When you think about rope for horses you probably picture a lead rope attached to a horse’s halter. But a horse trainer can use a variety of other types of rope for different situations and training exercises.
Most people use a poly or nylon lead rope, but I prefer cotton. It’s easier to hold onto, stays soft longer, and is easy to cut in case you need to break the line in an emergency. It’s also less likely to give you rope burn if it gets tangled around your hand. You can test this for yourself – go to the tack store and grab a round poly lead rope and a cotton one, then have a friend yank each through your hands. The cotton one won’t leave a streak of heat across your palm.
From Lariats to Lunge Lines: Exploring the Versatility of Ropes for Horses
In addition to being more comfortable and safe for a horse, this type of rope is spliceable. This means that if it does get tangled, you can splice the end back together, rather than being tied with a metal clamp. Metal clamps are a weak point that can bend, rust and put your horse at risk of injury if the coiled rope suddenly jerks back.
After the horse is accustomed to having the coiled rope touching their body and moving, Lara begins lunging drills. He starts by letting go of the halter, taking up most of the slack and throwing the working end of the rope 30 to 60 feet in front of the horse. This allows the horse to feel the slack, but not have enough slack to lower their head and escape the tether.