How to Braid a Lead Rope With Mule Tape

By Jennifer Lyons

You attach a lead rope, or simply a lead, to a horse's halter to control and guide it when you are not riding. Nylon rope is commonly used, but it can fray and eventually break. Mule tape is a polyester-based rope that is more expensive but does not wear down as easily. Lead ropes braided from mule tape are strong, durable and even machine washable. Braiding your own lead rope is simple and will save you money.

Cut two 16-foot pieces of mule tape. This will make a standard 8-foot lead rope. For a shorter or longer rope, multiple your desired length by two and cut two pieces of rope of that number.

String the ends of both pieces of rope through the opening on the bottom of a metal spring snap. Slide the snap to the middle of the ropes. Tie an overhand knot by placing the ropes on one side over the ropes on the other to form a loop. Take the top ropes, pull them up through the loop and pull the knot tightly. Repeat the knot to keep the snap in the center.

Lay the ropes on a flat surface and separate them so that you have four ropes laying side by side.

Braid the ropes together. Take the first rope on the right and weave it over the second, under the third and over the fourth. Now take the new first rope on the right and weave it over the second, under the third and over the fourth. Repeat until there is about 3 inches left of rope at the end.

Tie a knot to keep the braid from fraying. Wrap all four strands of rope around to form a loop. Pull the ends of the rope up through the center of the loop and pull the knot tightly.

Light a match or candle. Hold the knot at the end of the rope over the flame for a few seconds until it begins to melt. This will prevent the rope from fraying.