Sunday, November 27, 2011

Making a halter for Rio

Rio has outgrown his baby halter- at 7 months old he is as big as some yearlings. I bought 50 feet of rope a while ago, enough to make a couple of halters- cost, $10.
Here's a step by step on how it looked to make it. I start with about 21 feet of rope. The first two knots are the noseband knots, with the left one 82" from the end, and the next one about 10 inches away.
(Sorry about  the fuzzy photo!) I'm using a simple overhand half-knot. The tape marks where the next knot, the Fiador, will end up.
Making the Fiador- start with the right hand length (the long side)
The Fiador before tightening it:
And tightened, it becomes the knot below the chin that the lead line gets attached to:

Remove the tape, and using the long  (right side) end make a knot 6 " away (5 " for a yearling) - the jaw knot. The next knot is 9 inches away (7 for a yearling) and becomes the knot and loop for fastening the halter when it's all done.

When you tighten this knot, leave about a two inch loop for doing up the halter.  Take the rope and run it 9 inches (7 for a yearling) to the noseband knots, making another half knot inside the existing half knot, which now becomes a double overhand knot. Here's how you make a double overhand knot:
The first overhand half knot

Making the second overhand half knot inside the first one so that it becomes a double overhand knot and looks like this when tightened:


Then do the next noseband knot, making sure there are no twists in the rope. The next knot is for the offside and is the last knot using this part of the rope- it should be 9" away (7 for a yearling).

 The remainder of that piece should be plenty long enough for tying the halter. Next, take the original short end that comes out of the Fiador knot, and make a knot inside the jaw knot. Then run it up to the last knot you made in the other rope -9' for a horse, 7' for a yearling:
Tie your last double overhand knot there, and even up the remaining lengths. Before you really tighten down all the knots, it's a good idea to try it on the horse first in case you want to adjust the length in between knots, as every horse is different. 
You can finish the ends in a number of ways- copper tube, shrink tube, splicing. or what I used is some industrial grade reflective safety tape. 
The best part is trying it on Rio and it fits!

I made one for Chickory too, and have enough left over to make puppy chew toys for Merle.
She really needs a new lead rope.

20 comments:

Mikey said...

I need to make some of those... after today, scrambling to find enough halters with ropes for our Xmas picture, lol. We're a mess! Half my horses have big ol' heads, they need an XL halter. I believe your post will inspire me to get some made :)

Janice said...

Good looking halters,that color suits both of them.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Seriously Shirley! I have read this demo before when you did it , and today again,and I just cannot wrap my head around it .I guess I have 2 choices,send you the money to make them for me, or come visit next year and have you walk me through halter making for dummies!

Michele said...

wow, that is superb shirley! :) rio is a handsome little guy:) chickory, well she is a pretty girl!

Shirley said...

Sherry, I vote for you coming to visit! I'd be happy to help you make a couple of halters. Once you've done it a couple of times it's not that hard. The Fiador is the toughest part, you need about 4 hands!

Knotty Dogs said...

That's awesome! That fiador ... that would drive me up a tree! I love the colorful rope you used, though!

Prairie Ridge Performance Horses said...

Shirley, I am with Fern Valley on this, I will send you the money, those knots would have ME tied up before long!!! LOL
Beautiful colors, on a couple of beautiful horses!!!
I know of a couple of Roans that could use new halters!! (hint hint) LOL
good job, my friend!!

Angela Baird said...

Beautiful! I may have to resort to making my own, my horse's head is so big. I'm having to look into customs.

Angela Baird said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs. Mom said...

Wow Shirley. I'm with the girls that want to buy halter too. I have a sneaking suspicion that unless I could sit down with you and walk through the knots step by step, I'd wind up all tied up myself.

The halters look great on Rio and Chickory!!

cheyenne jones said...

great stuff! I can manage the Fiador knot, did it recently, off a you tube vid. Tried making a halter, got so tangled up, just went snd bought one!lol!

Shirley said...

The secret is don't get frustrated- walk away for a bit if you are getting more convoluted than your knots.

Dreaming said...

Rio looks so good in his new halter. It's beautiful.
I got lost in the Fiador.... looks like very pretty spaghetti!

Linda said...

I need to get my stuff out and make some again...it's been awhile. Thanks for the reminder.

Crystal said...

They look good, I should make some of my own since I dont like the big gap under the chin so I could just make them the way I want to.

You should put your halters on your shopping list, would make good gifts for lots of people :)

Jake said...

My wife built me one once I'm trying to talk her into building me another one. Yours looks good. Now are you need is a horse to pull back and stretch it. You know break it in.LOL

Anonymous said...

Beautifulo halter. If I had a horse I sure would buy one. :)

Thanks for adding Chuck's site to your "Mall". :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

How neat!

Janice Grinyer said...

If Im ever stuck on a cliff - I want you along with your knot tying skills, woman...You are talented!

Mary said...

That is truly impressive! I cannot see myself keeping my cool long enough to actually finish this project. I really like the rainbow rope too. Clever stuff!