"Reata redirects here. For the comic book character, see Reata (comics)"

A lasso, lariat, or riata(from the Spanish "reata") is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. It is a well-known tool of the American cowboy. The word is also a verb; "to lasso" is to successfully throw the loop of rope around something. When referring to the entire length of rope used, before or after a loop is formed, the rope itself is more properly called a lariat. Many cowboys simply call it a "rope."

A lariat is made from stiff rope so that the noose stays open when the lasso is thrown. It also allows the cowboy to easily open up the noose from horseback to release the cattle because the rope is stiff enough to be pushed a little. A high quality lasso is weighted for better handling. The lariat has a small reinforced loop at one end, called a "hondo," through which the rope passes to form a loop. The other end is usually tied simply in a small, tight, overhand knot to prevent fraying. Most modern lariats are made of stiff nylon rope, usually about 5/16" or 3/8" in diameter.

The lariat is used today in rodeos as part of the competitive events such as calf roping and team roping. It is also still used on working ranches to capture cattle or other livestock when necessary. After catching the cattle, the lasso can be tied or wrapped (dallied) around the "horn", a typical feature on the front of a western saddle. With the lariat around the horn, the cowboy can use his horse as the equivalent of a towtruck with a winch.

Part of the historical culture of both the vaqueros of Mexico and the cowboys of the Western United States, is a related skill now called "trick roping", a performance of assorted lasso spinning tricks. Will Rogers was a well-known practitioner of trick roping and the natural horsemanship practitioner Buck Brannaman also got his start as a trick roper when he was a child.


Lassos are not only part of North American culture; relief carvings at the ancient Egyptian temple of Pharaoh Seti I at Abydos, built c.1280 BC, show the pharaoh holding a lasso, then holding onto a bull roped around the horns. They were also used by Tatars and are still used by the Sami people. In Mongolia, a variant of the lasso called an "uurga" (Lang-mn|уурга) is used, consisting of a rope loop at the end of a long pole.

ee also


External links

* [ "The Lasso: A Rational Guide to Trick Roping"] by Carey Bunks
* [ Footage of multiple Lasso World Champions]

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  • lasso — lasso …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Lasso — Das Lasso ist „der verlängerte Arm“ der Hirten, eine Seilschlinge zum Einfangen von Tieren. Es ist ein langer, steifer Leder oder Hanfriemen mit einer sich selbst zuziehenden Schlinge am Ende, die den Tieren entweder über den Hals oder über ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lasso — [ laso ] n. m. • 1826; esp. d Argentine lazo, par l angl., du même rad. que lacs ♦ Longue corde à nœud coulant que les gauchos et les cow boys font tournoyer et lancent pour attraper les chevaux sauvages, le bétail. Prendre un veau au lasso. ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • lasso (1) — {{hw}}{{lasso (1)}{{/hw}}agg. 1 (lett.) Stanco, affaticato. 2 (poet.) Misero, infelice | Ahi, ohi –l!, escl. di dolore. ETIMOLOGIA: dal lat. lassus ‘stanco’. lasso (2) {{hw}}{{lasso (2)}{{/hw}}agg. 1 Largo, rilassato, allentato. 2 (fig.) Che… …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Lasso — Smn Wurfseil std. exot. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus span. lazo m., dieses aus l. laqueus m. Schlinge, Fallstrick , zu l. lacere locken .    Ebenso nndl. lasso, ne. lasso(o), nfrz. lasso, nschw. lasso, nnorw. lasso; Dilettant, Latz. ✎ DF 2… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Lasso — Lass o (l[a^]s s[ o]) n.; pl. {Lassos} ( s[=o]z). [Sp. lazo, L. laqueus. See {Lace}.] A rope or long thong of leather with a running noose, used for catching horses, cattle, etc. [1913 Webster] {Lasso cell} (Zo[ o]l.), one of a peculiar kind of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lasso — Las so, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Lassoed} (l[a^]s s[ o]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Lassoing}.] To catch with a lasso. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lasso — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. n I, Mc. lassossie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} długi sznur lub rzemień z ruchomą pętlą na końcu, używany przez amerykańskich myśliwych i hodowców koni do łapania zwierząt : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Chwytać, łapać zwierzęta na lasso.… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • lasso — ► NOUN (pl. lassos or lassoes) ▪ a rope with a noose at one end, used especially in North America for catching cattle. ► VERB (lassoes, lassoed) ▪ catch with a lasso. DERIVATIVES lassoer noun …   English terms dictionary

  • lasso — ☆ lasso [las′ō, las′o͞o; ] for v., also [ la sō′, laso͞o′ ] n. pl. lassos or lassoes [Sp lazo < L laqueus, noose, snare: see LACE] a long rope or leather thong with a sliding noose at one end, used to catch cattle or wild horses vt. lassoed,… …   English World dictionary

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