Gear Riding Tips

Reference Ready Review: Horse Knot Tying Pocket Guide

Written by Horse Rookie

Equine knots getting you all tangled up?

Knot tying isn’t just for Scouts, but equestrians don’t earn any badges for getting it right. (Side note: We totally should.) When it comes to safely tying your horse to a hitching rail, high line, or trailer, it’s important to know what you’re doing.

Wonderful though they are in many ways, horses are notorious for getting themselves into trouble. Standing tied is one of the prime opportunities for mischief and injury, and it’s our job to lower the risk while ensuring our horses stay put where we left them.

In this article, I want to introduce you to a cool little product—Reference Ready Horse Knots (previously called Corral Cards) that will make a big impact.

Quick Look: Corral Cards
  • 9/10
    Usefulness - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Accuracy - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Design - 9/10
9.3/10

Summary

Remember how to tie various knots is tough, but these handy cheat sheets help you secure your horse (and equipment) safely.

What We Love: 

  • Waterproof and durable
  • Pocket sized so you can take them anywhere
  • Color-coded, step-by-step diagrams
  • Carabiner included
  • Created by a small business

What We Don’t: 

  • Those with poor eyesight may struggle with the small text and diagrams
horse knot tying guide corral cards

Few things are more perplexing than a pile of rope and a loose horse

Knowledge is Horsepower™

It’s the Horse Rookie tagline for a reason, and this sentiment applies perfectly to equestrian knot tying. If you’re unsure about how to tie safely, or keep forgetting the knots you need, you’re going to have a tough time. 

Once you know what you’re doing, you’re equipped for (almost) any situation.

Now you can carry a step-by-step pocket guide for horse knots. You can learn all the essential knots you’ll need for everyday tying or camping with your horse, plus these cards serve as great reminders if you need to quickly check if you tied a particular knot correctly. 

horse knot tying guide review corral cards

The more you know, the safer your horse will be.

Why Reference Ready

When it comes to knot tying guides for equestrians, there are a variety of options out there. Many are too hefty to be useful on-the-go, and others are frankly too complicated to even understand. 

Reference Ready strikes a balance between simplicity and usefulness. 

As a user of their Horse Knots cards, I’ve found several things that make them stand out from the competition.

Key Features:

  • Step by Step Instruction: Each card has color-coded knot tying diagrams with easy to follow descriptions and tips.
  • Curated: The knots featured were chosen because they’re the most commonly used in horse riding, packing, and camping scenarios.
  • Waterproof: Drop them in a water bucket, mud puddle, or a river crossing? No big deal. 
  • Rugged Construction: Made from super thick plastic card stock, the cards are durable enough to take with you anywhere. 
  • Clippable: Each set includes a mini carabiner so you can easily attach it to your saddle ring, belt loop, backpack, trailer tie rings, or just about anywhere.
  • No WiFi Required: Mobile apps and videos are great… if you’ve got cell service. If you’re out camping in the backwoods, though, you may not have access when you need it most.
  • Giftable: That’s probably not a real word, but this item makes a great gift for any occasion!
horse knot tying pocket guide in chaps

Clip them to your saddle ring or slip them into your pocket

Cards are completely waterproof (I checked!)

What You’ll Learn

There are 19 essential knots included in each set of cards, and they span a variety of uses. The really nice thing? Each card explains when (and when not) to use the knot. 

Knots Included: 

  1. Square Knot
  2. Overhand
  3. Double Overhand
  4. Bowline
  5. Figure 8 Loop
  6. Honda Knot (Lariat)
  7. Halter Hitch
  8. Cow Hitch
  9. Half Hitch
  10. Two Half Hitches
  11. Clove Hitch (Mid-Rope)
  12. Clove Hitch (With End)
  13. Butterfly Loop (AKA Picket Line Loop)
  14. Dutchman’s Hitch
  15. Highwayman’s Hitch
  16. Tying a Lead to a Rope Halter Using a Sheet Bend
  17. Securing a Rope Halter Using a Sheet Bend
  18. Improvised Halter
  19. Highline Setup Diagram
horse knot tying guide with bridle

Small enough to take anywhere, big enough you won’t misplace it

Knots for One and All

Too often, knot tying is associated with western-style riders. After all, english riders use cross ties, right?

All types of equestrians need to know how to safely tie their horses.

Whether you’re out at a show, trail riding, working cattle, or simply heading to a friend’s place to ride, tying is a required skill. Though you may not end up using all of the knots above on a daily basis, they’re all good to have in your back pocket. (And you literally can since Reference Ready Cards are pocket sized.)

horse knot tying english

English riders need to learn knot tying too!

horse rookie guide to jumping

Never Stop Learning

Reference Ready, the brand behind these knot cards, also offers a suite of other knot tying guides. From fly fishing to rock climbing and boating to camping, they offer knot tying guides for many major outdoor activities.

Or, if you want to stay focused on equine knots, you can also check out our articles about how to tie a horse to a hitching rail and how to tie a horse in a trailer. We all have plenty left to learn!

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About the author

Horse Rookie

I began riding horses at age six, and I'm just as infatuated (OK, more!) with the sport decades later. My AQHA gelding exemplifies the versatility of the breed -- reined cow horse, reining, roping, ranch riding, trail, dressage, and jumping. We're also dipping our toes (hooves) into Working Equitation!