgundy, brown, tan but may vary from strap leather colors. I try to make the best match between the strap and the lace ties.
Weight: The thickness of leather is indicated as a weight range. Since leather is a natural product, the thickness may vary slightly across the length of a strip or section. Thus the use of a weight range: 7 – 8 oz or 10 – 12 oz. Each "ounce" is 1/64 of an inch thick so leather that is 16 oz is about 1/4" thick, 8 oz is about 1/8" thick, 4 oz leather is about 1/16" thick. Sometimes the strips I order will come in at a slightly different weight so leather items may be a bit thicker or thinner than specified.
Tannage: The process of converting hides into usable leather is called tanning. Different combinations of natural substances, chemicals and processes produce various types of leather that are best suited for particular uses—upholstery, garments, tooling, strap goods, harness, etc. The types of leather I use are described below:
These are a combination of the water strap described above and the buckle strap described below. They will connect to almost any bit or ring and can be used with or without snaps. They are attached to reins that have back spliced ends. Two separate pieces of leather are permanently attached to each side of the rope with braiding cord. Connect the strap to a bit or add a snap by opening and closing the strap using a nickel plate, solid brass or stainless steel conway buckle.
I was going to phase out my leather slobber straps, but due to continued requests for them I have decided to keep them in my product line. My customers appreciate the quality of these straps over those that are mass produced. As with my other leather items, these slobber straps are plain but functional. I bevel the edges and stamp them with my business name but there is no tooling or other decoration. I do not keep a large supply of the wide leather strips in stock so if you order multiple sets, please be aware that I may have to order leather before making your straps.
Replacement poppers are $3.00 for 1/2" wide (lead ropes); $2.00 for 3/8" wide (strings).
If you do not know how to attach a popper with the double heart braid, I can send directions
OR I can send a popper with a Chicago screw fastener (1/2" popper only).
I use latigo or bridle leather for my strap goods - slobber straps, buckle straps and water straps. Latigo is only available in black or burgundy so for other colors, I order bridle leather. I buy strips in various widths for the different types of connectors. The weight is 9 -10 oz which is a heavy weight but still flexible enough to fold and bend into the necessary shapes. As stated earlier, leather is a natural product and therefore the thickness of the strips can vary somewhat - sometimes the connectors will be a little thicker or thinner than the stated 9 -10 oz weight. I measure the thickness and if the leather is too thin to make a sturdy strap, I will set it aside or use it for something else.
Color options are shown below: