Knots that you'll find useful in your horsemanship.
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Knots: This page contains some knots that I find useful and, indeed, use every day. They include
  • knots for tying your horse
  • the proper way to do up a rope halter
  • an alternative to a metal snap on your leadrope
  • .

    If any of these directions are unclear to you, please let me know and I can look to improving them.

    The knots I use to tie a horse (Photos 1 - 12) can be called quick release knots. Most so called quick release knots that I see being used are ok.......if the horse never pulls on them. If he does pull on them, they either jam so tight that you will be reaching for your knife or they turn into 'snowball hitches', ie they melt and the horse is loose. Having said that, I know of no knot that will remain 'quick release' after having been pulled tight by a struggling horse but these are the best I have come across. They will undo with very little manipulation after being pulled tight and will definitely not dissolve.

    1. Tying to a small diameter point such as a pipe rail:

    This knot is often called a Stockmans Bowline. Make a bight or a loop in the rope and pass it around or through the tie point as in Photo 1.




    With the tail of the lead, make two wraps around the bight or loop as you see in Photos 2 & 3.





    Now make a third wrap, with the tail, around both the bight and the part of the lead going to the horse, as in Photo 4.






    Then loop the tail and push it through the bight, as in Photo 5, .........pull it tight and .................







    ..............there you have it! A quick tug on the tail of the rope will completely release the knot. For this reason, if your horse is the inquisitive type, it may be wise to slip the end of the lead through the remaining loop so he doesn't release himself while playing around.

    WARNING! KEEP YOUR FINGERS CLEAR WHEN TYING THIS OR ANY KNOT IN CASE THE HORSE TAKES A FRIGHT AND THEY GET CAUGHT IN THE KNOT!

    2. Tying to a large diameter point such as a post or a tree:

    This knot also is a Stockmans Bowline except that the lead is passed around the tie point before a loop or bight is formed in the section between the tie point and the horse as in Photo 7







    Again, take a couple of wraps around the bight with the tail of the lead as in Photo 8 & 9










    Then, as before, take a third wrap around both the bight and the section of the lead from the horse as in Photo 10

    .







    Make a loop in the tail and push it through the bight as in Photo 11.









    Pull tight and your horse is secure in Photo 12!


    3. The proper way to do up a rope halter:

    Often I see rope halters done up with a simple overhand knot. Again, this may be ok if nothing ever happens and the horse doesn't put any pressure on it but if he does, the simple overhand knot will either slip badly or jam so tight as to be very difficult to undo or both! At best, it looks sloppy and un-workman-like.

    In Photo 13 the poll strap is passed through the halter loop, around behind the loop and then between the loop and itself. This will not slip and will undo relatively easily even if pulled tight.

    3. A simple and unbreakable alternative to a metal lead clip:

    Photo 14 shows how to pass the lead end through the halter chin loop, around behind the loop then between the loop and itself. Unbreakable, unslippable and easy to undo......not that you'd want to turn loose your horse with a halter on anyway!






























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