Rope Halters, Lead Ropes, Long Lines,

Reins, Sticks & Strings, Hackamores,

​ Headstalls, Mecates & More

Checklist for ordering a Natural Hackamore
1. style of halter

  • regular (2 knot) - plain or chain braid
  • extra knots (4 knot)
  • bosalter (braided noseband)

2. size - standard size or measurements for custom halter
3. type of rope or cord for halter
4. color of rope or cord for halter

5. style of mecate reins

6. diameter of rope for reins

7. color of rope for reins
8. custom options, if any

HACKAMORES & BITLESS BRIDLES

Indian Bosal Side Pull Bitless Bridles

Indian Bosal Side Pull halters can be made in the soft rope or stiff cord, in the regular/chain braid style, with extra knots in the noseband, or with the noseband braiding (bosalter).  The criss cross rein straps make it more difficult to be able to use this side pull halter as a normal rope halter.  You would have to leave the reins attached or clip the ends of the rein straps in with the halter loops when you snap on a lead rope so they won't fly around.  The rein straps with the tied loop ends make it possible to use almost any style of reins. 


click on the pictures to enlarge

Below are a few pictures of classic natural hackamores with various halter and mecate options.  I have included pricing to give you an idea of the cost.  There are many possible combinations so please visit the Rope Halters pages and the Mecate Reins page for more ideas and details.

Any combination of halter and reins that is used to control your horse while riding can be considered a "bitless bridle". There are countless possibilities of combinations. Choose the style of reins that you like -- attach them to the type of rope halter you have chosen and -- Ta Da!  You have created your own unique bitless bridle.  


In most cases, the riding halter can be used as a "normal" rope halter when a lead rope is attached, regardless of whether the reins are connected or not.  This makes it easy to lead, tie up, do groundwork, etc. without having to change tack.  Great versatility!  I always rode my horse Brandy with a side pull halter and loop reins.  We would start by doing some ground work using a lead rope attached to the loops of the side pull halter.  When we were ready to ride, I unsnapped the lead rope (tied it to my saddle if we were on the trail - left it on a post if we were in the arena), clipped the reins onto the side pull rings and we were all set to go. When I needed to lead her somewhere or tie up, I just snapped on the lead rope again.  No need to change headgear or have her wear multiple pieces of equipment!


Since I have so many options for reins and halter styles, I can not possibly show all the combinations here.  Please visit the various Halters pages - Side Pull Halters and Cross Under Halters in particular - and the various Reins pages to see all the options to create your own version of a bitless bridle.  The photo galleries below show a few possibilities.

Side Pull Bitless Bridles

Side Pull Halters can be made in the soft rope or stiff cord, in the regular style (2-knot), with extra knots in the noseband (4-knot), or with the noseband braiding (bosalter).  Most styles of reins will work with the side pull rings - the only type of connector that will not fit through the side pull rings is the leather slobber straps.  If you want the versatility of slobber straps - my rope slobber straps work nicely with a side pull halter.


click on the pictures to enlarge

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The traditional hackamore - a piece of equipment originating with the Spanish Vaqueros (jaquima) - consists of a braided rawhide noseband, a leather headstall hanger and mecate reins.  Nowadays, pretty much anything that is used to control a horse while riding that does not include a bit, is considered to be a "hackamore" and is sometimes called a "bitless bridle".  


Famous natural horsemanship trainers have made the "Natural Hackamore" very popular for training and general riding.  The classic natural hackamore is a rope halter with mecate reins tied on above the fiador knot. I make this classic version plus some other variations.  I also make some other styles of hackamore/bitless bridle sets so scroll down the page to see what I have to offer.  As with all my tack, you can customize as to size, length and braided trim.  And if you don't see what you are looking for, let me know what you want and I'll see if I can make it for you.

Spanish Hackamore with Split Reins

​  25.00  extra knots noseband, 1/4" or 3/16" stiff cord [same cost as a halter of the same style - regular, bosalter, etc.]

