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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Horn Knots

This is a new blog of the different projects I take on. I am brand new to making and maintaining a blog so bear with me. For my first post I will start with a knot of sorts that is pretty easy and repetitive once you can get the hang of it. It is known as a "horn knot," among cowboys and ranch hands. When I first tried my hand at this knot, it stumped me for a good while. This knot is used for securing a rope around the saddle horn when roping calves. It can also be tied around the actual saddle horn to create friction against calf ropes and it also protects the saddle horn's leather from wear and tear. 

Sizing the horn knot is interesting. When you tie this knot it can be as wide or long as you possibly want it, which makes why this knot is so very versatile. I haven't found anywhere online or in books where it details how to describe the sizing of a horn knot, so I have come up with my own. Turks head knots are done by bights and lead, so instead I go by twists and height. 

The first picture is an example of a couple of horn knots that are used when securing a calf rope. The one on the left done with paracord, and the one on the right is made of nylon rope. Traditionally if you were to buy a horn knot at tack shop, they will be made of nylon. Being an avid user of paracord, I like to use the different colors and styles of paracord to make them look better and more fluid. I size all my small horn knots at 6 twists and 6 high. Each takes 8 feet of cord to tie without tightening. 

These two horn knots have not been tighten and are waiting to be put onto a saddle horn. These horn knots are 7 twists by 13 high, and use 25 feet or so of paracord without tightening.

The left and below pictures are the two 7x13 horn knots finished around saddle horns. It took about 3 series of tightening starting from the middle and working down, then starting again from the middle and working back


  1. If you’re familiar with paracord and paracord knots, then you’re aware of how useful these can be. You should have paracord with you when you’re hiking or planning a bug out bag for when things are at their worst. See more http://myoutdoorslife.com/diy/paracord-knots.html

  2. Over the past few weeks, I have been gathering info on the most important parachute cord knots, and the horn knot is one of them. Thanks for the tips; the info has truly been helpful. Learn the basics of Paracord knots here: http://hikingmastery.com/skills/paracord-knots.html