The bowline is an incredibly useful knot.

It has uses in boating and climbing (to name just two) and is one of the standard knots that “everyone” should know. On the smallholding the purpose we use it for most often is for tethering. When you tether an animal (if you use rope and not chain) you need a knot that is quick and easy to tie, isn’t going to come undone under pressure but, at the same time isn’t going to tighten up so much you can’t get it undone. And for this…….the bowline is perfect.

Note: This is NOT a quick release knot for tying up horses – it is only used for fastening the rope to the clips, swivels and tether pin.

So here, in a few easy steps, is how to tie a bowline.

1)  Make a loop in the rope as shown.

How to tie a bowline

2) Push the end of the rope up through the loop.

tying a bowline

3)  Pass the end of the rope around the back of the rope, and back down through the loop.

tie a bowline

4)  Pull the end through.

bowline knot

5)  And tighten

how to tie a bowline

6) The finished bowline should look like this.


To tether or not to tether