KBR Horse Training Information

Exercising Body AND Mind

A Proper Horse Handling Rope

Having the proper tools make horse handling and training easy. One of the most fundamental "tools of the trade" is the horse handling rope, or lead rope. We prefer to use the term "horse handling rope" since we do a heck of a lot more than just lead the horse around with it.

We use 12 foot kernmantle braid marine grade rope. The 12 foot length allows us to longe or work the horse with the same rope that we lead and tie with. This is most important in "learn-learn" training situations as the handler has less than three seconds from the time the horse "backs out" from his primary task and has to be engaged in his secondary learning. (See "Learn-Learn" Training.)

The marine grade rope has a good weight and feel to it, it won't break, resists abrasion, doesn't tend to twist, stays supple, is less likely to "burn" than some other kinds of rope, can be thrown in the washer for cleaning and seems to last forever.

These ropes can be purchased ready made from vendors of "natural horseman" supplies, or they can be easily made.

Kernmantle braid rope has two parts, an inner core and an outer sheath. To install a bull snap at one end, cut the inside core back about 3 inches. Pass the sheath through the bull snap and then with a screwdriver, pry open a slot in the sheath of the rope below the bull snap. With another screwdriver, press the end sheath as far as you can into the slot. You can then secure your splice with an awl and some thin simulated rawhide thread.

At the other end, cut about 2 inches of the core and fold the sheath back into itself. Then take a short piece of saddle lace, punch it through the sheath, then weave the lace through itself. This not only neatens up the end of the rope, but makes a nice "popper" where you can twirl the rope and touch the horse with the softer leather, and if he still comes in on you, then he will feel the impact of the heavier rope. (The popper makes a nice, more gentle warning that most horses will learn to heed.)

Another variation of the horse handling rope is one which has a small loop backspliced into the end rather than a bull snap. The rope end can be passed through the throat-eye of the halter and then through the rope's end-loop to form a lark's foot. This setup is virtually impossible to break.

Continue to:

Safe Horse Tying

Longe Line Logic

Return to Part One

Press "Back" to return to the page that brought you here

Go to Case Study Section

Return to Training Section

Return to Wild Horse Mentors

Return to KBR World of Wild Horses and Burros

Go To KBR Horse Net

KBR Horse Training Information, 1997 Lamm's Kickin' Back Ranch and Willis & Sharon Lamm. All rights reserved. Duplication of any of this material for commercial use is prohibited without express written permission. This prohibition is not intended to extend to personal non-commercial use, including sharing with others for safety and learning purposes, provided this copyright notice is attached.
Email us to submit comments or request reproduction permission.