Category Archives: Handy Tips

Lotsa Knots.

ORIGINALLY POSTED 8/15/11:  I’m still feeling under the weather so I thought I would repost this fun one, since we are all in the Summer Swing of things!

Lotsa Knots.

I never went to camp.

Besides missing out on canoeing, potato sack races and ping-pong tournaments (sigh), I also never wove any keychains or necklaces that would have given me the skills later in life to tie certain knots.

You all are probably going to think I’m completely daft, but I don’t know how to tie saddle strings onto a D-ring.

I had to look it up.

It actually took me quite a while to find both written and pictorial demonstrations.

And, unbeknownst to me, I had a variety of knots from which to choose.

Who knew?  Certainly not moi.

So, I figured since I didn’t know, there have to be more of us out there.

But, just in case I’m the very last soul who was deprived of saddle string knot education, I’ve included a few other knots that I found along the way…

How to get these onto my saddle… seems easy enough. Why can’t I do it?


I have a new saddle and it didn’t come with saddle strings.  So, I bought some.

The strings I purchased didn’t come with instructions.  I didn’t think this would be a problem until I tried to figure out how my other saddle’s saddle strings were installed.

I guess I needed to lubricate them a few years back because there was no way I could have undone those suckers in order to understand the knotting process.

Here is the type of knot I had on my other saddle… This is what you all learned at camp.


Well, there have to be instructions on Google.

I went hunting.

Lo and behold, there were a zillion knots for mariners and anglers.  Horsemen must think knot-making is genetic because there wasn’t much information.

However, I did find this.  It is a photo that gave me the AHA! moment I needed.  So simple.

Aha! This I could do!

And then there was this (below) diagram which brought me back to the camp analogy.

You see, I know that everyone learns this stuff at camp.  I’ve seen the keychains.  Yet, I didn’t have the power… until now.  Now I know how to do this tricky knot (not really) via these handy-dandy steps.

In case any of you need the same helping hand, I’m glad to provide the instructions for a “bleed knot” or “split braid” – that is the official name for the camp knot.


Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need

• Leather saddle string

• Utility knife

• Pencil

• Ruler

• Needle-nose pliers

 1 Fold the saddle string in half and mark the center with a pencil. Cut two longitudinal slits in the saddle string, each 1/2-inch from the center mark. The slits should be the same length as the width of the saddle string. Cut the ends of the saddle strings at 45 degree angles.

 2 Thread the saddle string through the “D” ring on the saddle so the center of the string rests on the ring. For descriptive purposes, you now have a front string and a back string.

 3 Push the tip of the needle-nosed pliers through the slit in the back string, from back to front. Grip the end of the front string and pull it through the slit. Pull it firmly to pass the slit in the front string through the slit in the back string. Now, the string positioned in the back has the only remaining unused slit.

 4 Pass the string, now in the front, through the slit in the back string. Pull the strings firmly to secure.


You all learned this at camp, right?



OK, so I’m always wanting to be Ms. Western Attire although I ride more in English clothes.  Still, I have a thing for jangly bits, flashy silver and bright neck scarves.

(I look fairly confused when I ride, I’m sure… <smile>)

Anyway, I ran across an article on “How to tie a Wild Rag”.

Simple directions?

I had no idea there was a ‘way’ to tie a wild rag.  I mean, can’t you just tie it?

I suspect the knots I’ve tied have given me away as not being a real cowgirl.  So, I decided to learn how to tie an official Wild Rag knot.

Here are the instructions.  Thank Gawd they used two different colored materials or I would have been completely lost.  I think once you get the hang of it, the tie is fairly simple.

(Oh, and if you want to peruse pretty Wild Rags, here is a link to California.)

Click to browse some pretty Wild Rags

So, here are the instructions:

The first steps…



I love it when big, tough cowboys wear these beautiful scarves!


I also found this video (linked here) that shows a simpler knot for when you are working cattle and need something that can quickly tuck into your shirt or slide up over your mouth.


Click to watch the video with simpler Wild Rag knots. (I love the expression on the horse’s face…!)


This is the knot I use to tie all of my horses.

I am surprised at how often people will ask me to show them how a daisy chain knot is created.

I really cannot explain it.  I just do it several times and hope they understand what I’ve done.

