The Right Knot: How to Tie-On at the Rodeo with Erin Johnson

Three-time National Finals of Breakaway Roping qualifier Erin Johnson breaks down the steps it takes to tie your breakaway rope onto your saddle horn for competition.

How To Tie-on At The Rodeo
BRJ File Photo/Kaitlin Gustave

You’re going to want to get a piece of string—sometimes they will have them pre-cut at the rodeo and sometimes you’ll have to cut your own. I tie knots at the very ends of my string first. It’s not completely necessary, but it gives me something to grip the string with when I’m trying to pull it tight.

[Read: Hot Pursuit: Position Leaving the Corner with WPRA World Champion Erin Johnson]

How To Tie-on At The Rodeo
BRJ File Photo/Kaitlin Gustave

There are a couple of different ways that you can put it on your rope. I tie the string onto the end of my rope with a square knot. I like the knot of my rope on the left side of my saddle horn. I usually get ahold of those knots and pull as tight as possible. I like to wrap twice around my horn and come to the front with it because that’s how my fingers work best when I’m tying this knot by myself.

I put the first wrap on it and then hold down with my ring finger. There’s no one way to do this that is right or wrong. I get my next knot and I keep my ring finger down on it right up to the last second. You want to make sure and pull it tight and if you’re not sure that it’s tight, then tie another knot on there because you don’t want it slipping off. The tighter the string is tied, the better of a snap you’re going to get when the calf hits the end.

BONUS TIP: A square knot is always the best way to tie your rope on so that it doesn’t slip.

How To Tie-on At The Rodeo
BRJ File Photo/Kaitlin Gustave

[Listen: The Trials and Tribulations from the ProRodeo Road with Erin Johnson]

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