Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Halter Lead Rope Tie Knot

I am a fan of the Rope Halter, as opposed to a webbing halter. Won't use anything else. I use Double Diamond rope halters exclusively and cut my own lead ropes from either kermantle or yacht braid rope to my desired length. My basic lead’s are around 14 to 15 feet long. I do not use any metal hardware on the lead line. I tied my lead ropes to the Double Diamond rope halters so I can untie them and re-tie a longer length, such as 20 or 25 foot length for lunging with a line in the round pen.

I recently had a friend whose big stout Quarterhorse pulled back hard while wearing a rope halter. The rope halter snapped at the cheek piece, but with the 1,200 lbs plus weight of the horse pulling back, the lead line knot to the rope halter became so tight it’ll have to be worked to save the lead rope for use on another halter.

So I showed him how to tie a lead line to the rope halter so it can be undone easily for switching lead lines, as well as a different knot to use when the rope halter is to be used on a horse that has a bad habit of pulling back.

These are the basic knots I use when tying a lead into a rope halter.

Normally, when tying on a yacht braid rope, I’ll run an extra turn around the halter base knot, so when pressure is put on the lead line, this knot will dress itself up and become tighter. This is a simple and easy knot to un-tie.

If I am using a stiff kermantle rope, from old rappeling or mountaineering ropes, I’ll tie a basic half a square knot, just looping the lead rope end into the halter loop, around the base knot, then back through other halter loop. The stiffness of the kermantle ropes really don’t let you tie anything else. The advantage here is that the knot is easy to un-tie to replace with a longer lead line.

If I am using a yacht braid or other soft rope as a lead line I use a Fisherman’s Knot which is a knot used to tie fishing line to flies and lures.  Which is simply two rounds turns of the lead rope through the halter loop, then back through the two round turns and dress up the lead rope.  

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