Tying a Horse

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How to Tie a Horse

Tying is a common practice used to restrain a horse’s movement when grooming, saddling or bathing it. 


First, select a place with a firm, non-slip surface that is free of debris. The horse should be tied to a secure post or in cross-ties. The horse should be tied at the horse’s eye or wither level and the lead rope should have enough slack so the horse can move their head, but not step over the rope or become entangled. 

The tying structure should be secure and able to withstand the force of pressure that horses exert in case the horse becomes frightened and pulls on the rope. 

A quick release knot should always be used when tying rope so the horse can be quickly released if necessary.

The knot should be tied securely in a slip or quick release knot, such as a bowline knot. These types of knots allow for quick release of the rope when the tail of the rope is pulled.

Horses should be tied with the knot of the rope at least wither height. There should be enough length so the horse can stand comfortably with its head at or above wither level.

Adapted with permission from "Techniques for Safely Handling Horses", Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University.

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