The Quick Release Knot

The quick release knot is item #4 on your Horsemanship Level 1 checklist.

There are several methods of tying a quick release knot, and your instructor will teach you the most simple method.  For your assessment we don’t mind which one you use as long as it

  1. tightens when the horse pulls back
  2. releases smoothly when you pull the loose end of the rope

Be sure to tie to a piece of baling twine rather than directly to a solid object.  That way the twine will break in an emergency.  A thousand pound animal can easily hurt himself or you, as well as cause a lot of property damage by pulling out tie rings, fence posts, and stall walls if panicked.

If your horse knows how to untie herself you may daisy chain the knot to take up the slack end.  However, do not tuck the loose end through the loop, as far too many videos and diagrams suggest.  This defeats the purpose of the quick release knot and makes it difficult to undo in an emergency.

This week’s bonus question:  What is the other meaning of ‘tying up’ in the equine world?The answers to last week’s  ‘what’s wrong with this picture’ question:

  1. Leading from the off side.  Always lead from the near (left) side where possible
  2. Excess lead rope wrapped around hand. Never wrap the rope around the hand: hold excess in figure 8 in non-leading hand.
  3. Holding the rope too close to the clip.  A 6-10′ distance is most effective.
  4. Turning the horse towards himself.  Turn the horse away from you where possible.

Next week: Simple Grooming

Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.