How to Make a Cow Rope Halter

Custom rope halters for cows are practical tools for leading and showing. Halters can be elaborate or unsophisticated, depending on taste. A basic, no frills halter made with hog-rings will do the same job as an elaborate and expensive model. Halters can be made by hand for a fraction of the cost of buying them. Only a few low-cost supplies, available at your local farm supply store, are necessary for this project.

Measure out 13 feet of the 3-ply rope. Thread a hog ring on to the rope and push it up about 1-inch beyond the 13-foot measurement. Attach the hog ring to the rope by clamping it down using pliers. The hog ring will prevent the rope from unravelling when cut.

Attach a second hog ring to the rope, 1 inch below the other. Attach a third ring right underneath the second. Attach both of these rings using the same method as you did with the first ring.

Cut the rope with a sharp pair of scissors right in between the first and second hog rings. One end of the 13-foot rope will have two hog rings while the other will have just one.

Wrap both ends of the rope that have the rings attached in electrical tape. This will keep the rope from fraying and cover the hog rings to protect the cow from injury.

Measure 18 inches from the end of the 13-foot rope with two hog rings. This length of rope will form the nose piece of the halter.

Twist the rope backward at the 18-inch location, so you can see the three individual strands of rope. Pull up lightly on one of these strands to pull it apart from the others. Continue pulling up on the single strand to create an opening in the centre of the loop.

Pull the end of the rope with one hog ring through the opening made in the previous step. This end of the rope will form an eye loop for the halter. Continue pulling the rope through the opening until the loop measures 1-inch wide. The rope should fit tightly in the loop without sliding back or forth.

Raise another strand of rope, just above the eye. Pull up on the strand to create another opening. Pull the end of the rope with two hog rings on it through the new opening. Pull the rope tight. This will hold the eye in its place.

Hold the end on the end with the two hog rings. Twist the rope backward to reveal all three strands of rope. Twist each of these strands around themselves to create three loops. Insert the long end of the rope with one hog ring on it through the three loops. Pull the rope tight to form the head and nose piece of the halter.

Insert the long end of the rope through the eye of the halter. The long end of the rope is the lead rope for the halter. To put the halter on the cow, slide the nose piece over its nose and the head piece behind its ears.


Use different colour tape on each end. This will help you recognise which end to use when making the halter.


Do not leave a cow unsupervised while wearing a rope halter.

Things You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • 3-ply rope, 1/2 an inch in diameter
  • Hog rings
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Electrical tape
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About the Author

Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years.