Note: Links with green underlines are shopping links and will open in a new window
How To... Tie A Horse Safely
The article below has general information on how to tie a horse. If you are specifically looking for a knot to tie a horse, please see this page: Tie A Quick Release Knot.
To tie a horse safely means to tie it so that it is unlikely to hurt itself, or anyone or anything nearby. Here are a few tips to help you tie your horse safely.
- Only tie your horse to objects that it cannot move or pull over. Remember,
a horse is very powerful and a spooked or frightened horse is even more
powerful. Do not tie a horse to anything that a determined or spooked horse
- Stupid things to tie a horse to that we have actually seen people use include: Lawn chairs, car bumpers, garbage dumpsters, portable panels, empty round bale feeders, vehicle mirrors, truck tail gates, and more.
- Tie a horse to something it cannot break. For example, if tying a horse to a fence never tie it to the fence rail, always tie it to the fence post. Fence rails are broken far more easily than fence posts. By the way, not all fence posts are sturdy enough to tie your horse to. Never tie your horse to a post or anything else that isn't able to withstand several strong pulls from a frightened horse.
- Tie your horse with a quick release knot. Learn how to tie a quick release knot here.
The horse in the photo below is tied securely and safely. He is tied with a good quality halter and lead rope and the halter fits the horse well. The rope is tied at about the same height as the horse's back. It is tied to a secure post using a quick release knot that can be jerked free if the tail of the rope is pulled on. Also, the horse is tied long enough it can adjust its head position and/or bite at flies, but short enough it cannot get a leg over the rope.
- Tie your horse at a safe height. A good rule of thumb is to tie a horse so that the rope is tied at about the same height as the horse's back. You can safely tie a horse higher than this, just be sure to allow the horse enough slack that it can hang its head at a natural level. However, if you tie a horse lower than this you are asking for serious trouble. Tying a horse too low will allow a horse to get a leg over the rope, or its head stuck underneath the rope.
- Tie a horse long enough that it can be comfortable, but not so long
that the rope droops down and the horse can step over it.
- Tying a horse excessively long is very dangerous. Not only can they get a leg over the rope, if the rope is long enough they can run a few steps if they spook and jerk themselves down. Sadly, we have seen this happen.
- Do not tie with the bridle or the bridle reins. Instead, use a good quality, properly fitting halter and a lead rope.
- Tie your horse to something that will not poke or hurt its face and eyes if it should jump forward.
- Strange horses should always be tied with enough distance between each other that they cannot bite or kick one another. Horses that know each other and that do not fight can be tied a little closer together, but should always be tied so that they cannot bite each other or the tack the other horse is wearing.
- If you cannot tie your horse to something appropriately sturdy, tie it up to something that is intentionally designed to break. For example, you can tie a piece of string or twine around a lightweight fence post then tie the horse to the string or twine. This way, if the horse breaks free at least you got to decide what it was that was broken (the string or twine instead of the post).
- Use the right lead rope. Round ropes that don't easily "pull down" under extreme
pressure are best. If a rope pulls down under pressure it puts the knot into a bind
so that it becomes difficult or impossible to untie. Round
cotton lead ropes
3/4 of an inch in diameter or larger are considered by many horse people to be the best
ropes for tying a horse because this type of lead rope isn't as easily pulled into
a bind as other types. In addition, cotton is slower to rope burn a horse
than many other materials. Other types of lead ropes are good, too, as long
they don't pull too tight under pressure.
- Flat lead ropes of any material make a very poor rope to tie a horse with as they easily pull down too tight for the knot to be quickly released.
- Keep a knife or other suitable tool handy to cut a lead rope if necessary. Pocket knives are excellent safety tools for horse owners and handlers.
- When tying your horse, remember the old axiom: "Always tie short and high."
- Tie the horse with a quick release knot, sometimes also called a jerk knot. This is a knot that will come untied quickly and easily when the tail of the rope is pulled on. Getting a horse free if it fights being tied up is crucial to the safety of the horse, whatever it is tied to, and possibly surrounding people, animals, or property.
You might also like...
- Attach A Leather Rope Strap
- Bridle A Horse
- Buy Cowboy Stuff On eBay
- Care For A Silk Wild Rag
- Care For Your Felt Cowboy Hat
- Care For Your Saddle Pad Or Blanket
- Close A Gate With A Chain Latch
- Estimate Cattle Age By Their Teeth
- Estimate A Horse's Weight
- Estimate Western Cinch Size
- Fishtail Braid Your Horse's Tail
- Flatten Cow Horn
- Make A Collapsible Wood Saddle Rack
- Make A Flag Boot Out Of A Horn
- Make Homemade Hoof Conditioner
- Make Homemade Horse Fly Spray
- Measure A Horse's Girth
- Measure A Horse's Height
- Measure A Western Saddle Seat
- Put A Horn Knot On Your Rope
- Put A Speed Burner On A Honda
- Recognize Common Horse Colors
- Recognize Common Horse Face Markings
- Saddle A Horse
- Stop A Saddle From Squeaking
- Take Horse Pictures
- Tie A Honda
- Tie A Horse
- Tie A Quick Release Knot
- Tie A Stopper Knot
Tie a stopper knot for the end of a rope,
or a metal, rawhide, or plastic honda
- Tie A Stopper Knot For A Honda
Tie a stopper knot for a tied honda
- Tie A Wild Rag Knot
- Trim A Bridle Path
- Turn Blevins Buckles Over
- Turn Western Stirrups
- Understand Leather / Hide Thickness
- Whiten Bone
- Wrap A Saddle Horn With Rubber
What Is / Are...
- What Are 5 Reasons Horse Trailer Lighting Matters?
- What Are Chestnuts and Ergots?
- What Are Cowboy Chinks?
- What Are Horns?
- What Are Horse Blood Marks?
- What Are Horse Vaccines and How Do They Work?
- What Are Leads?
- What Are Saddle Rigging Positions?
- What Are Some Interesting Horse Facts?
- What Are Some Interesting Charts and Graphs With Horse Information?
- What Are Some Options For Temporary Horse Fencing?
- What Are Slobber Straps?
- What Are Synthetic Saddles Made Of?
- What Is The Angle System For Branding?
- What Is A Bosal?
- What Is A Bull Riding Vest Made Of?
- What Is A Domain Name?
Why would I need one for my farm or ranch even if I don't have or want a website?
- What Is A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch?
- What Is Flag and National Anthem Etiquette At A Rodeo?
- What Is Floating A Horse's Teeth?
- What Is Freeze Branding?
- What Is Freeze Branding......What Do Horse Freeze Brands Look Like?
- What Is A Galvayne's Groove?
- What Is A Gooseneck Trailer Hitch?
- What Is A Headstall?
- What Is Hermann Oak Leather?
- What Is Larvicidal De-Worming?
- What Is The Mark Out Rule?
- What Is A Nord Fork?
- What Is The Rodeo Return Gate?
- What Is Rotational Grazing?