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Dennis Moreland Tack
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You Can’t Check Your Latigos Too Often! What to Look For
Years ago I was leaning on a fence watching a cutting. A friend of mine who is a professional trainer was entering the arena and getting ready to head to the herd to make his first cut. Before he got to the timeline he realized his stirrups were a bit short so he stepped off to adjust them. When he got around to the right side of his horse and lifted the stirrup up he saw that the Dee ring on his saddle had worn almost entirely through his latigo. He had less than half an inch of leather holding his saddle on! That was a close call and could have been a bad, bad wreck.
Latigos http://bit.ly/2dHjuYn or billets are the straps on either side of your saddle that attach the cinch to your saddle. The strap on the right side is called an off latigo or double off latigo http://bit.ly/2fhQs2u. Double off latigos are just what they sound like; they are made of a doubled piece of material, usually leather. A single off latigo is made with a single piece of leather. The double off latigo is much safer than a single off. Latigos can also be made of nylon but nylon tends to wear out very quickly.
Checking latigos for wear is important but often overlooked or forgotten. It’s easy to make checking latigos http://bit.ly/2dHjuYn a habit every time you ride and it only takes a minute or two. If you have young kids make sure to check their latigos. If you make a plan to do it once a week or once a month it’s just too easy to forget.
Inspect the entire strap for weak spots and age. Make sure the leather is pliable. Look for elongation of the holes in the straps. It’s especially important to check for wear where the cinch buckle attaches to the latigo or double off. It’s equally important to check where it’s folded over the D rings of your saddle. These are the spots where the most pressure is applied. If there are any problems replace the strap(s) immediately. This is one piece of tack you really depend on!
At Dennis Moreland Tack all latigos http://bit.ly/2dHjuYn and double off latigos http://bit.ly/2fhQs2u are made by hand, one piece at a time. They are made of dense, tight fibered latigo leather. They are cut to just the right thickness so they won’t leave a lump under your fender. There are a variety of sizes to choose from and we can custom split your latigo if you’d like. For more information visit my website www.dmtack.com or call 817-312-5305.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!


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Save Your Run With a Handy Repair String!
No matter how well you care for your equipment something can always break – usually just before you’re about to compete or when you’re out on the trail. It can be a worn or broken tie string http://bit.ly/2dGKcBO on a rein, headstall attachment to the bit or the cinch hobble strap http://bit.ly/2sxx9tt between the front and back cinches. The failure of any of these can bring about a wreck.
A “quick fix” is to have a flat latigo leather tie string looped around a back cinch dee on your saddle to make temporary repairs. It’s handy, doesn’t take up any room and is always ready to use. The latigo string on the saddle in the picture is 3/8 inch wide x 48 inches long. This leather string can be so handy to repair rein or headstall tie strings http://bit.ly/2dGKcBO, broken spur straps and straps on your chaps. This shouldn’t be used to repair any tack that will have pressure applied while in use however.
If you’re in the show pen, sometimes judges will give you time to make a quick repair so just pull the string loose, make the repair, cut off the excess and you’re back in business. AQHA rule SHW300.1 states that “when exhibitor equipment failure causes a delay or a run to be discontinued, the judge will disqualify the entry, except working hunter and jumping.”1 The NRHA rule is similar: “equipment failure that delays the completion of a pattern will result in a score of zero (0).”2 In these cases you’d still be able to make a quick repair under last minute circumstances before your time to enter the ring. NRCHA rule 6.1 allows, under certain circumstances, a rider to have up to 1 minute to repair a piece of equipment while in the arena.3 It’s always a good idea to check your rulebook to see whether and when a repair is acceptable during a performance before heading to the show. If you’re out on the trail this tie string can be useful in countless ways.
It’s important once you’re out of the arena or back at the barn or trailer to repair the broken or worn tack correctly. It’s also important to regularly check and care for your repair string.
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you! Visit dmtack.com or call 817-312-5305 for all your tack needs.

1. AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations 2017, 65th Edition, pg. 106.
2. NRHA 2017 Handbook Rules, Regulations and Judges’ Guide Revised 5/17 pg. 82
3. NRCHA 2017 Rulebook, Official Handbook of the NRCHA pg. 29

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Which Curb Straps or Chin Straps Are Legal?
Have you ever wondered if the curb (chin) strap you’re using is legal in the show you’re planning to participate in? There are many types, styles and sizes of curbs available. Each can be useful for a particular training purpose, event and/or horse show association. But it gets confusing quickly, especially now that multiple associations have begun holding events together.
In our video today, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) judge Bozo Rogers helps to guide us through the maze of curb/chin straps http://bit.ly/CurbStraps. We’ll show you chin straps that are legal on horses being shown in curb (leverage) bits in AQHA, NRCHA and NCHA classes. We’ll also show you chin straps allowed on horses being shown in snaffles in AQHA and NRCHA classes. Further information can be found in your association’s rulebook. If you have any questions about the legality of your curb, be sure to inquire with the judge or show official prior to entering your class.
In AQHA classes where a western saddle is used, a curb for any class must be a minimum of ½ inch wide. “When a curb bit is used, a curb strap or curb chain is required, but must meet the approval of the judge, be at least 1/2 inch in width and lie flat against the jaw of the horse. Curb chains cannot be tied to the bit with string or cord.”1 Curbs made of wire are not permitted. Leather curb straps that do not lie flat (braided leather or rawhide) are prohibited on curb bits.
In NRCHA bridle classes chin straps http://bit.ly/CurbStraps must also be a minimum of ½ inch in width and must be made of leather. “No wire, chain or other metal or rawhide device may be used in conjunction with the bit or a part of the leather chin strap. Leather chin strap must be flat, flexible and at least 1/2 inch wide. No metal rivets are allowed to come in contact with the chin, or chin groove of the horse. Metal keepers are not acceptable on the chin strap.”2
Horses ridden in AQHA western performance classes with a snaffle bit may be ridden with a leather curb (optional) attached below the reins. Braided leather curbs are acceptable on snaffles. Horses ridden in NRCHA classes with a snaffle bit may use curb straps made of leather or any other woven material of any width. “No iron, chain or other material may be used. Chin strap is allowed to include metal buckles and/or keepers on snaffle bits only.”3
In NCHA competitions horses may be ridden in leather or chain curb straps. The chain is not required to lie flat so dog chain curbs are acceptable. Curb straps made of chain may be attached with leather straps or with cord or string attachments.
Dennis Moreland Tack has handmade curb straps available for every western discipline. The selection includes 5/8 inch and ½ inch leather curbs, bled (braided) curbs, curbs with flat chains and dog chains and beautiful curbs accented with hand braided rawhide. See the variety of curbs here: http://bit.ly/CurbStraps or call 817-312-5305 for more information.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
1. AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations, 2017, 16th edition. Rule SHW305.8, p 108.
2. 2017 Rule Book, Official Handbook of the NRCHA. Effective 11/16/2016, Rule 5.3, pgs. 27-28.
3. 2017 Rule Book, Official Handbook of the NRCHA. Effective 11/16/2016, Rule 5.6, pgs. 28-29.


