How to Braid a Cotton Lead

Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Lead ropes are a necessity of horse ownership. You can get one from any horse supply store, or you can make your own by braiding cotton rope together. You use the lead rope by attaching it to the metal loop on the bottom of your horse's halter and leading him where you want him to go. You also use a lead rope to tie your horse to a hitching post. Knowing how to braid your lead rope can come in handy in the event that you want a specific color or length of lead rope.

Step 1

Unravel 10 inches of the rope -- separating the strands -- from one end of your 10-foot length of three-strand cotton rope so you have three individual 10-inch strands. These will become the leading end of your lead rope. Tape of the ends of each of the three strands to prevent them from fraying.

Step 2

Tie a crown knot. Start by holding the lead rope, directly beneath the unraveled section. Wrap one strand over the top of the section on its right. Wrap the second section of rope over both the first section and third section. Tuck the tail of the third section over the second strand and through the loop that the first section has formed. Apply pressure to the ends of each section and pull the knot tight. You have tied a crown knot.

Step 3

Create a back braid by braiding the tails of your sections back through the rope that is beneath your knot. Pull one strand of your rope over the first underlying strand of the rope and then over the next section of the rope. Pull the tail of that section completely through the strand of rope you have unraveled. Repeat the process with both the second and the third sections of rope. Keep repeating this process until you have formed a braid and completely rebraided the entire section you have unraveled. This forms the bottom section of your lead rope. Tighten the braid by pulling the ends as tightly as possible and then trimming the ends off of the rope.

Step 4

Attach the snap to the opposite end of your lead rope by unraveling the end where you want your snap to be (not the part you started braiding on in step 1). Unbraid the three sections of rope and slide your snap onto two of your sections of rope. Put the remaining section of rope through the eye on the snap facing the opposite direction of the first two sections. Tighten all the strands. Take two of the sections and move one of them to the right and tuck it under the second section. Take the second section to the right and tuck it underneath the third section. Continue braiding these sections in this manner until your snap feels secure and you have completely rebraided the section of rope you unraveled. Trim off loose ends.

Items you will need

  • 10 feet of three-strand cotton rope
  • Tape
  • Snap

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images


    Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.