Brandenburg’s Tidbits | How to Tie a Lead Rope

I ran across this tidbit in the Americas Horse magazine and thought I would share it with all of you.

Tie your horse’s lead rope too high, and you’re asking for trouble.
Tie it too low, and your horse could end up in a big wreck.
Tie an incorrect knot, and you won’t be able to release it in an emergency.

A correctly tied lead rope is extremely important, whether you’re tying your horse in a trailer, to a stall wall, to a picket line or to a fence.

America’s Horse:  How to Tie a Lead Rope
By Dennis Moreland


Think about safety and remember this simple knot when tying up your horse.

How to Tie a Lead RopeHow to Tie a Lead RopeHow to Tie a Lead RopeHow to Tie a Lead RopeHow to Tie a Lead Rope

1. When you tie a horse to a fence, don’t tie too low. This particular stall has vertical bars, and if I looped the lead rope around the bottom of a bar, it would be too low, so I’m going to tie my horse to the top of the stall. Here’s how:

2. After you’ve circled the lead rope around a stationary object (make sure it’s very sturdy), make a loop with the portion of the rope closest to the halter.

3. Then take the tail of the rope and thread it through the loop.

4. Take the tail of the rope, wrap it once around the portion of the rope going to the horse’s head, then thread it back up through the loop.

5. This is called a bowline knot, and you can always get slack in it to untie it easily.

How to Tie a Lead Rope

6. As an additional note, make sure your lead rope fits the function. I usually use a half- inch nylon lead that ties directly onto the halter, and it’s fine for tying a horse to a fence or trailer. But if I want to tie to a horse walker, or maybe to an overhead tree limb where the horse can circle around, I’ll need a lead rope with a swivel snap on it to keep the lead rope from getting twisted. When you’re buying a lead rope with a snap, make sure it’s a good-quality snap that won’t fail on you.

AQHA member Dennis Moreland has been making quality working tack since 1976. Visit to learn more about his Dennis Moreland Second Edition line.

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