Tie a Quick Release Knot

  • 01 of 05

    Quick Release Knot Step One

    Step One Tie a Quick Release Knot
    Start with the rope around a post or through a ring. 2005 K. Blocksdorf

    It's important to learn to tie your horse safely. To tie a quick release knot, you need a soft lead rope to tie your horse with. Webbing or leather ropes are not suitable for tying. Ideally, you'll have a round synthetic or cotton rope. 

    There are a few different ways to tie a quick release knot. This is just one method. Whatever method you use, be sure that the knot will not bind itself if pulled tight from the snap end of the rope. This won't be safe, as the knot won't release as intended. 

    To...MORE start, loop the rope around a post, through a ring, or loop of bale twine - wherever you are tying. The loose end is being held in the right hand, and the snap end is being held in the left.

    Whether you tie your horse to something solid or to a loop of twine depends on where you are.  And many people have different ideas about tying 'solid' or tying to a loop of string. Many organizations like Pony Club recommend tying to a loop of string. Others feel it's unsafe not to tie solid. Take a look at Learn how to Tie a Horse Safely to see how both may or may not work in different situations.

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  • 02 of 05

    Learn to Tie a Quick Release Knot - Step Two

    Step Two Tie a Quick Release Knot
    Cross the rope under itself. 2005 K. Blocksdorf

    Cross the rope being held in the right hand under the ‘snap end’ of the rope. 

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  • 03 of 05

    Tie a Quick Release Knot-Step Three

    Step Three Tie a Quick Release Knot
    Make a circle and pull a loop up through it. 2005 K. Blocksdorf

    Cross the rope back over the top of the ‘snap end’, and pull a loop up through the resulting circle. Don't tighten any of the loops yet. That will make it hard to complete the knot. The final tightening will be at the finish. 

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  • 04 of 05

    Tie a Quick Release Knot-Step Four

    Step Four Tie a Quick Release Knot
    Tighten the knot. 2005 K. Blocksdorf

    Be sure you're not tying your horse too short or too long. Then pull the rope tight against the post, ring or twine.

    Your horse should be able to move and hold its head in a natural position. But the lead rope shouldn't be dangling anywhere near the ground. If there is any chance the horse could get a leg over the rope, it's too long. And, you should tie high enough that you don't need to make the rope short. Ideally, the rope should be chest height or higher, depending on what...MORE you're tying it to. 

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  • 05 of 05

    Practice Your Quick Release Knot

    Line Drawing Quick Release Knot
    Print out this line diagram to use to practice. 2005 K. Blocksdorf

    This diagram shows the quick release knot pattern expanded. Copy and print the diagram if you need a reminder next time you tie your horse or pony. As I mentioned, there are different ways of tying quick release knots. You can also use a bowline knot, but rather than putting the end of the rope through the 'rabbit' hole, put the folded rope through so there is a loose end to pull when you are done.

    To release the knot, simply pull on the loose end. The knot should come undone easily. With a quick...MORE release knot, you'll be able to free your horse from wherever it's tied should it become anxious and struggle against the rope. This is a much safer way of tying a horse than with a knot that won't come undone.