The Lariat. The lariat or lasso was a vital part of a cowboy\'s equipment. The ability to use it effectively was essential for all cowboys. The lariat was a whip made out of thin leather.The lariat could be used to catch cattle that were running loose in a storm or a stampede. The cowboy could also use it as a whip to encourage the cattle to move.The lariat was carried by the cowboy at all times fixed to his belt..