How to Make a Rope Halter With a Fiador Knot

by Rebecca Herron
Rope halters can be adjusted to fit individual horses.

Rope halters can be adjusted to fit individual horses.

Rope halters are made using polyester or nylon rope; they are tied with knots positioned at specific points on the noseband and at the poll. These knots apply pressure to nerves and get the attention of the horse more effectively than a leather or webbing halter. This makes the rope halter ideal for training and ground work. Making a rope halter requires practice to get the knots and size correct, particularly when using a fiador knot for a tie loop from which a lead rope can be attached.

Practice the Fiador Knot

  1. Lay out a length of rope folded in half on a flat surface. The fiador knot is more easily created on a flat surface.

  2. Take the right side and make a loop, laying the end across both right and left sides of rope.

  3. Cross the right end back over to the right above the first loop to form another loop. Here, another loop will be made and slid under the upper portion of the first loop. Pull the end of the right rope through, leaving two overlaping loops on the right side and the end of the right rope above these loops.

  4. Move to the left side. Take the left side of the rope and thread it through the second loop made by the right side of the rope.

  5. Slide the end of the left rope under the first three strands of rope forming the two overlapping loops on the right, then over the last strand of the loop. Bring the end of the left rope back around; thread it back through to the left by going over the first loop made on the right --- under the portion where the left rope went under the first loop --- then between the portion where the left and right ropes are twisted in the second loop, and finally under the far left of the second loop.

  6. Take the left end up the center and under the two pieces of the right rope at the top that cross over both the left and right ropes.

  7. Put the left and right ends of the rope together. Take the two outside bottom loops and fold them together.

  8. Tighten the knot by pulling on the ends and the two outside bottom loops. Adjust to get the loops even. Practice this knot several times until you're comfortable tying it.

Making the Rope Halter

  1. Fold the length of rope in half and tie an overhand knot in the center. An overhand knot is a simple knot formed by making a loop and pulling one end of the rope across and through the loop. Tie another overhand knot to the left of the first knot. These two knots should be about 11 inches apart, measuring from the middle of each knot. Fold the rope again so that the two knots are together. One side will be longer than the other.

  2. Tie the fiador knot, adjusting until the fiador knot is about 7 inches from the overhand knots. The loops should be about 2-2 1/2 inches long.

  3. Tie an overhand knot in one of the ropes, about 6 inches from the fiador knot. Do not tighten. Taking the other end of the rope, thread it through the loop of the first overhand knot, then over the top of the first knot where there is a groove or V. Take the end back through the loop of the first knot and the loop made by the second rope and tighten, forming a double overhand knot.

  4. Take the piece of rope closest to you and tie a simple overhand knot about 9-91/2 inches from the double overhand knot. Take the end of the rope you're working with and put it through the center of the overhand knot just made, pulling until there is a loop of about 2 inches. Finish the double overhand knot by going up and over the overhand knot and pulling the end of the rope back through the knot.

  5. Tie a double overhand knot --- using the same piece of rope --- into the first two overhand knots that make up the noseband. Tie another overhand knot into the piece of rope about 9-9 1/2 inches from the second noseband knot and use the other piece of rope to tie an overhand knot.

Items you will need

  • 20-25 feet of polyester or nylon rope


  • Adjust the halter to be even and to fit the horse by loosening and retightening the knots.


  • Never leave a horse tied or trailor a horse using a rope halter.

About the Author

Rebecca Herron has received a background in education from Bluefield State College which, in addition to four years of study, involved volunteer service in public schools and student teaching split between the elementary and middle school levels. She has written online for various websites.

Photo Credits

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