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Don’t Break A Leg! Halter and Lead Safety Tips
We’ve all saddled a horse while it’s tied to the inside of an arena or to a fence or trailer. But have you ever seen halters hanging from the inside of an arena, still tied to the wall, while riders are working their horses in the same arena? Have you ever seen halters and leads in a pile on the ground with people walking or riding around them? These practices can lead to serious accidents. Putting halters and leads outside the arena (or any area where you’re riding) is extremely easy to do and could keep you, your friends and your horses from having an accident.
“Years ago I was at a cutting with my horses and a good friend of mine was asked by the next contestant to turn back for him.” A turn back rider helps a contestant manage the cattle during his or her run. “My friend bridled his horse but didn’t untie the halter from the arena wall. As he turned and started to lope away the toe of his boot went through his halter that was still tied to the fence. In an instant it turned his leg backward and broke it.” When not in use halters should never be left tied to anything that riders and/or horses can come in contact with.
When halters and leads are left on the ground it also sets up the potential for accidents. You or someone you’re riding with could step on them, get tangled up and trip. You may even fall into or under your horse. Your horse could step on you as you’re getting untangled from the mess. It may seem unlikely but a lot of horse accidents are the result of something that seemed relatively unlikely to occur. If you’re riding while halters are piled on the ground your horse could get tangled up in them. Anything could happen at that point but it could result in a loose frightened horse or an injury to you and your horse.
It’s always best to untie your horse before bridling. Lead your horse a short distance away from whatever you have it tied to. That way, if he spooks while you’re bridling him you have a better chance to get out of the way. Drape the lead rope over your left arm so it’s not touching the ground. Don’t wrap it around your arm or hand. Unbuckle or untie the halter, slide it off his nose and re-buckle it on his neck just behind his ears so you’ll still have control of your horse as you bridle.
It’s always best to keep your halter and lead outside of any area where you’ll be riding. Keep them on a hook in the barn, inside the tack compartment of the trailer, or in a safe place outside the arena. Set yourself up to stay safe and help keep your friends, family and horses safe!
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you. Visit www.dmtack.com or call 817-312-5305 for your tack needs.

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The Beautifully Simple Slot Ear Headstall
Would you like a headstall that’s extremely comfortable for your horse and simple to use? How about one that was designed by one of the best horseman that ever lived? Watch while NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and earner of over 1.4 million dollars Matt Budge of Budge Performance Horses tells us why he uses the Dennis Moreland Tack Doubled and Stitched Slot Ear Headstall http://bit.ly/1nxhWlY on all his horses. This headstall was designed by legendary trainer and many times NCHA & AQHA World Champion Matlock Rose.
Rose wanted a headstall that would never come close to having a buckle slide into or bump the edge of a horse’s eye. With that in mind he designed this headstall with a short cheek piece. With this design the buckle is placed lower on the cheek than it is on an average headstall. This makes certain the buckle is away from the eye regardless of the horse’s head size. This is especially critical in our hard stopping and quick turning performance horses. The g-force of these big maneuvers pulls a headstall forward as the horse stops.
Another nice feature on this headstall is the slot ear. It is sized just right to fit both small and large horses. This is such an easy headstall to slip on a horse, it’s perfect whether you ride one horse or make your living riding horses.
This headstall is made of 5/8 inch race track harness leather lined with oil-tanned lining leather. Race track harness is very dense, fine grained leather which makes it strong but flexible. This is the best leather I can buy and the quality speaks volumes. The lining leather is slightly softer and feels good against your horse’s face. It also resists sweat.
When Matlock gave me this pattern in 1977 he said “you need this, it fits, and I ride it on every horse I ride.” I still make the same great selling headstall today, 40 years later; it’s the Doubled and Stitched Slot Ear Headstall #HS31. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1nxhWlY. If you have any questions give me a call at 817-312-5305.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!


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O Rings, Eggbutts, Offset Ds: which 1 Is Right For Me? A Look at Snaffle Types

