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!
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 little 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.