A rope halter is an invaluable training aid. Customize for any size horse, baby to full grown. With this easy step by step guide never buy a rope halter again and always have one on hand for emergencies.
The one with orange is a foal halter I made for our new little girl.
Step 1: Select Rope
I prefer softer rope as it is easier to work. You will want to start with 25 feet. There will be extra once tied (don't worry, I will show you how to use the left over too).
You will also need a few feet of 550 cord for whipping, a lighter and a sharp cutting device (scissors or knife).
A marlin spike is also useful but a phillips head works nicely as well. Oh, almost forgot, a tape measure and ruler will come in handy too.
Step 2: Cut and Seal
Cut 25 feet of rope and seal ends with a flame. Use caution when sealing the ends. Melted rope is like napalm!
Step 3: Find Center
Double the rope so that the ends are even. Hang onto the loop, that's the center. Mark it with a piece of tape or string if you wish.
Step 4: Nose Loop
Loosely tie 2 double over hand knots about 8 inches apart on center. Do not over tighten.
Step 5: The Fiador Knot (don't Run Away)
This took me two days to learn. I found these pictures (the blue rope) on Wikipedia, best example I found anywhere of the fiador.
It might be easier to learn this knot on 550 cord of a shorter length. That's what I did.
Start the fiador 7 to 8 inches down from the double over hand knots.
When the fiador is done you should have the nose loop with two double over hands and below, two loops of 3 inches or so.
Step 6: The Hard Part Is Over
With the nose loop and fiador tied it's down hill from here.
Measure about 6 inches from the fiador and tie an over hand knot with both ends. This knot will be under the horse's jaw.
Step 7: Left Cheek
Create a loop with another over hand, this time with only one of the working ends. I usually tie this on the left side of the halter. The loop should be about 9 inches from the jaw knot.
Feed the working end from the loop that was created through the knots on the nose loop left to right (hope you listened and waited to tighten them).
Step 8: Right Cheek
Pick up the other end coming out of the jaw knot and tie both ends together making sure everything is even.
When you are done, you should have two ends that can be evened up, cut, sealed and whipped together.
Step 9: Whipping
Create a bend in the 550 cord. Begin wrapping the cord from the ends of the halter rope back. Once you have finished wrapping, feed the end through the loop you created. Wrap the other end around your make shift marlin spike and pull the loop and remaining cord back into itself.
Step 10: Tips
Leave you knots loose at first. Put your new halter on your horse and adjust before tightening.
After adjusting, then whip the loose ends.
The measurements I used are for a quarter horse and are a good starting point.
Use one of your horse's halters for easy measuring (mine wouldn't stand still for my tape measure).
And last, use the scrap to make a short lead. Just double it over, slip it through the fiador loop and pass the ends through.