How to Tie a Slip Knot for Horses


The slipknot, or quick release knot, allows you to release your horse quickly with one tug of the rope. When horses are learning to stand tied, they may get startled and pull hard on the rope, break the lead rope snap and cause injury to themselves. You can monitor your horse from nearby and quickly let him go, so he does not cause harm to himself or others.

Things You'll Need

  • Halter
  • Lead rope
  • Twine (optional)

Step 1

Snap a lead rope onto your horse's halter and lead him to a very solid object, such as a hitching post, metal ring or horse trailer.


  • Do not tie a horse to a portable pen, an older stall wall made of wood or anything he can break. When a horse pulls the object down, he will feel as if it is chasing him and can be injured from running into other objects while trying to escape.

Step 2

Pull the tail of the lead rope through the metal ring or post at a height of a few inches taller than your horse's eyes.

Step 3

Wrap the rail of the lead rope under the end attached to your horse's halter and then over the top of the end on the halter to create a circle. Hold the circle in your left hand.

Step 4

Pick up the loose end of the rope with your right hand and fold it over itself to form a loop. Insert the loop in your right hand into the circle in your left hand and pull it tight.

Step 5

Tuck the loose tail of the rope through the bottom, open loop of the slipknot to prevent your horse from untying the slipknot.

Step 6

Grasp the tail of the slipknot rope and pull it upward through the bottom loop with a tug to release the knot.


  • As an added precaution, you can make a loop out of baling twine, tie it to your metal tie ring or fixed object, and tie the slipknot in the lead rope to the twine. If your horse gets upset and pulls before you can release the knot, he will break the twine to escape.


  • If you tie your horse to a fixed object at eye level without a slipknot, he will break the snap on the lead rope if he pulls on the rope. A broken snap is sharp and can injure your horse.

    Do not tie your horse to any object at eye level or lower. He can step on or over the rope and wrap it around his legs, or the rope can go over his head, ears or eyes and startle him.

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