  10.00  double tie headstall, soft rope [can add braided trim or tie end buttons]

  10.00  utility browband with Alamar knot (is not adjustable) [can substitute adjustable Buckaroo browband]

  23.00  throatlatch with sliding ring knots [can add tie end button]

  30.00  7' split reins with leather lace ends, 1/2" rope (16' total length, tied on at center) [ can have full poppers on ends]

  98.00  total for sets as shown

Additional braided trim, buttons, different browband, full poppers, etc. would increase the cost

red/black rope shown above is no longer available

Bosalter (DW) Hackamore Halter - soft rope

22' Mecate with Turkhead Knot and Tassel

1/2" rope

Price without cheek trim and label: $110.00

​Price with mini turkshead knot trim on cheek plus custom label: $142.00

OTHER HACKAMORES

Separate Style 

One of the benefits of mecate reins is that you have a lead rope with you all the time.  One of the down sides of mecate reins is that you have a lead rope with you all the time. No - that's not a typo! The extra rope can be an advantage or a disadvantage. Maybe your saddle does not have a horn - making it difficult to deal with the lead rope portion of a mecate. Or maybe you ride mostly in an arena and don't really need a lead rope attached all the time - you can have one nearby if/when needed.  Or maybe you just want to have options. A popular style of natural hackamore for those not wanting to deal with all the rope of mecate reins all the time is to have separate pieces.  Loop reins tied onto the halter above the fiador knot leaving the halter loops below the fiador knot open for attaching the lead rope - just like on a normal rope halter. With this style, you can have the lead rope attached when you need it, but you can leave it off when you don't.  

Below are a few pictures of the Separate Style.  As with the Classic Style, there are many possible combinations so please refer to the different Halters pages and the Loop Reins - Tie On and Lead Rope pages for all the options.

All reins and lead ropes in the pictures below are made with the 1/2" rope

​Regular Hackamore Halter - soft rope

22' Mecate with 2-color Basic Button - 1/2" rope

​Price:  $66.00

click on pictures to enlarge

Long Line Conversion Style

If you want a simple but versatile set-up, this might be the style that is right for you.  It is not a true natural hackamore because the reins are not tied on above the fiador knot but since it has both the reins and lead rope elements, I include it in the natural hackamore section.

This style is basically a long line with an eye splice that is attached to the halter loops.  To make the reins, simply bring the tail end through the center of the eye splice , then make a loop around the halter and bring the tail back under itself.  Slide the rope through until you have the desired rein / lead rope length and pull the "knot" snug.  It will easily convert back to a halter and long line if/when groundwork is needed. I will send along instructions for "tying the knot".

Extra Knots Hackamore Halter - stiff cord

10' Loop Reins with Turkshead Knots and Tassels

(shown without lead rope attached)

​Price without extra braided trim:  $95.00

Price with extra braided trim: $182.00


Lead Rope Conversion StyleAnother option in this category is a lead rope/reins conversion - similar to the Long Line Conversion natural hackamore described above but using a shorter lead rope.  A 10' lead rope will become about 9' loop reins after tying on. 


click on pictures to enlarge

Since many of the hackamore styles are a combination of rope halters and reins, please visit the various Rope Halters pages and Reins pages for more details on all the options, etc.

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

NEWS

Celebrating

10 years

in business!

Y Knot Rope Tack

began in

March, 2007.

Thank you to my many customers for your support and loyalty!

___________


I will once again

have a booth at the Midwest Horse Fair

in Madison, WI

April 21, 22, 23

Booth # OM45

in the Outdoor Mall

same place I've been for several years

Deadline to place an order for pick-up at the fair is March 22

​___________


New rope colors coming soon!

NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP PRODUCTS

Bosalter Hackamore Halter - soft rope

10' Loop Reins with Turkshead Knots and Tassels

12' Lead Rope with trigger bull  snap

​Price:  $153.00


One of my customers ordered a lead rope with a button loop connector instead of the leather popper to make it easier to convert between lead rope and reins.


click on pictures to enlarge

Extra Knots Hackamore Halter - stiff halter cord

22' Mecate with Leather Lace Trim - 1/2" rope

​Price: $67.50

Bosalter (IW) Hackamore Halter - soft rope

22' Mecate with Pineapple Knot and Tassel

1/2" rope

​Price:  $122.00



NATURAL HACKAMORES

Bosalter Hackamore Halter - stiff cord

10' Loop Reins with Turkshead Buttons

10' Lead Rope with eye splice

​Price:  $117.00


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Tie-on Bitless Bridles

You can create a bitless bridle with any style halter (regular, extra knots or bosalter) by tying reins into the loops under the fiador knot - where you normally attach a lead rope. The halter does not have to be made differently for this configuration but unless you are very good at tying knots, you probably won't want to untie your reins on a regular basis to put a lead rope on and off. If you want to be able to use a lead rope easily, I would recommend one with a snap - it will need less space in the loops so you can just push up the reins a bit when you attach the snap. I can make the loops big enough to accommodate the reins and a lead rope with an eye splice or button end but you will probably need to keep everything together as a set then. 


click on the pictures to enlarge

Spanish Hackamore

I coined the name "Spanish Hackamore" for this set-up because a friend was having her horse trained by a local trainer who is Mexican and he used this type of hackamore.  I made a few changes and used higher quality materials and came up with my own version.