A snaffle bit is defined as a bit that works without leverage. It is most commonly made with a jointed (or broken) mouthpiece. Three common types of snaffles http://bit.ly/snaffles used in western training are the D Ring (A), the Eggbutt (B) and the O Ring (C). It’s easy to think all 3 of these snaffles work in the same way if they have the same mouthpiece but when we break it down they actually have very different actions. If we take a closer look we can see where each one might help a colt learn to respond to the pull better than another as training progresses.
A snaffle is made of rings where the headstall and reins are attached and a jointed (and occasionally an unjointed) mouthpiece. There are a wide variety of jointed mouthpieces available in snaffles but there are only 3 main types of rings used in western training: the D Ring (including the Offset D) http://bit.ly/2mGc9wT, the Eggbutt http://bit.ly/2ioTdPj and the O Ring http://bit.ly/2mrcnrp.
In general the snaffle mouthpiece applies pressure to 3 areas in the mouth: the tongue, the bars (area of the mouth between the molars and incisors) and the palate. The rings on each type of snaffle apply pressure to the sides of the lips and face. Each type of ring applies pressure over a smaller or larger area on the sides of the face and consequently to a different degree than the others.
The Offset D Ring snaffle (labeled A in the photos) has rings that do not rotate like the O ring snaffle, they are fixed in place. They are a good choice when initially starting a colt because as the rein is pulled the D ring on the opposite side of the pull applies pressure to the sides of the lips and face. This helps the horse learn he needs to respond to the pressure. In the close up of the inside of this Offset D (lower photo A) you can see the entire side of the D Ring will touch the side of the horse’s face. Since this is an Offset D (the rounded part of the D ring is set off to the side of the straight bar that the mouthpiece is connected to) the straight bar will come in contact first.
The snaffle in the photo labeled B is an Eggbutt. This is also a fixed ring snaffle and the rings works similarly to the Offset D. While looking at the close up (lower photo B) you can see the egg shaped ring has a larger diameter where the mouthpiece is attached. This area applies pressure to the sides of the lips, like the Offset D, but the area of pressure is smaller. Like the Offset D Ring the Eggbutt is a good snaffle to start a colt in so it can learn to respond more easily to the direct rein pull.
The O Ring snaffle is shown in the photos labeled C. These rings rotate around the mouthpiece. This type of snaffle covers the least area on the sides of the lips when a direct rein pull is made. Many colts are started and trained exceptionally well in an O Ring snaffle, it is the most common type snaffle in western disciplines, but it doesn’t apply pressure to as large an area on the sides of the lips as the D Ring or Eggbutt. The rotation of the rings can be useful in many horses to help increase salivation and acceptance of the bit. This is a good choice to continue training in once a horse is comfortable with responding to pressure.
Dennis Moreland Tack hand makes Offset D Ring Snaffles, Eggbutt Snaffles and O Ring Snaffles with a variety of mouthpieces, all by hand. There are a nice variety of mouthpieces available, most with inlaid copper to promote salivation. Click here http://bit.ly/snaffles to take a look at our snaffles or call 817-312-5305 for more information.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!



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The Secret to Using a Chuck Frazier Sidepull
The 2017 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Champion Luke Jones, of Luke Jones Performance Horses, uses the Chuck Frazier Sidepull http://bit.ly/2lKJ7fg in all aspects of his cow horse training program. The Chuck Frazier is similar to other sidepulls, like those we start our colts in. But in addition to the noseband it’s designed with shanks, a curb and a bit hobble. This makes it an extremely useful piece of equipment to gently teach our horses to turn and stop or to improve the turns and stops in our advanced horses. Follow along on the video as Luke shows us how the Chuck Frazier fits and functions on a horse.
When a direct rein pull is made the shank on the opposite side of the horse’s face puts slight pressure on that side of the face. This helps the horse learn to bring its head through the turn along with its nose.
The shanks are attached to each other with a bit hobble to keep the shanks moving together as a unit. A bit hobble prevents the cheek piece rings of the shanks from turning or digging into the side of the horse’s face. It will also prevent the curb strap from tightening inappropriately when a direct rein pull is made. Because the shanks move together as a unit it makes neck reining more black and white.
When both reins of the Chuck Frazier are pulled the noseband puts pressure on the horse’s nose. At the same time the shanks are rotating which causes the crown piece of the headstall to apply pressure on the poll behind the ears and the curb to tighten on the chin. The horse gets relief from the pressure on the nose, poll and chin the moment it starts to slow down to stop or to collect. Relief from pressure is what rewards the horse for giving the correct response to a cue. The quicker and smoother the relief comes, the quicker and easier it is for a horse to learn to give the proper response.
The design of the Chuck Frazier Sidepull makes it an exceptional tool to use when you’d like to train a horse without putting a bit in its mouth. It gives you the opportunity to teach lateral flexion and stops without scaring or worrying your horse. It’s useful in any discipline including cow horse, barrel racing, cutting and reining.
The Chuck Frazier Sidepull is handmade at Dennis Moreland Tack and is available with your choice of reins. To get more information on the Chuck Frazier Sidepull click: http://bit.ly/2lKJ7fg or call 817-312-5305.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!