However, while searching around for saddle string knots, I found this diagram from the University of Vermont.  I was thrilled that they had drawn this because I liked it the best and, of course, University of Vermont loves their Morgans, and so do I.

In case any of you want to know how to create a daisy chain quick release knot, here you go!


Daisy Chain knot quick release

This knot will not tighten to the point that it cannot be jerked free, no matter how hard the pull goes in the other direction. It also seems to have less of a tendency to grab fingers in the process of tying.
The “daisy-chain” knot can be identified from a distance making it is easy to see if it is being tied correctly. This knot also has the advantage of being able to be tied with almost no time spent with the fingers in precarious positions. Extreme care must be used when allowing students to tie their own horses in order to make sure they are doing so correctly. It’s always wise to supervise this part of a lesson as closely as the rest to make sure that instructions are followed exactly rather than finding out too late that a horse could not be freed or someone received an injury.

The Daisy Chain quick-release knot



Many articles described a ‘scaffold knot’ to tie up your strings or leathers (dangling items that you don’t want to curl badly).

So, I’m adding this for those of you who would like to learn this knot:


Click to go to this page of knots.



I stumbled upon this website “How to tie the 7 basic knots every man should know”.

Hubby, who is at this moment hovering over my shoulder, says he knows them ALL.

Anyway, if you feel like brushing up on your knot expertise, this site might tickle your fancy.

Click to test your knot knowledge!


Click to learn about the Feedlot Yearlings, our August Bucket Fund


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Let’s talk manure flow: HAUL ‘N GO helps when needed! (No affiliation)

All horse owners check manure.

That’s what you do…

Good healthy manure usually means a good, healthy horse.

So what do you do when the manure is a bit dry (although otherwise healthy) and it just isn’t flowing as well as you’d like…?

Last night, I tried HAUL ‘N GO on Tess to see if it would help her pass more fluid manure.

It comes with 2 doses - I've used one, as you can see.   Only $35 for peace of mind!

It comes with 2 doses – I’ve used one, as you can see. Only $35 for peace of mind!

HAUL ‘N GO (no affiliation)

You all know that I have used and believe in “SAY WHOA!” for colic.  I use it whenever I have an inkling that something is amiss as I am waiting for the vet.

It has always worked.  By the time the vet arrives, the colic symptoms are gone.

So, when I heard that they have a brand new product out, HAUL ‘N GO, I asked for a sample.

HAUL ‘N GO is used for the times when your horse has dry stools or is not flowing well.  Maybe after a trailer ride, in hot weather or at a show… or if stalled.

For Tess, she sometimes won’t move around as much as needed to create a good flow.  And, even though I wet all of her food and leave clean, cool water everywhere for her, she might not drink enough, either, especially when it is really hot.

Sometimes, she has small and dry manure for a few days.  This upsets me.  So, I give her psyllium powder fairly regularly.  But it doesn’t always work.  In fact, I think she is getting  used to it…

Anyway, yesterday, I thought her manure was too dry (and had been for a few days), so I administered the HAUL ‘N GO last night.

Tess' manure was small and dry the last few days.  it has been hot and she was moving around less, and probably drinking less.  I was a bit concerned.

Tess’ manure was small and dry the last few days. it has been hot and she was moving around less, and probably drinking less. I was a bit concerned.


It was easy… the liquid comes in an easy paste dispenser.  I put the plunger into her mouth (like a wormer) and made sure it was far back – then pushed.

She gulped it down.  And, to be honest, she seemed to like the taste.  Tess kept licking her lips.


And, voila!  This morning, MT had a nice few piles of wet and lumpy manure, as it should be.

I’m guessing she was relieved and I know I was.

In the morning there were four nice, wet, clumpy piles.  (3 shown here, sorry.)

In the morning there were four nice, wet, clumpy piles. (3 shown here, sorry.)


They  haven’t yet gotten this new item on their website… but if you want some, just email them or call them.  You get two syringes (2 doses) for $35 plus $5 shipping in the US.  Total: $40.

For me, I think it is very worthwhile to have on hand!  (no affiliation)

Contact info:  Phone – 800-448-8180,  email:



Another Estelle  intake photo...  click image to read story and donate!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!