How to Rig a Harness Out of Rope

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A harness is an imperative tool in the art of horse training. A controlled horse is safer and more content. Commercial harnesses are available at farm supply stores and retailers of horse-related products, but they can put a serious dent in your "horse wares," budget. Creating a harness from rope is not only economical, but can provide you with a control implement if you find yourself needing a harness when one isn't available.

Step 1

Using the measuring tape, measure your horse's face from the corner of one side of his mouth, over his poll, to the other corner of his mouth. Measure his face from the corner of his mouth, up the side of his face, to his ear. Make note of these measurements.

Step 2

Fold rope in half. Tie off a 2-inch loop with an overhand knot. This is known as the "tie loop."

Step 3

From the knot of the tie loop, measure out 10 inches, and tie a simple knot, which will be the "throat latch knot." Assume for this example your measurement over poll is 10 inches.

Step 4

Thirty-three inches from the throat latch knot, tie off a simple knot, which will become the "left nose knot."

Step 5

Ten inches from the left nose knot, tie off a simple knot for the "right nose knot."

Step 6

Measure out 9 inches and tie a "right ear knot." Assume for this example your measurements from step 1, from the right side of the horse's mouth to the right ear, are 9 inches.

Step 7

On the unknotted side of the rope, measure out 10 inches from the existing tie loop.

Step 8

Loosen the left nose knot you tied in step 4.

Step 9

At the 10-inch mark, slip the rope through the loosened left nose knot, and tie a simple knot following the path of the existing left nose knot. You'll be joining the two knots together. Make sure to leave a full 10 inches of rope between the tie loop and the left nose knot.

Step 10

From the left nose knot, measure out another 10 inches of rope.

Step 11

Loosen the right nose knot.

Step 12

At the 10-inch mark, slip the rope through the loosened right nose knot, and tie a simple knot following the path of the existing right nose knot. You'll be joining the two knots together, repeating the process of step 9. Make sure to leave a full 10 inches of rope between the left nose knot and the right nose knot. This is where the rope halter will slip over the horse's nose, so the two lengths of rope will need to be the same length -- 10 inches.

Step 13

From the right nose knot, measure off 33 inches.

Step 14

Loosen the throat latch knot.

Step 15

At the 33-inch mark, slip the rope through the loosened throat latch knot, and tie a simple knot following the path of the existing throat latch knot. You'll be joining the two knots together. Make sure to leave a full 33 inches of rope between the right nose knot and throat latch knot. When the halter slips over the horse's head, both lengths of rope -- the one from the right nose knot to the throat latch, and the left nose knot to the throat latch -- need to measure 33 inches.

Step 16

From the throat latch knot, measure off 10 inches of rope.

Step 17

Loosen the right ear knot.

Step 18

At the 10-inch mark, slip the rope through the loosened right ear knot, and tie a simple knot following the path of the existing right ear knot. You'll be joining the two knots.

Step 19

Place the halter on the horse, and tie the two sections of 33-inch rope together under the horse's chin. There should be a small amount of slack to the rope beneath the chin. It should not be tight under the horse's chin.

Step 20

Remove halter from horse. Cauterize both free ends of rope with a match or lighter to avoid fraying.

Items you will need

  • Cloth measuring tape
  • Twenty feet of polyester rope, 1/4-inch
  • Matches or lighter

Tip

  • Braided rope also can be used for this project.

Warnings

  • Never leave a haltered horse unattended.
  • Keep matches and lighter away from children.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images