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What You Need to Know About the Mecate with Dennis Moreland Tack

A mecate http://bit.ly/mecates is a rein made of a single piece of rope, usually twisted horse hair or nylon. It is used on hackamores (bosals) and snaffles and is attached in a specific manner to each. The knot used to attach the mecate to a hackamore is also used to adjust the size of the hackamore noseband by taking more or less wraps of the mecate around the base of the noseband just in front of the heel knot. Mecates are attached to snaffle bits with slobber straps http://bit.ly/slobberstraps.

Once attached properly to either a hackamore or a snaffle the mecate has both a looped rein and a length used as a lead rope. The rider uses 2 hands to direct rein the horse with the looped rein. When a rider is mounted, the lead is coiled and attached to the saddle or run through a belt loop. When the rider dismounts, the lead is used to lead but not tie the horse.

Mecates are made in 16, 22 and 24 foot lengths in diameters ranging from 3/8 to 5/8 inch. The diameter used is determined by the stage of training and size of hackamore http://bit.ly/bosals being used. The larger diameters are used on green horses and smaller diameters on more advanced horses. The 3/8 inch mecate is generally used only with the bosalita in the 2 rein outfit.

Quality horse hair mecates are made with mane hair only and not with tail hair of either horses or cattle because it is too stiff. The mane hair stays soft and pliable and lies close to the neck of the horse without the prickly feel of tail hair. Nylon mecates also stay soft and pliable and are especially good on sensitive horses. Both types hang gracefully from the rider’s hands and feel good in the hands.

Mecate use in the North American west was introduced by the Spanish vaqueros in the late 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. The Spanish vaqueros taught the early Californians their training techniques including the use of the mecate.
Dennis Moreland Tack produces both mane hair and nylon mecates in various sizes. Check out our mecates here: http://bit.ly/mecates or call 817-312-5305 for information.

We’re a full-line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!


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How to Shorten Your Split Reins in the (Cutting) Herd
If you ride a cutter you may already be using this technique to shorten your reins in the herd. If you watch cutting events you’ve seen riders clutch their reins in one hand as they’re separating the cow they want to cut. Do you wonder what they’re doing with their hand? In this video Matt Budge of Matt Budge Performance Horses shows us how to shorten and lengthen our reins http://bit.ly/2reins instantly with only one hand.
“When you’re coming up through the herd to make your cut you may want to help your horse out just a little by shortening your reins” says Matt. “To do this open the last 3 fingers of your rein hand. Rotate your wrist up and loop those fingers around the part of the rein that’s in front of your first finger” he says. You’ll automatically wrap those fingers around the rein ends that are coming out of the back of your hand as you close your hand. “When it’s time to let that length back out just open those 3 fingers and release that part of the rein” Matt says.
By using this technique you avoid having to walk or slide your hand up and down the reins. If you’re riding in a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) class you will still satisfy NCHA Judging Rule 3 (riding with a loose rein throughout a performance is a requirement and will be recognized)* if you had appropriate length in your reins to start with. This takes some practice but can be a nice way to manage your reins with just one hand.
If you use split reins this can work for you regardless of what discipline you’re training for. Be sure to check the rules before using this technique while showing however as this may be against the rules in some associations or show events.
Every pair of reins at Dennis Moreland Tack is made by hand. I personally choose each hide I use so you will have the best pair of reins you’ve ever had. There are no gray signals with my reins. In the 1970s NCHA World Champion Curly Tully described my reins this way: “if you want a horse with feel you have to have a rein with feel”. I guarantee my reins have feel. Click here to check out my reins: http://bit.ly/2reins or call me at 817-312-5305. I’ll help you get just the reins you need.
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you.
*Official Handbook National Cutting Horse Association’s Rules and Regulations 2016
 
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