How to Make an Unbreakable Leadrope

When a Horse Pulls Back...

We've all had horses that pull back. There are a couple different reasons why they do this. For example, I've had horses that did this just because the first time I tied them the rope breaks and they're loose. So in turn this formed a habit. Or they could just simply feel trapped and in turn see the restriction as a threat. These horses are best dealt with by means of some simple training techniques which I will not discuss at this time. However for the horse that has developed a habit you can buy an unbreakable leadrope or I have a simple method of making one out of an old lariat rope that not only feels and handles well (but also with the different colored lariats now days,) looks good too!

Figures A, B, and C showing how to start the Diamond Stitch. This is the type of braid that I use for the leadrope.
Figures A, B, and C showing how to start the Diamond Stitch. This is the type of braid that I use for the leadrope.
Figures D and E show how to continue the Diamond Stitch. Figure F shows a spiral stitch. This method can be used however it is not quite round, and the Diamond Stitch has a nicer pattern.
Figures D and E show how to continue the Diamond Stitch. Figure F shows a spiral stitch. This method can be used however it is not quite round, and the Diamond Stitch has a nicer pattern.
Shows the four strand round braid as its being applied to the new leadrope.
Shows the four strand round braid as its being applied to the new leadrope.
Loop end being started.
Loop end being started.
Loop end after braiding the eight strands together in a round braid.
Loop end after braiding the eight strands together in a round braid.
Finished leadrope.
Finished leadrope.
Shows how to attach your snap to the leadrope. And how easy it is to replace a broken snap.
Shows how to attach your snap to the leadrope. And how easy it is to replace a broken snap.
Leadrope with snap. Complete and 12 feet long.
Leadrope with snap. Complete and 12 feet long.

Start Making Your Unbreakable Rope

The first thing you've got to do is find an old lariat. Some farm and ranch, or tack shops sell used lariats at a reasonable price. And some of us have them on hand using them for various other tasks that require some kind of rope. Now once you have a used rope it's time to unravel it. I start by cutting the hon-do and the knot end off. Then all you have to do is start undoing the twist. You will need to unravel the entire lariat. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it's not hard and you can do it while sitting in your chair watching TV if you want. And it doesn't take very long either once you get the feel for it. I can unravel one in about 30 minutes.

Once you have the lariat unraveled you should have three single ropes. Some lariats are twisted with four, which is better because you need four ropes to braid into the lead-rope. But if your lariat only has three then you will need to use one of the three ropes you will have left after you cut the length that you want. I like to make and use a twelve foot lead-rope. Cut your unraveled ropes about three feet longer than you want your lead-rope to be. The reason for the extra length is 1) you can always cut off any unused portion, and 2) the braiding of the rope will take a littleĀ more length than what you require for your lead-rope. Two thirty foot lariat ropes will make three twelve foot lead-ropes.

Now it's time to braid. Take the one end of all four strands and even them up. Measure about seven to eight inches from the ends and start your braid there. Hold the strands flat in your fingers and start braiding them according to figures A, B, C, and D. Once this is done You will need to braid the short ropes with the long ones. Fold the braided portion over in half allowing your short unbraided strands to dangle with the longer strands yet to be braided. Now you wil braid the short strands with the long ones according to Figures A, B, C, D and E by coupling one short with a long. Continue this method until you have run out of short strands. At this point you should have a round braided loop at the end. Once the short strands run out all you have to do is finish braiding the remaining portion according to the same pattern in figures A, B, C, D and E until you run out of strands. Then simply tie a knot in the end.

To finish the rope, just take a cigarette lighter and melt all of the little strands and threads that didn't get braided into the rope. Also melt the ends of your short strands at the loop end of the lead-rope. Now for the snap you can use any type that you prefer, I favor a bull snap. Just stick the loop end through the eye of the snap and pull the snap through the loop. Now you have an unbreakable lead-rope that allows you to change snaps easily once they break or wear out.

Comments 6 comments

westernride profile image

westernride 6 years ago from SW Colorado

Hey, good idea,we have a just now 4 yr old stallion we got in Nov. that is gentle,but was never taught how to tie and stand and learn patience.So... we have gone thru countless halters and lead ropes!! He doesn't pull back hard,he is just 1300 pounds of body in a colt mentality.We will try this.thanks


Overmeno profile image

Overmeno 6 years ago Author

Your very welcome. I'm glad that you liked the idea. I have used this method and rope for nearly 15 years and it has served me well. Once he realizes he can't break free, he should stop trying to break free. Thanks for your comment.


larry 6 years ago

ur an idiot


usmc-cowboy 5 years ago

using an unbreakable rope can backfire i think, you're trying to overpower the horse, not outsmart them. and that's not always good because at the end of the day that horse is much stronger than we will ever be.

my favorite are some stout bungees with bull snaps, cross tie the horse and let em pull back and try to run off all they want and they'll just tire out as the tension wears them down.


Kandra 5 years ago

Is there a quicker way to unravel the rope than by hand?


Laycee 4 years ago

i have a mare that is 6. she has flat withers and breaks lots of leadropes. when she goes back she rises on her back feet and twist her head. she has even flipped over a couple of times. we have had to get her adjusted before what can i do?

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