How To Catch Loose Horses with a DIY Headcollar

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Master the Bowline Knot: Make a DIY Horse Headcollar for Unexpected Situations

When it comes to horse management, unexpected situations are a part of the everyday routine. Whether you need to catch a loose horse or you’ve inadvertently forgotten your headcollar, having a few essential skills up your sleeve can make a world of difference. One such indispensable skill is the ability to fashion a makeshift headcollar using a simple bowline knot. In this blog post, we’ll break down step by step, the process of tying a bowline knot to create a DIY headcollar, a crucial tool in horse management. We’ve also included a detailed tutorial video from our YouTube channel, Intelligent Horsemanship, to guide you through the process.


Why a Bowline Knot?

The bowline knot is a simple yet sturdy knot that doesn’t tighten when pressure is applied. This makes it ideal for creating a headcollar that won’t harm the horse by tightening around its neck. Plus, it’s easier to tie than you might think!

Step by Step Guide to a DIY Halter/Headcollar

Here’s a quick guide to creating a makeshift headcollar using a bowline knot.

This is the rhyme to remember – ‘the rabbit goes down the hole, over the root and up the hole again’

Step One: Start by looping the short end of the rope over your horse’s neck and then hold it in your left hand, make sure it is the end without a clip.

Step Two: Create a small over-hand loop in the right hand side of the rope close to the horses neck. This small loop is the ‘hole’ in our rhyme.

Step Three: Pass the end of the rope (the rabbit) down through the loop (down the hole), creating a loose knot.

Step Four: Now, bring the short end of the rope over the long part of the rope (over the root).

Step Five: Finally pass the end of the rope back up through the loop (up the hole again). Pull it tight and you’ve got a bowline knot!

Step Six: Adjust the size of the loop to fit the horse’s neck (not too tightly) and ensure it’s comfortable.

Step Seven: Now it time to make the DIY headcollar – pull some of the long end of the rope through the loop around the horses neck (created by the bowland knott)

Step Eight: Hook the rope around the horses nose to act as a noseband… and as if by magic you have a headcollar!

With some practice, you’ll be tying perfect bowlines in no time, ready to create a makeshift headcollar whenever the need arises.

This technique ensures the safety of both yourself and the horse, making it a fundamental addition to your horsemanship toolkit.

Making a DIY Headcollar Step Two: Create a small over-hand loop in the right hand side of the rope close to the horses neck. This small loop is the 'hole' in our rhyme.
making a DIY headcollar Step Three: Pass the end of the rope (the rabbit) down through the loop (down the hole), creating a loose knot.
making a DIY headcollor Step Five: Finally pass the end of the rope back up through the loop (up the hole again). Pull it tight and you've got a bowline knot!
making a DIY headcolor Step Seven: Now it time to make the DIY headcollar - pull some of the long end of the rope through the loop around the horses neck (created by the bowland knott)

Expand Your Horsemanship Skills with Intelligent Horsemanship

Beyond the bowline knot, there’s a world of horsemanship skills waiting for you to explore. From groundwork to problem-solving, we’ve got you covered, even in the most challenging situations. Consider becoming a member of Intelligent Horsemanship today. Our membership program offers a treasure trove of invaluable resources, tutorials, and expert guidance on a range of essential horsemanship skills.

To complement your newfound knot-tying skills, be sure to check out our long lines in the shop as well as Dually halters for your non-emergency horse catching needs.

Remember, safety and knowledge go hand in hand, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.


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