How to Tie a Knot for Goat Tying

By Jolee Lautaret

Goat tying is one of the standard events offered for young cowgirls in junior, high school and college rodeo. It is a simple event: a cowgirl rides her horse down the arena, dismounts, flanks and ties three legs of a goat together. The fastest cowgirl wins.

Cowgirls like Nora Hunt-Lee, a three time Regional Collegiate Champion in the event, can earn college scholarships with their goat-tying ability.

While the knot used to secure the goat for the five seconds mandated by official rodeo rules is quite simple, the challenge is tying as fast as possible. Top cowgirls can complete an entire run in seven seconds or less.

Place one end of the string in your mouth and tuck the other end into your back pocket or belt loop.

Hold the goat's legs together in your left hand. Ideally, gather the top front leg and both back legs with the front leg on the bottom to support the goat's back legs as you tie. Hold your hand so that your thumb is on top of the legs with the other four fingers on the bottom.

Pull the string from your back pocket or belt loop with your right hand and wrap the legs in a forward motion over top of the legs and around all three. Each wrap should be between the web of your left hand and the goat's dewclaws.

Release the legs with your left hand once you have made one or two full wraps. The legs are now supported by the string that is in your mouth and the right hand.

Begin another full wrap around the legs with the right hand. With the left hand, reach through the space created between your right hand and the string in your mouth.

Take the string from your mouth with your left hand and pull it back towards your left armpit as your right hand continues around the legs to finish that wrap.

Tighten the knot by pulling both hands away from each other. The knot should be on the underside of the legs.

Signal for the end of your competition time once the tie is tight by throwing your hands in the air.

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