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How To Wrap A Saddle Horn With Rubber

Ropers wrap their saddle horns to protect the horn and to help control how much the rope slides after dallying.

Each roper has their own preference about the material they prefer to use to wrap their saddle horn. Common choices include rubber, mulehide, latigo, and more. A brief overview of a few of these materials follows this article at the bottom of the page.

This article will show you how to wrap your saddle horn with rubber.

Below: A saddle saddle horn wrapped in rubber.

A roping/ranch saddle with its horn wrapped in rubber

How To Wrap Your Saddle Horn With Rubber Or Synthetic Rubber

These steps are for wrapping a saddle horn with rubber or synthetic rubber. The technique for wrapping a horn with latigo, mulehide, or similar materials is different.

Below: An unwrapped saddle horn.

How to wrap a saddle horn with rubber: Photo of an unwrapped horn


Begin by getting your strips of rubber handy and placing your roping saddle on a secure surface, like a saddle stand.

Place the first strip of rubber over the horn. The rubber used in this article was new rubber cut into strips from a new, unused, inner tube. Each strip was a little less then than two inches wide.

To wrap a saddle horn with rubber begin with one piece of rubber


Standing in front of the saddle, pull the strip of rubber to you. Pull it firmly, twist it one time, then loop the rubber up and over the saddle horn toward the back of the saddle. See the blue arrow. Keep the rubber as smooth and flat as you can.

If necessary, brace against the saddle and/or saddle stand to keep them from sliding.

Twist the rubber then loop it up and over the saddle horn

Keeping tension on the rubber, step to the other side of the saddle horn. Pull the rubber firmly toward you, twist it one time, and loop it back up and over the saddle horn toward the front of the saddle. See the blue arrow.

Again, try to keep the rubber as smooth and flat as you can. As the rubber gets tighter this can be more difficult as it will tend to want to curl when you pull on it.

Continue wrapping the saddle horn


Keep repeating the steps above until the rubber is too short to loop over the saddle horn again. Get another new piece of rubber and continue wrapping. Many ropers will wrap the final, or outside, layers less tightly than the inner layers to allow the rubber to stay more flexible so the dally can grab the rubber better.

Make the wrapped horn a uniform thickness from top to bottom. The finished saddle horn shown in the photo below used three pieces of rubber from a new inner tube cut into strips not quite two inches wide. If you are using narrower pieces of rubber, which are common, you will likely need to use more pieces.

The completed, wrapped saddle horn


Different Kinds Of Horn Wrap

The materials used to wrap a saddle horn fall into two broad categories: 1) rubber, which includes synthetic rubber, 2) and "slick horn" materials.

A brief description of some common rubber and slick horn materials follows. If you'd like more information, we suggest you simply ask a roper their opinion.


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