Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata

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Red Cotton Lanyard with Horse print Horses-store.com Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata

Rev 8/08 It seems to have been invented by the hispanic vaquero; and the vaquero used it both while mounted on a horse, and on foot.

The mounted Mexican vaquero would secure the reata after catching an animal with it by wrapping it around a projection on the front of his saddle.

This was termed da la vuelta, or just cia Ie, which means to give it turns.

This Spanish term led to the American cowboy term of dally roping still used today.

The vaquero on foot would secure the reata after a catch by holding it around his hip and leaning into it, or wrapping it around a post or tree.

The reata enabled the vaquero to handle cattle and horses running over large expanses of unfenced land.

And, this led to the development of the cattle ranching industry which was so important in the history of California, and the development of the culture and economy of the American West.

The reata was primarily a livestock working tool, but it found use as a weapon as well against livestock predators, and in war.

The pre-Gold Rush California ranchers had a market only for hides and tallow, so the rest of the slaughtered cattle was left for scavenging animals.

This was great for bears, and bears being bears, they were not above taking a swipe at a live cow now and then, especially after having dined on dead cows for a while.

This did not put bears in good standing with the vaqueros, and the bears began meeting their end by means of a reata around the neck.

The vaqueros found that roping bear was enormously fun, and it became a major Californio pastime.

The Californios would graciously invite the· new settlers to join them in the sport of bear roping, but it seems that the newcomers mostly declined, apparently finding that discretion was the better part of valor.

During the Mexican-American war some American troops had the unhappy experience of doing battle with mounted Mexican Californios armed with lances and reatas.

In the end, the Americans did learn from the Mexicans, and the lariat became as much a trademark of the American cowboy as the reata was for the Mexican vaquero.

HOW A REATA IS MADE Step 1: A fresh cowhide, preferably from a thin animal, is staked out on the ground.

It is allowed to dry until it becomes slightly firm, and can be easily cut.

Step 2: A continuous strip, approximately 3/4″ wide, is cut from the hide, beginning at the center.

Step 3: The strip is stretched out between two trees, or posts, and the hair is shaved off with a knife. Vacquero Page 7 of 9 Rev 8/08 Step 4: The strip is cut into 1/4″ wide thongs.

This may be done by running the strip between a nail and a sharp knife stuck in a piece of wood 1/4″ apart.

Step 5: The thongs are softened slightly by running them between three nails set in a block of wood.

Step 6: The thongs may be skived down to an even thickness.

This may be done with a blade set into a block of wood.

Step 7: The hair side edges of the thongs are shaved off This may be done with a sharp knife set at all angle in a block of wood.

Step 8: The thongs are tied up into four balls.

This may be done by tying the thongs in half hitches over short sticks.

Step 9: The thongs are coated with tallow, soap, or cactus juice as they are braided in four strands over a core consisting of a 1/8″ wide rawhide string.

Each plait of the braid is forcefully pulled tight.

Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata.

Step 11: The new reata is stretched out between two trees or posts, and it is twisted through a forked stick which is run up and down its length to soften and even out its texture.

It is left stretched out until completely dry. Note: The biggest secret to braiding rawhide is probably working it at the right texture or firmness.

This is done by adjusting its moisture content.

It should not be too wet.

Putting it in a dampened burlap bag works well for achieving the right moisture content. Vacquero Page 8 of 9 Rev 8/08 Vacquero Page 9 of 9 Rev 8/08

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    Horses-Store.com - Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata
    Horses-Store.com and  Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata
    Horses-Store.com - Step 10: A honda, or eye, is attached or tied at one end of the reata