A New Horn Wrap
- April 9, 2017
- Rachel Larsen
If you rope, eventually you will need to replace your horn wrap to preserve the integrity of your saddle. I learned to rope on a “slick” horn, with leather rather than a rubber horn wrap. It is a matter of personal preference, I am most comfortable with a mule hide wrap. Which incidentally is not “mule” hide, but rather chrome tanned cowhide. I could not tell you if “chrome” refers to the color of the leather, i.e. grey, or the chemical agents involved in the tanning process.
Rewrapping a saddle horn with mule hide is an involved process. A dear friend, has said that rewrapping her saddle horn is one of five reasons an independent cowgirl might need a man in her life. I don’t disagree, I’m always grateful for my husband when the time comes to replace my wrap. I know when he helps me with this job, I will have a secure, functional saddle horn when we are done. I also know, he is not as detail oriented or concerned about aesthetics, so it may not be pretty.
You begin by removing your old wrap. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of mine or the state it was in, but this is my naked horn.
Wraps can be purchased precut, or if you are more industrious, you can cut your own from a hide. Place the wrap in a pot of boiling water, until soft and malleable, approximately 10-15 minutes. Exercise caution, when handling the hot wrap. Secure one end of the wrap to your saddle. There are several methods to accomplish this; screwing the wrap to your fork or splitting the wrap, to secure it over the horn are two examples. In this photo, we secured the wrap to the rope strap buckle.
It is necessary to work quickly. The cow hide becomes less malleable, as it cools off and dries out. Begin wrapping the leather clockwise around the saddle horn, keeping it as snug and smooth as possible. Unless you rope left-handed, then the wrap should be applied counter-clockwise.
When the wrap appears to your liking, the tail-end should be secured snugly underneath itself. At this point, we like to wrap a tie-down string around the horn as if to dally. Then we pull the rope around the new wrap, this induces the wrap to lay flat, while also imprinting it with a nice groove. Voila!
About Rachel Larsen
Rachel Lohof Larsen is a fifth-generation rancher, mom, wife, cowgirl, and blogger. Originally from Montana, Rachel has a BA in Environmental Science from Colorado College. She and her husband, Guy, bring a sense of integrity and a strong interest in sustainability to all their pursuits....