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How to Make a Lariat

Things You'll Need:

  • 40 feet worth of half-tanned rawhide
  • A tanning block
  • Sandpaper
  • Mutton tallow

How to Make a Lariat. Many children dream of growing up to be cowboys, riding bucking broncos, chasing down outlaws and roping cattle. While the modern West is very different from the West portrayed in old movies, it is still true that a cowboy is only as good as his horse and lariat. Nowadays you can buy a new lariat over the Internet, but there was a time when cowhands made there own lariats. Read on to learn how to make a lariat.

Cut half-tanned rawhide into half an inch strips as long as the cow's hide will allow. The hide should still have hair on one side.

Soak the strips in water until they are soft, and then stretch the strips over a block.

Braid the strips into a long, tight rope, 30 to 40 feet in length. For a novice roper braid a shorter rope, one only 20 to 25 feet long. Your rope can be any from 3/8 an inch to 1/2 an inch thick. The thicker the rope the more strength it takes to lasso with it.

Bury the rope in the ground approximately one to two feet down. Leave it in the earth for two weeks to soften the rawhide. After two weeks dig the rope up and once again stretch it tight over a block.

Rub the hair off the lariat using sandpaper.

Oil the lariat thoroughly with mutton tallow.

Tie a honda, or eye loop, in one end of the rope. The honda should be three to four inches long. You can form an eye loop by tying a simple overhand knot and passing the rope through it. Then knot the end to keep the honda from pulling out.

Slip the other end of the rope through the honda to form a noose or lasso-rope. You now have a finished lariat.

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