Sellers of tack, which can sometimes break the bank, are going to hate me for telling you what I realized yesterday… but I don’t care. Horse people have to stick together after all!
I needed a set of slobber straps for my Avila bridle and new mecate reins. However, our local feedstore’s slobber straps were not only too large, too stiff, and the wrong color – but also too expensive for so many negatives. While I was shopping around I realized I could have a nice set of slobber straps with a very tiny amount of effort for under ten dollars. So can you!
First, buy a pair of inexpensive spur straps. The spur straps should have the following characteristics:
- Leather that you can cut with a hole punch of knife. (Don’t buy a set that has rawhide around the button holes.)
- A buckle on each strap.
- Equally-sized ends. In other words, if you put both ends together – they match up.
- Thick enough end pieces to give them good weight. In other words, don’t buy ones that are completely straight; opt for ones that flare larger at the button ends.
- Relatively straight – no curves.
For mine, I chose a spur strap quite like this:
Let’s face it – if you want fancier, then just spend the money on the fancy slobber straps. I just wanted something to use for training that still looked nice.
When you get home, enlarge the holes in the ends of the strap (where the buttons of the spur enter) with a knife or hole punch to accomodate the width of your mecate rein rope. Most of them have slits, such as the ones have above, to help accomodate the smaller knot on the popper end of the mecate – so just think width of the rope.
Then you simply fold the spur straps in half, place the end furthest from the buckle through your bit, and thread your mecate rein – popper end first – through the spur straps as you would any set of slobber straps.
The beauty of these is that they are not only supple and a great weight, you can move them from one bridle to another as you need to by simply unbuckling them. How awesome is that? With these, you don’t even have to worry about the wide ends of the slobber strap not fitting through your bit! The thinner middle straps which go through the buckle go through most training bits.
Here is how my $8 spur straps looked when finished:
Practical, portable, affordable, easily available.
I hope this tip helps you more readily enjoy this wonderful set up for reins without flinching at the price (plus shipping) for slobber straps!