Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How To: Tie a rope halter

This is a bit of an odd one, but after spending a long night figuring this out, I figured I'd share my new found knowledge.  Mostly in the form of links to things I found that actually helped.

How to tie your very own rope halter!

What you'll need:

About 25 feet of polyester or nylon diamond braid rope, 1/4", preferably in pretty colors.  You can get this at any hardware store or on Amazon for cheap.
A ruler
A lighter
Beer, wine, or other booze of your choice.

Step one:

Pour your drink and clear out a space on the floor or at a table.  Flat space is critical for tricky knots.

Step two:

Pick the size of the halter you want so you know the dimensions.  Or measure a halter that's already fit to your horse.  Most of the online directions assume you're working with a 15.2 QH, so you might need to make some modifications.

Step three:

Start using these directions.  If you want a four knot halter, which has two extra knots on the nose to get your precious pony's attention, just add in two more double overhand knots between the knots in the first part of the instructions.  Just make sure the total noseband length is correct for your size when you're done.

When you get to the fiador knot part, the knot that goes under your horse's chin, pour another drink and watch this video.

Don't try to do it off of the photos in the directions.  You will hate your life.  I pulled it off by having that video running and hitting pause frequently to make sure my knot looked like his.  Got it on the first try when I followed every move he made.  Failed three times trying to use pictures.

Then go back to the directions in the link and finish up your halter, using the dimensions you picked for your horse.

Step four:

Realize there's a reason people pay for these things and go shopping on Amazon.

Though in all honesty, I successfully completed my halter in two hours and that includes the time I spent completely taking it apart and starting over due to making it the wrong size.  And deciding I wanted four knots instead of two on the noseband.  After all of my restarts, I ended up tying that fiador knot about three times and it does get easier with repetition.

Behold, my rope halter!

And my kitchen tiles that are scheduled to be replaced, hello, 70's!

For those that are all about the matchy match part of riding, it is possible to create a matching lead rope.  I created this using a four strand round braid (hit Google, it's a common braid).  I started with two 24 foot strands of rope (doubled over to make four strands) and ended with about an 8 foot lead.

Check out the open stairs, I have the most 70's house ever

Don't do it.  Don't do it!  My hands were cramping so badly by the end and trying to manage twelve feet of rope while doing a square braid?  UGH.  It looks pretty, but I can't imagine trying to create the 14 foot training ropes I see attached to rope halters.  Do yourself a favor and buy a plain back rope.  This one is the length I needed to attach for use as a side pull or for non-lunging ground work.  Good enough for me!  Because ugh.  Still thinking about undoing it and just braiding it since it came out a bit thick.  Might need something stronger than beer to tackle that project again.

Mostly this was an arts and crafts project to keep me occupied and out of trouble on a boring winter night.  The rope was the kind the hubby uses to tie down stuff on his trailer, so he had fifty feet just sitting around unused.  You can buy fifty feet in a pretty color for $15, so it's technically cheaper than buying a pre-made halter.  But it's such a small savings, you'll probably want to just go out and buy one.

Though I do love the black and pink on Theo.


  1. Ha this is awesome! (Says the girl who totally just bought a halter / lead set for $50 from the local horsemanship guru.... Tho it's the same pattern as yours except with blue instead of pink and I luffs it. Next time I'll go for the DIY tho...maybe. Lol)

  2. Two hours!? Woman you've got some patience in you. It looks goooood though