Rev. 03-28-13

KBR Horse Training Information

Exercising Body AND Mind

The Sliding Neck Loop

Important Note!

Some of these sequences were photographed decades ago before we participated in a helmet safety study. The results of the study were impressively conclusive. Since 1998 we always wear approved helmets when training and handling horses.

At some time you may need to gentle a horse which is injured or has very overgrown feet and it's just not an appropriate to send it out in the round pen. We can use the bamboo pole method and the clicker, but just how do we accomplish that close-in contact in a relatively short time when the horse continues to be evasive?

We can rope the horse, but that is often traumatic and sends the horse running; something we simply don't want to do. Also, sometimes it isn't so easy to undo the rope as we found out with Patience when the lariat hondo got hung up in her heavy, tangled mane.

To resolve this problem we've worked out a method which is a derivative of John Sharp's method which virtually anyone should be able to master. We call it the "Sliding Neck Loop" because the loop can be adjusted to various widths and it also can be immediately released by the handler.


You will need a 10 foot bamboo pole and a 50 ft. length of 3/8" soft kernmantle braid utility rope (available at WalMart or home improvement stores.) Be sure to get a good quality rope with a soft feel.

You will need to tie a 1" diameter eye on the end of the rope which can be done by doubling the rope, then tying an overhand knot in the doubled end of the rope.


You will need to work the horse with the bamboo pole and get him used to being touched by it. Some basic clicker training including targeting is really useful too.


Take a length of rope a couple of feet longer than the length of the pole and tie a clove hitch in it. A clove hitch is easy to make. Hold the rope in both hands, right hand palm up and left hand palm down, with the rope passing across both palms. Then close your fingers on the rope and rotate both hands to your left until the down palm is up and the up palm is down. You will have made two small loops. Pass one loop in front of the other in such a manner as the ends of the rope extend outward between the two loops. (The loops should be on the outside of the running lengths of rope.) Then slip the loops a couple of inches onto the end of the pole. When you pull the ends, your hitch should hold fast.

Next take the eye on the end of the rope and stick it on the end of the pole, just outside of the clove hitch. Take up the big loop which is now hanging from the pole with one hand and pass the pole over the horse, rubbing him.

As you rub, the eye will slip off the pole and hang down on the far side of the horse. The horse may move off at this. Don't worry about it. If you can't maintain contact with the horse, go back to some basic polling or clicker work, then reattempt the pole with the rope attached. You may have to work out a way to finesse this, but if you stay cool, the horse will stand still after a couple of tries.

Once the eye has dropped, rotate the pole a little as you rub in order to slip off the clove hitch. Once it drops, you will have enough rope on the far side of the horse that you can reach over with the pole, spear the eye and draw it back to you.

Once you have the eye, you want to double up the other length of the rope and pass it through the eye. Then pull on the loop you just passed through the eye and let the eye slide up to the horse's neck.

Now you will be holding three parallel pieces of rope. One piece ends up going to the extra rope you have in your pocket. The other two pieces form a loop which extends from and goes back to the horse. As you experiment with pulling on the various lengths of rope you will discover that what you really have is a Z-rig traction device which allows you to adjust the loop on the horse's neck from where you stand.

The first step is to get the
horse to stand quietly for the pole
Next form two loops in the
rope to form a clove hitch
Slip the clove hitch onto the pole
Then place the end eye
over the end of the pole
Rub the pole over the horse
Let the loop slip over the far side
Rotate the pole to slide off the
clove hitch and drop the rope
Pick up the eye with
the bamboo pole
Double up the rope and
pass it through the eye

Continue to Part Two

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.