Tailing Lines

(Still working on my Tevis crewing story. What can I say? I write epic novels for fun.)

This is what happens when a back-and-forth conversation gets turned into a blog post, especially since I’d already taken the photos.

Mel and I have been discussing some of our different gear and equipment, and the subject of the tailing line that I use came up. It’s one I made myself, since I’m apparently a bit fussy and just-so about things like tailing lines and reins.

I picked up quite a bit of this rope (I want to say it’s 1/4″ diameter yacht rope) when I was at the Scottsdale Show this year. I intend to some day attempt to tie my own rope halter. *hysterical laughter* Yeah, right. In the meantime, I will stick with tailing ropes.

Finished length, with all the knots in place, is just under 9′ long. You might make it shorter or longer depending on size of horse.

The end that clips to the halter is a scissor snap.

The first knotted loop past the scissor snap is at approximately 3′ in. Again, this may be adjusted depending on horse size. Tie knots loosely at first so they’re adjustable. Second loop/knot is another 2′ back.

End that clips to the saddle, and holds the knotted loops while riding, is a carabiner. I used a Nite-Ize S-Biner, size 4. I like the double-sided option, as it keeps the loops separate from the side that clips to the saddle — less likely for the loops to accidentally slip off.

Excess loops clip to the carabiner when riding. Snap end clips to the halter.

Entire apparatus clipped to the saddle, ready for riding. I just used an old thin luggage strap attachment piece because it’s thin leather, so if the rope does happen to snag on something, there’s a good chance the leather will break.

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