Make a Lariat

 

 

 

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PREFACE

This little book attempts nothing more than to present roping as play. It has made a serious effort at every turn to bring the joy and romance of rope spinning and lariat throwing within the range and capacity of the average boy and girl, and to point out the play possibilities involved in the various uses of the lariat.

Acknowledgment is made to The Country Gentleman and The American Boy for the privilege of using several photographs which have already appeared in those magazines in connection with articles by the writer. The writer is also deeply indebted to Albert W. Field for much of the photography involved in producing the illustrations.

BERNARD S. MASON

Where is there an American boy or girl whose heart does not beat a little faster at the thought of the American West in its wildest and most romantic days, with its bucking bronchos, its long horned steers, and its flying lariats? Or at the sight of the picturesque sombreroed cowboy riding with the ease and skill which are distinctly his? The American West is all our own-strictly American in its every aspect-steeped in the rugged romance and characteristic color of pioneer days.

And just because it is all our own, just because it is strictly American and withal so ruggedly virile and romantic -we, all of us, long to do the things which pertain to the West: especially does practically every American boy long to rope, to be able to handle the lariat as Fred Stone, Will Rogers, and our other western heroes do. Yet how few are able to do it! How few American boys are able even to throw a lariat, let alone to spin one or jump through its loop.

Surrounding the art of lassoing are the finest traditions of our western pioneer days--it is a sport sufficiently difficult to challenge the athletic ability of any one. Yet not so difficult but that any boy or girl can become reasonably proficient at it provided he or she has the right kind of rope and is willing to work.

Roping is not limited to men alone. The girls who have mastered the art, particularly of rope spinning, are almost as numerous as the men, and the appeal it makes to them is no less profound. Roping as a sport has much to recommend it to women.

I have never yet seen a man or woman who, having caught the lariat fever, was able to shake it off. In fact it grows worse as the years go by. Once we get started at it, so fascinated do we become that we are loath to quit until every trick in the business is mastered. And that is the task of a life time.

And all the time we are roping we are getting a splendid workout, for the ropes are stubborn and they make you sweat. A half hour of fast rope spinning is workout enough for any man.

But exercise and muscle are not the only values in roping. Fred Stone tells me of the time when he was practicing with his ropes on some tricks for his shows, out behind his Long Island home, when suddenly he heard frantic screams from the swimming pool on the back part of his estate. His rope still in hand, he rushed over to find a man struggling and sinking about twenty feet out from the shore. A swing or two of his rope, and the noose was slapped down over the clutching arms. The rope saved the fellow's life much more easily and more quickly than any swimmer in America could do it.

Again Fred tells of the time when his pack horse lost his footing in a swift mountain stream and was rolling over and over like a ball toward the water fall some twenty feet below. A quick cast of the noose, and the beast was snubbed to a sapling, his life and outfit saved.

A lariat and the ability to handle it is a most valuable part of the equipment and education of outdoor men and women. The rope should go on every trip into the woods. Sometime you may be able to save a drowning companion, or some day you may be able to rope a mountain lion in the Grand Canyon or a polar bear beyond the Arctic Circle-such things are not at all impossible, in fact have occasionally been done. But best of all, whenever you pick up the lariat, you are sure to rope a lot of fun and plenty of splendid exercise.

In this little book we are not at all concerned with training ourselves to become cowboys and cowgirls, nor in describing just how the cowboy worked in the old days on the ranch, but we are interested in roping as a sport-roping for fun and for exercise -hoping to acquaint more boys and girls with the joy and fascination of this art of the old-time West.

Roping is romance; it is health, joy, vigor; it is picturesqueness, color, high adventure. It is American, and should be part of the outdoor education of every American boy and girl.

How To Throw a Lariat

How to Spin a Rope

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
How to Spin It ] Body Spin ] Famous Skip ] Flat Spins ] Lariat Types & Care ] [ Make a Lariat ] Merry-Go-Round ] Roping Moving Targets ] Throw a Lariat ] Trick Cowboy Knots ] Wind-Up Throw ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.