How to Tie a Horse Out to Graze

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If possible, tie out your horse near a shady area to prevent it from overheating.
If possible, tie out your horse near a shady area to prevent it from overheating. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Tying your horse out to graze can offer it a change of scenery and fresh tender shoots to eat that have yet to be trampled on. However, improper tethering (tying) can result in the horse injuring itself or someone else. To properly secure your horse while you allow it to graze, check to make sure the area is free from debris that may become stuck in the horses hooves or larger pieces of debris such as cinder blocks and barbed wire that the horse's rope can become tangled in.

Things You'll Need

  • 20 feet of rope
  • Halter
  • Tie-out stake
  • Water container
  • Food container

Tying Your Horse Out to Graze

Secure the tie-out stake in a location where the horse will not become tangled in trees, poles or other objects that will catch the rope within the diameter of the rope's distance. For example, open fields, meadows and lawns are places that provide unhindered space. Also, make sure that the terrain is not slick and will effectively keep the horse from falling.

Open terrains found while trail riding are ideal places to let your horse graze and rest while on the trail.
Open terrains found while trail riding are ideal places to let your horse graze and rest while on the trail. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Secure an appropriately sized halter to the horse's head that will safely attach to the tie-out rope. If there is a bit and bridle on the horse, slip the halter over the bridle and secure it onto the horses head. Do not tie the tie-out rope to the halter before placing it on the horse's head, and do not attempt to remove the halter if it still attached to the tie-out rope.

Never use a bridle or bridle reins to tie out a horse.
Never use a bridle or bridle reins to tie out a horse. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Use a secure cotton rope to tie the horse to the in-ground stake or stake swivel using a slip knot. A slip knot can be released quickly in case of an emergency. Cotton rope is soft against the horse's feet and is stronger than more brittle ropes made from baling twin and leather, which will break if your horse becomes frightened and pulls on the rope.

Never use a fast or hard knot to tie out your horse.
Never use a fast or hard knot to tie out your horse. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Attach the rope to the horses halter also using a slip knot double checking it to make sure it holds tight when the horse pulls on it, but has a quick release "tail" you can pull if your horse starts to balk or become resistant to being tied.

Quick-release knots are safe to use with horses to prevent broken necks and serious injury.
Quick-release knots are safe to use with horses to prevent broken necks and serious injury. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Place food and water containers in an accessible location to the horse without becoming tangled in the tie-out rope if the horse is to be tied out for extended periods of time.

It will make your horse's grazing time more enjoyable by being able to nibble and drink freely.
It will make your horse's grazing time more enjoyable by being able to nibble and drink freely. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • If your horse begins to pull on the tie-out rope, gently urge him forward to release the pressure on the halter using a clicking or clucking noise. Never try to frighten the horse forward which may result in him bolting and injuring his neck.
  • If your horse is not stake trained, it is advisable to not do so until the horse has been trained to accept a dragging rope without becoming tangled in it.

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