Monday, December 19, 2011

Shaping the Bosal

I feel like the last few months I've been on some sort of bizarre accelerated learning curve. I have so many new tools to manage and understand, it's easy to get a bit overwhelmed.

Learning to use all this new equipment also means learning to prepare it for us. A bosal doesn't come in the right shape for a horse to wear, and a mecate doesn't come soft and supple. So I've been working on these two objects to make them a bit more comfortable for both me and Steen.

The bosal I've been rubbing with vaquero rawhide cream and shaping with a bosal shaper. I slather the cream over the rawhide, thoroughly coating all surfaces, then we wedge the block down into the bottom of the bosal and wind the leather tie around the block, pulling the sides of the bosal as tight as possible against the block. This forces the nose button into a narrower bend and adds some softness and flexibility to the whole bosal.

Though the mecate will supple up naturally over time, as soon as I have a few days during which I don't want to use it, I'm going to follow a method recommended by Martin Black to speed things along. He recommends soaking a new mecate 20 minutes in water with a dollop of shampoo, rinsing thoroughly, and then letting it dry in a straight line or large coil.

**Edit: 12/30: Here's a link to the post where I discuss the effects of soaking the mecate.


  1. Thank You. I've been looking for some straight answers about this subject. Where do you get the rawhide cream, if you don't mind me asking?

    1. You're welcome! Happy to be of help. :) It looks like you can get the cream at Buckaroo Businesses:


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