The Calgary Stampede begins today

Word of the Day – Weekend Edition



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email

RIATA (ree-AH-tuh)

A lariat
Related crosswordese: REATA
Common clues:
Lasso; Gear for a gaucho; Cowboy's rope; Ranchero's rope; Cowpoke's tool; Lariat; Rodeo rope; Calf catcher; Steer stopper; Vaquero's rope
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
News: Stranger Things will be happening at Calgary Stampede
Video: How to throw a rope

A lasso is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled.

Lassoing on the prairie (from the book Prairie Experiences in Handling Cattle and Sheep, by Major W. Shepherd, published in 1884)

The rope is now mainly used in rodeos as an attraction, but it still used to catch fleeing cattle or other livestock. After catching the cattle, the lasso can be tied around the horn, a typical feature of the western or cowboy-saddle. With the lasso around the horn, the cowboy can use his horse as the equivalent of a tow truck with a winch.

Part of the historical cultures of both Mexico and the western part of the United States, trick roping (lasso spinning tricks) was, and is, a well-known cowboy athletic activity. Will Rogers was a well-known exponent of trick roping.

A lasso is made from stiff or stiffened rope. This makes the noose stay open when the lasso is thrown. It also allows the cowboy to easily open up the noose from horseback when releasing the cattle because the rope is stiff enough to be pushed a little. A high quality lasso is weighted for better handling.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lasso".