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How to Tie a Quick Release Knot for Restraints

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Halter

  • Lead rope

A quick-release knot is one of the simplest, and safest, knots used by horse owners. Also known as a jerk knot, a quick-release knot can be untied by jerking down on the free end of the lead rope. Horses often pull back violently when scared, and will injure themselves, and bystanders, if not untied quickly, making the quick-release knot the ideal knot for tying your equine companions.

Buckle a halter on the horse’s head, and attach a lead rope to the halter. The lead rope should be a minimum of 12 feet long to allow for a proper quick-release knot.

Thread the loose end of the lead rope around the back of a fence or hitching post. Leave three or four feet of slack between the horse’s head and the post so the horse doesn’t feel confined and pull back in a panic.

Cross the free end of the rope from the left side of the post under the section of rope leading to the horse’s head. Twist the left side of the rope to form a small loop.

Fold the free end of the rope over in a “U” shape and pull the tail end of the knot from the right side back over the rope. Push the folded end of the rope through the loop you made on the left. Pull the tail tight to secure the quick-release knot.


  • To untie the knot, simply pull the loose end under the knot. It will slide apart and free the horse from the post.


  • Never tie a horse with anything other than a quick-release knot.