It consists of a separate noseband - made in the stiff cord, with or without the extra knots; a simple headstall (soft rope) which "ties onto" the noseband so it can be adjusted to fit; a separate throatlatch (soft rope) which can be used to adjust the balance of the noseband; a simple browband to connect the headstall and throatlatch pieces; and reins (1/2" or 5/8") that are tied onto the noseband.  You can make some changes - different browband, loop reins instead of split reins, add braiding to the noseband, etc. but the basic concept will be the same. There is a loop under the chin at the base of the noseband where you can attach a rope to lead/tie up but it is only one strand so I would not use it for tying a horse with a habit of pulling back when tied. 

​The price of the hackamore will depend on the options you choose but I have included the total for the sets shown below to give you an idea of the cost.  Visit the Browbands, Reins and Custom Trim for Halters pages for more details and options.

​​The knot used to tie the mecate to the halter is a series of wraps with the tail end being locked into place.  You can adjust the length of reins and lead rope by pulling rope through the knot.  If you want the reins longer - your lead rope will get shorter. If you want the reins shorter, the lead rope will get longer.  You do not have to totally undo the knot to adjust the reins/lead rope length - just loosen it a bit and slide the rope through, then tighten everything up again.  I include instruction for tying the knot .... just in case. Please tell me the length you want the reins to be and I will tie the mecate onto the halter accordingly so you shouldn't have to make any adjustments.


You can also adjust the size of the noseband so it fits snugger by adding more wraps.  This is a little more complicated -  you will have to undo the top portion of the knot. To avoid having to do this, it will be helpful if I have the "riding halter" measurements so I can make your hackamore the right size.

Spanish Hackamore with Loop Reins

​  25.00  extra knots noseband, 1/4" stiff cord

  10.00  double tie headstall, soft rope

  10.00  utility browband with Alamar knot (not adjustable)

  23.00  throatlatch with sliding ring knots

  29.00  9' loop reins with basic buttons, 1/2" rope

                (price based on 11' total length needed to tie on)

  97.00  total for set as shown

Regular Halter - soft rope

22' Long Line with Eye Splice - 1/2" rope

​Price:  $63.00


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customer submitted photos of natural hackamores and bITLESS BRIDLES

To ask questions or to place an order....

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​​​​​​​​​​Unique Trim ~ Leather Accessories

Custom Orders

Classic Style

This hackamore has two parts.  

Rope Halter - This is usually a regular halter (2-knot) made with the soft rope that is tied leaving more space above the fiador knot (the big knot under the chin) to make room for mecate reins to be attached there.  I also include in this category, any type of halter - regular, extra knots, bosalter - made in the soft rope or stiff cord with space to tie on the mecate reins.  Since the halter is made differently, the reins must remain tied to the halter.  If the reins are removed, the halter will not be usable because the noseband will be too large. 

Mecate Reins - You can choose any style of mecate reins - something simple and functional or a style with a fancy knot and tassel.  Using a special knot to tie the mecate onto the halter, the rope is divided into a loop rein section and a lead rope section.  This "built-in" lead rope is why so many trainers like the natural hackamore for training - if you need to get off to do some groundwork, your lead rope is already attached and also, the lead rope section gives you a spanker for motivation. 

Cross Under Bitless Bridles

Cross Under Halters can be made in the soft rope or stiff cord, in the regular style, with extra knots in the noseband, or with the noseband braiding (bosalter).  The criss cross rein straps can easily be removed if/when you need to use it as a normal rope halter.  You could also leave the straps attached and clip the ends in with the halter loops when you snap on a lead rope. The rein straps with the tied loop ends make it possible to use almost any style of reins. (some pictures show the old style with rings tied into the ends)  


click on the pictures to enlarge

BITLESS BRIDLES