Part of being a horseman is knowing how to tie knots. Four knots you should master: the quick release knot, the bowline, the half hitch, and the sheet bend.
Quick Release Knot.
As the name implies, this knot can be released quickly with a pull on the tail of the rope. It is used to tie a horse to a hitch rail or post, or to a horse trailer. You can also use it to tie individual reins to a surcingle or to rigging rings on a Western saddle. Also called a manger knot, it was the knot used to tie horses at their mangers when horses were kept in tie stalls. With practice, you can tie the quick release knot without hesitation and keep your fingers out of the loops while tying.
Tying the Quick Release Knot
Run the tail of the rope (called the free end) over the rail or through the tie ring. Hold the standing end (the portion attached to the horse) and the free end together in your left hand.
With your right hand, pick up a portion of the free end of the rope and make a fold (bight) in it. Cross the fold over the two ropes you are holding in your left hand and through the loop that has formed. (Take care not to let your fingers get inside any of the loops, because if your horse were to pull at this point, your fingers could get trapped in the loops.)
Grab the bight and pull it through the loop. Pull until the U-shaped bight is about 6 inches long and the knot is snug.
Grasp the standing portion of the lead rope with your left hand and the knot with your right hand. As you pull with your left hand, slide the knot up to the ring or the rail with your right hand.
To release, just pull the free end. If you horse has learned how to nibble the quick release knot and free himself, you will have to “horse proof” the knot by dropping the tail of the rope through the loop. In order to release a horseproof quick release, you must first remove the tail from the loop.
This is a non-tightening knot that is safe to use as a neck rope or in restraint.
Not actually a knot, this is a hitch made by looping a rope or strap around an object and then back around itself. Useful to fasten a pair of reins over a Western saddle horn; to fasten the leading end of a mecate to a Western saddle horn; and to secure a quick release knot.
This is used to fasten a rope halter or a fiador (rope throatlatch on a bosal) onto a horse.