Picture of How to Make a 15' Lead Rope w/ Leather Popper
These, days, the tools required for breaking your yearling can also break your bank account! Instead of buying a $25+ training lead rope, make your own using an old longe line and some lightweight leather.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
-1 longe line (whatever material you prefer for a lead rope - i used a thick braided cotton line)
-measuring tape
-cutting board
-very sharp knife or heavy duty scissors
-matches and candle or lighter
-leather scraps
-x-acto knife
-leather hole punch
-crochet or yarn hook
-sewing machine (or your hands)
-leather needle
-high-quality thread

Step 2: Cutting and Sealing your Rope

Picture of Cutting and Sealing your Rope
First measure out 15' (or whatever length is desired) on your rope. Using a very sharp knife or scissors, carefully cut the rope at the proper length. Then, (again, carefully), seal the end of the rope using a lit candle or lighter. Sometimes tying off the end with a twist tie helps to make the seal closer together.

Step 3: Cutting out the Leather Strips

Picture of Cutting out the Leather Strips
first leather cutResized.JPG
1.5 leather cutResized.JPG
second leather cutResized.JPG
I happened to have some leather scraps in a closet in my house, but leather can be found at most fabric stores. I used a relatively thin, non-stretch leather. The stiffer the better, as this adds to the "pop" sound. Also, if real tanned leather is available, this is much better than man-made.

You can draw your design onto the leather, or do as I did and just cut it out using an X-ACTO knife and cutting board. The shape should be long and thin with the loose end coming to a point, doubling each strip for strength. I recommend cutting on the fold to save sewing time. *After playing around, I figured out that the best way to cut was draw the outline of one strip on either side of the fold, then laying it out flat to cut. Cutting through one layer at a time was easier and it was still possible to cut it on the fold.

Continue cutting out a total of four strips. Remember, these don't have to be pretty! No one's going to know if your edges aren't straight unless you tell them.
whiteoakart5 years ago
Heya, that's a nice Instructable.  I just had all of my expensive Parelli equipment stolen: 1 12' lead line, a rope halter attached another 12' lead line, and a hackamore. Arghh.

Now, I have been thinking of making replacements from some quality marine line.  I will use your guide here to create my poppers.

Have you ever made a rope halter?
e.williamson7 (author)  whiteoakart5 years ago
Oh wow, that's too bad.  One adjustment I would make would be to make the poppers a little longer, and if you can get thicker leather than what you see here, it would work better.

I've never made a rope halter, but I've seen someone do it and I'd really like to try.....hmm..I'll have to work on that!