Throw a Lariat




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How to Spin It
Body Spin
Famous Skip
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Lariat Types & Care
Make a Lariat
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Throw a Lariat
Trick Cowboy Knots
Wind-Up Throw

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1. Hondas Used on Catch Ropes.
A & B-Method of Tying the Lariat Loop.
C-Wire Added for Protection Against Wear and to Increase Weight.
D-A Metal Half Honda Used for Weight.

I sat for an hour in my room the other afternoon watching a boy trying to rope an old packing box out in the alley behind our house. The poor fellow did not know the first principles of handling a lariat and his efforts to snare the box with the old clothes line he was using were pathetic.

Finally I took pity on him and went out with my ropes and showed him the inside on the trick. A day or two later I saw him out in the same alley, this time with a brand new rope, which he was dropping on the box quite regularly.

The trouble with this boy in the beginning was largely in his rope: the best roper in America could not have done much with the old clothes line he was using. Just any rope one happens to pick up will not make a lariat. Trying to use the clothes line has discouraged many a boy and girl ambitious to become a roper. For throwing, secure 35 feet of new Manila rope, 3/8 inch thick, at any hardware store. There are other types of rope used in roping (See Chapter IV), but there are none of them suitable for a beginner to start practice with. The 3/8 inch Manila rope is the ideal practice rope. Buy one. Splendid ready-made Manila lariats are on the market, but be sure you specify 3/8 inch.

Tie a lariat loop at one end, forming the eye or "honda." To do this, a simple overhand knot is tied as in Picture 1, Figures A and B, and the end passed through as indicated by the arrow. Study the photographs carefully and you will get the method. The eye thus formed should be from 3 to 4 inches long. Tie an overhand knot on the end to prevent it from pulling out. Jam the whole knot as hard as possible. Now pass the other end of the rope through the honda and you will have a lariat, or lass-rope, or riata, or soga, or just plain rope as those who use it frequently are most prone to call it. "Lasso" is seldom used as a name for a rope; it is a verb and refers to the act of throwing a rope. "Lariat" comes from the Spanish "La riata."

No, you do not need a metal honda on the throwing rope. That is the mistake so many beginners make. Such a heavy honda would render the rope practically useless for our purpose. After one has become a good roper and wants to weight his rope on the end for certain uses, he can easily do so by winding a little wire around the honda. Brass hondas have their use but not on throwing ropes of this type. Many a horse has had his eve knocked out with these heavy metal hondas, and many a boy has injured his playmate with their.

A still better honda than that obtained by the lariat loop described above can be made by doubling the end back and splicing it there with an eye splice. This is much less common than the lariat loop, however, due probably to the fact that few cowboys know how to splice.

A little wire wound round the end of the honda as in Figure C, Picture 1, prevents wear, as well as adding a little weight, which is often desirable.

Bill, who was a little shaver in camp and just learning to rope, foolishly sank the noose of his lariat over the head of one of the camp's peppy young riding horses who wasn't used to ropes, cowboys and such things. No sooner had the noose settled than the colt's heels were up in the air and he was off across the pasture field with the unfortunate and much dazed Bill dragging on the ground behind him.

What happened was that the knot which Bill had tied on the "home" end of his rope to prevent it from unraveling had caught somewhere in his short or belt or top part of his trousers (he doesn't know yet just where, nor how) and before he realized what was happening he was on the ground and bounding his way over the bumps. Being the little fellow that he was, his weight furnished little resistance to the frenzied horse, who tore most of the way around the circle of the "ranch" before Bill was able to disentangle himself from the rope.

The mistake Bill made was in putting the knot on the end of the rope. Knots have a habit of doing such things. What he should have done was to lash the end with a piece of twine. Had he been on horseback the knot might have caught somewhere in his saddle or trappings and both he and his horse given an unexpected upset.

The Wind-Up Throw

How to Spin a Rope






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How to Spin It ] Body Spin ] Famous Skip ] Flat Spins ] Lariat Types & Care ] Make a Lariat ] Merry-Go-Round ] Roping Moving Targets ] [ Throw a Lariat ] Trick Cowboy Knots ] Wind-Up Throw ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.