Monday, October 24, 2011

More on Rope Halters

I received a comment from Miguel: "Oh, wow. Exactly what I need to know today. Just got my colt back [in his mind, he is still] and I now have two broken brass clips on the standard leads. He also slipped out of the flat nylon halter. He doesn't get out of the rope halter, more concentrated pressure on the poll? Have also read that you can get more control on the nose if you tie a couple of buttons there. Was hoping you would show us how to build the halter itself. I also like the rope halter because I know I can cut it in a hurry if there's a storm. Which we had during the first saddling. He went clear down, eyes back, stiff legged. But he lived through it and he's a much better horse now. Glad to be alive. Can you show us how to build the halter? I have done it twice, but still confused when I think about it."

Miguel, thanks for that comment. I have never had such a rank horse where a rope halter wasn't sufficient. I would be careful about having too much pressure or impact from a knot or button on the nose band as it could slip down and injure the cartilage of the nose.

I know I have seen halters with knots on the side of the nose band where that danger would be lessened. In fact, I think Clinton Anderson markets one.  In the picture above, I have braided rawhide over the nose band of a rope halter that I use that lunging a green broke or less than broke horse for the first time. And I used it on my Mustang who was fond of coming off the ground and pawing at me with his hooves. I seldom use it anymore, but it certainly has more bite than a rope halter. I don't think I would put anything hard, like buttons, on the nose band of a rope halter. How harsh you are with any equipment has a lot of do with it. 

I have never built a rope halter from a length of rope. It's much easier for me just to buy a professional halter, Double Diamond makes excellent rope halters.  Craig Cameron offers excellent rope halters also.  

I always carry about a 12 foot length of 3/8 inch cotton rope, with one eyelet braided into it, for use as a get down or lead rope when I need one when out in the desert or back country. I always have a lariat rope with me as well, and I can use that as an field expedient halter as well.   So I really don't have a need to be able to tie a rope halter.  Sorry partner, not only I cannot construct a rope halter, I don't think I'll even try. I can see myself all tied up in knots yelling for my wife to come and cut me free. Knowing her, she would take pictures of me before she cut me free.

I have seen Craig Cameron tie a halter from scratch on RFD Television. He has a Knot video out, called "What Knot to Do". I have not seen the video but have been meaning to buy one, so I don't know if he covers constructing a rope halter in this DVD, but I think it's worth a chance.

Here's a link to his Knot DVD.

1 comment:

  1. There are basic videos on youtube that demonstrate how to tie/make the rope halters. Personally, I use 1/4" soft double-braid polyester rope (the stiff rope is difficult to work with) for the halter, and 1/2" for the lead. I've found the polyester does not shrink as much (about 3% over time) or stretch as much, can be washed (I handwash) and hung to dry. Also, if you forget to wear to gloves and the horse pulls the rope through your hands (ouch) the burn is nowhere near as harsh. I've made these for friends, and also for trainers, so they have had heavy use, and held up very well. I've used my own (the first one I ever made) for 4 years.............................annev