Friday, October 04, 2019
While my friends from Eastern Oregon were visiting, we began playing with bowline knots. The bowline knot dates from ancient times and is easy to create, it doesn’t slip and easily is untied. We played with tying this knot as a handy start to creating a temporary horse training halter to reinforce an animal’s ground manners.
The bowline originally was and still mainly is associated to the sailing world. This knot quickly can create a fixed loop at the end of a rope, strong enough to tether a floating vessel. I repeat, the bowline knot neither tightens or loosens and yet easily may be untied. My visiting friends who introduced it explained it’s usefulness in creating a temporary halter for routine ground work.
All that sounds good, but I found a catch–that one must be able to visualize the workings of a rope being manipulated before recreating an accurate version. This ability to visualize almost entirely has proved beyond my ability to comprehend. I’ve watched YouTube videos of this easily-made knot without being able to translate what I see to the action of my hands. Making things worst, the videos show various ways to create the knot and none help me.
The bowline is a simple knot. It’s even easier to construct by remembering a Boy Scout jingle explaining its formation: “The rabbit goes into the hole and gets frightened, so goes out of the hole, circles the tree, and then goes back into the hole.”
You’d think, wouldn’t you?
In the last week this has been a prime topic and I’ve made some progress. Sometimes while watching television and fiddling with my practice piece of rope, I manage to tie the knot correctly. But creating the knot with a loop has been beyond my capability. Alas, maybe my future with horses won’t include a simple, quick to put on and remove, training halter.
My frustration extends beyond this bowline. I’ve long yearned to create effective knots. Even my books showing simplified ways to create useful knots have failed to help me leap the gap between vision and hands. In the old days, I sighed and chalked my failure of comprehension to genetics. Now, not any more. Even if mine is a physical problem, a lapse between brain and motor skills, I’ll keep trying. This time, I’m determined to study illustrations and practice with my little length of rope, and finally, intend to untie this knotting dilemma.
Dear Friends: Does something so simple, it’s ridiculous, ever baffle you? Diana