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How to Make a Rope Halter

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 or 3/8 inch rope, double braided nylon or polyester rope

  • Sharp knife or single edge razor

  • Lighter

  • Overhand knot tying knowledge

  • Double overhand knot tying knowledge

How to Make a Rope Halter. Rope halters are strong, easy to make and economical. They are soft and comfortable and encourage responsive behavior and learning. Halter training a horse is more effective when using a rope halter because it is more flexible. When the trainer applies pressure to the halter, the rope knots apply the pressure to points on the horse's head. Here is how to make a rope halter.

Select the type of rope you will need based on amount needed, strength, comfort and desired stiffness or flexibility. Keep in mind that the tension strength needs to be at least 2,000 pounds square inch to be effective.

Determine the halter size based on the size of your horse. Measure around the horse's nose just below the cheekbone using a cloth measuring tape or a regular string that you can place on a metal tape measure. Do not use a metal tape measure directly on the horse.

Select the size of rope needed based on the measurements. Twenty inches around the nose needs 18 feet of rope. A 22 inch measurement requires 20 feet. Twenty-four inches require 22 feet. A nose measurement of approximately 24 inches requires 24 feet and horses that measure 28 inches around the nose require 26 to 28 feet of rope.

Melt the ends of the rope using a lighter. This prevents the rope from unraveling.

Take one side of the rope and make your first overhand knot which will be the Right Ear knot. For small horses, this is about 28 inches away from the end of the rope. For medium horses, it is approximately 30 inches. Large horses need about 32 inches. Extra large horses require about 34 inches and extremely large horses require about 36 inches.

Create another overhand knot after the Right Ear knot. This one is the Right Nose knot. From small to extremely large, the measurements from the Right Ear knot to the Right Nose knots should be approximately 7, 8, 9, 10 and 16 inches.

Tie another overhand knot to create Left Nose knot after the Right Nose knot. The measurements between these two knots for small to extremely large horses are approximately 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 inches.

Measure the appropriate distance for the next overhand knot to create the Throat Latch knot. From small to the extremely large horses, the measurement is approximately 29, 31, 33, 35 and 37 inches.

Create the Tie Loop next by first measuring the appropriate distance from the Throat Latch knot (8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 inches based on height of the horse). Hold the rope in a loop. Make an overhand knot so that there is about a 4 inch loop.

Take the unknotted side of rope from this step forward to tie the halter. Working from the Tie Loop, tie into the Left Nose knot. Make sure that the measurement between the Tie Loop and the Left Nose knot is approximately 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 inches based on the horse's size. Tie a double overhand knot to secure it in place.

Measure the appropriate distance between the Left Nose knot and Right Nose knot and tie into the Right Nose knot. The measurements, based on the horse height, are 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 inches.

Attach the Throat Latch to the Right Nose knot by using another double overhand knot. The distance should match the distance between the Throat Latch and Left Nose knot.

Tie into the Right Ear knot from the Throat Latch keeping in mind that the measurement between knots, based on the size of the horse, is 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 inches)

Create a loop for the lead to attach to by creating a loop in the rope sections that attach the Throat Latch knot to the Right and Left Nose knots. Hold the rope sections together and tie an overhand knot on the bottom so there are two loops either 4 or 5 inches in length.

Trim off any excess rope and melt the new rope ends.

Adjust the halter to your individual horse.