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Horse Facts and Tips
First Posted Sept 15, 2008
Jul 26, 2010

Tying A Horse

by Debora Johnson

There have been many times when I have seen horses tied in such a way that it was down right dangerous! So--How do you secure your horse?

Do's and Don'ts of Tying Your Horse

  • Don't make the knot too tight.
  • Do make the knot so that you can pull the end of the lead shank to release the knot.
  • Don't leave the rope too long (about 16" is a good lead length). If left too long horses will get tangled up in it, break legs, get rope burns, pull muscles and tendons, or even hang themselves.
  • Do use a break-away halter. A leather halter or a halter with a leather break-away strap can save your horse from much injury or even death.
  • Don't tie to a cross rail. Tying to a cross rail can cause the rail to break if a horse pulls back. The boards can kill or maim horses and humans.
  • Do tie to a post that is set into the ground securely.
  • Don't tie the rope too low on the post or your horse will get tangled up in the rope. I try to tie our horses about 4 1/2' to 5' up the rail, if possible.

Knots to Use and Why

I use a quick release knot when tying our horses. The reason I use this knot is in an emergency the tail of the rope can be pulled and the loop will release. For example, if your horse gets a leg caught in the rope and starts to thrash about he could break a leg, or worse. With a quick release knot the knot can be undone immediately. The horse and human are less likely to be hurt! So, how do you tie a quick release knot?

Here is another example of how to tie a quick release knot:

Quick Release Slip Knot

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