<--!nosearch-->Sorry, The Houlihan Sculpture is no longer available.
Catching, breaking, and selling these hearty horses could be good business for a man proficient with a rope, and settin a saddle.
things cowboy there was an art to catching wild horses. A free running horse
with no rider could not usually be run
down by a horse carrying a man in a saddle (except in Hollywood movies), and if he could be run down, a good cowboy may not
want him. Unlike cattle, long necked, agile horses will easily duck a loop thrown over their head from behind, and a neck loop on a wild free running horse was dangerous to the horse.
A well thrown loop could scoop up the front feet of a running horse before he could dodge, duck, or jump it, that was the skill of the houlihan cowboy. The free running horse could then be stopped, also requiring much skill from the cowboy, and a good solid saddle horse.
In the late 1800s life was rough and tough, and often things were done as part of every day working life that we may not understand today. But hobble stopping or even tripping a horse was, in those days, considered the safest way to catch them and get a handle on them. Neck roping a hard running wild horse too often resulted in the death of a wild one that would not quit the fight. No cowboy would risk injury to a good prospect.
The houlihan is swung counter clock wise, opposite a traditional loop, and opened at the throw with the flick of an agile wrist. It was not an easy throw and required years of practice to perfect. Being a roper, I have long admired the roping skills of our cowboy ancestors, and that was the inspiration for The Houlihan. It is a skill all but lost today, and I proudly honor it in this sculpture, one I hope every cowboy, roper, and cowboy at heart will appreciate.
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