Quick Release Knot: How (And Why) To Use When Tying Your Horse

Tying your horse is a great way to keep him from walking out of the barn or away from the horse trailer. It’s a useful and practical skill that all horses should learn. Whether you need to groom your horse or tack up for a ride or have your horse examined by a veterinarian. But, how can you tie your horse safely? Will your horse get nervous? The safest and easiest way to tie your horse or teach him to tie is to use a quick release knot.

In this article you’ll find a step by step guide to tying your horse safely using a quick release knot. We’ll also discuss other important factors about tying your horse safely so you and your horse can have a positive experience.

Before You Tie Your Horse He Should Know:

Before tying your horse even with a quick release knot, it’s helpful if he has some basic knowledge. For example, your horse should understand pressure and release. This means if he rope tightens, instead of backing away your horse understands that when he stops pulling, the pressure will release. And, he will be rewarded for “giving” to the pressure.

If your horse has basic ground manners and leading skills, he likely understands this concept. Ask yourself how your horse typically reacts when you pull on the lead rope while handling him. If he has a tendency to back up or become nervous, he might not be ready to stand tied.

Always Tie Your Horse In A Secure Location

A safe and secure location is imperative when tying your horse, no matter how well behaved he is. Avoid tying your horse in a cluttered area. For example, any area in your barn where there are items on the ground that your horse could step on, trip over or kick. If your horse gets tangled up and startled because there isn’t enough space he could easily panic.

Secondly, be sure to only tie your horse to an immovable object. This means using something like a stall wall or sturdy fence post but not a fence rail. You want to be sure that your horse cannot pull back and move, dislodge or drag an unstable board or fence rail.

If your horse happens to pull hard enough to break a fence rail for example, he may drag it with him which could scare him and he could become injured.

What You Need To Tie Your Horse Safely

Next, you need to use the appropriate equipment to tie your horse safely. Below is a list of acceptable equipment and a list of items that should not be used.

  • A leather halter or nylon halter with leather break away crown
  • Cotton or nylon lead rope, use a rope not a lead with a flat piece of nylon that could get stuck
  • A safe area to tie your horse

What you should NOT use when tying your horse:

  • Never use a rope halter to tie your horse
    • When your horse pulls or panics the halter could tighten instead of breaking and your horse can become injured easily
  • A chain lead shank
  • Any tie that does not have a safety release clip

The Purpose of Quick Release Knots & Clips

The main objective of any horse equipment with quick release features is that you can free your horse quickly and safely, or your horse can free himself. Using the correct type of knot with a lead rope allows you the ability to prevent an injury by quickly and safely freeing your horse.

There are also lots of other safe products on the market like trailer ties, stall ties, cross ties, leather halters and nylon halters with leather crowns.

All of these items allow your horse to break free if he panics.

How To Tie A Quick Release Knot

Tying a quick release not is simple, but it may take some practice.

Once you have a secure area and confirm that your horse is trained well enough to stand tied, it’s time to practice. Start by looping your lead rope through a ring or around the fence post you plan to use.

Next, make a loop with the free end of the rope. Cross it over the end of the rope attached to your horse. Bring the loop around the back and through the opening. Then, tighten the knot. To release the knot, simply pull the loose end.

Watch the video below to see how it’s done! And, don’t forget to save this video to your Pinterest board for future reference!

Other Safe Ways To Tie Your Horse

There are other variations of quick release knots which we will cover in a future article. This is the most basic and beginner friendly way.

Additionally, you can safely tie your horse using a trailer/stall ties or cross ties that have quick release snaps on both ends.

Here are some of my favorite products that I use in my barn to tie my horse safely.

I hope you found this article helpful! If you did, please share it with your friends!

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