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Y’all, you don’t need the approval of others. It’s nice to have but not necessary to achieve what you want. . Honestly, it took me a while to learn that. But, once I realized that everything I needed to get the life I want was already inside of me, I was free to pursue my dreams and my goals because I didn’t need to wait for anything. . And, here’s the secret my friend, it’s the same for you. Everything you need to be who you want to be, to achieve what you want to achieve, and to live the life you want to live is already inside you. So, how about we kick ass today? . . . . . . . . #cowboylife #cowboy #longlivecowboys #hayisforhorses #cowboyaccountant #westernlifestyle #americancowboy #texascowboy #haybales #hayfordays #haytruck #haytrailer #haybale #hayallday #itsallwithinyou #takingabreak #copasquat #grabaseat #shadowphotography #puffyvest
Just like with cattle, we don’t always know why someone does something or says something. And we probably aren’t gonna find out, so just move on. You’ll be happier for it! . . . . . . . #cowboyaccountant #cowboywisdom #westernwednesday
If you are lucky enough to own a horse, you are lucky enough. . . . . #forlandforlife #ranchhorse #cowhorse #cowboyaccountant #schaefferoutfitters
Without ranch land there is no cowboy. And so the cowboy literally owes his life and his calling to the land. In that, the cowboy and the land he roams are inseparable. . “Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength; and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life.” - Joseph Conrad . . . . . . . #americancowboy #texascowboy #ranchlife #cowboylife #respecttheland #respecttheenvironment #respectnature #leavealegacy #cowboywisdom #wisdomoftheday #wisdomquotes #wisdomquote #cowboyaccountant #rangeland #ranchlands #protecttheenvironment #protecttheland #protecttheearth #protecttheplanet #respectmotherearth #cowboyculture #carefortheplanet #carefortheearth #environmentalist #environmentallyconscious #motherearth #leaveitbetterthanyoufoundit #agriculturelife #environmentallyfriendly
They say home is where you hang your hat. Well for others of us, our office is wherever we place our laptop. Some days serving clients, you just gotta improvise and work from the hood of a truck! . This wool @schaeferoutfitterusa jacket is always in my truck for when I need to look a bit more, umm, respectable. . Have a great day y’all. We’re making it through the work week! . . . . . . . #cpalife #farmaccounting #texasfarmsandranches #accountingservices #gettingworkdone #cowboylife #ranch #cowboy #cowboyaccountant #menswesternwear #westernwednesday #texascowboy #cowboystyle #workiswhereyouparkit #lovemyclients #agribusiness #workingfortheweekend #livingthelifeilove #cowboyhat #cowboystyle #westernwear #dowhatyoulovelovewhatyoudo #accountantsofinstagram #schaeferoutfitter #resistolhats #resistol #workingonthego #wednesdaywork #tweedjacket #remoteworking
Y’all, we can all find something to complain about now and again. It’s actually pretty easy if you think about it. . But, whenever you feel like complaining just remember that there are tens of thousands of others out there who are literally taking their final breaths on this planet. . And, they would give most anything to have some of our problems. Have a great day! . . . . . . . . #americanwest #cowboys #cowboylife #cowboy #longlivecowboys #oldwisdom #cowboyaccountant #westernlifestyle #cowboywisdom #dontquitonyourself #noquitting #noquitters #tuesdaythoughts #tuesdaytransformation #nocomplaints #nocomplaining #ingratitude #begratefuleveryday #begratefulalways #wisdomquotes #wisdomoftheday #wisdoms #wisdomquote #wisdomwords #cowboyup #neverquit #neverquitting #cowboystrong #cowboying
It’s Monday and y’all know what that means! Time to saddle up and head out for the work week. Time to continue the progress on making your dreams come true. And, time to make time for the important things in your life. Let’s go get it! . P.S., Whiskey stands a full 15.2 hands tall, so yep, I always have to duck! 😂 . . . . . . . #ranchhorse #bayroan #cowboylife #cowboyshit #horseshit #cowboyaccountant #horseback #americancowboy #texascowboy #horsebarn #horsestall #ridingout #headingout #mondaysbelike #mondayshenanigans #donttrythisathome #donttrythisathomekids #quarterhorse #americanquarterhorse #westernhorse #makeyourownpath #steppingout #mondaymornings #horsebackrider #offtowork #offtoworkigo #horsingaround #ridethathorse #rideahorse
Ever met someone who immediately impressed you? Chances are it’s because of the way they expressed themselves. Great leaders are great listeners. But, they are also always thinking. . Like a duck that is calm on the surface but paddling like Hell below the surface, impressive people tend to look and talk slower but are faster thinkers. . Think about that for a minute. See what I did there? . . . . . . . . . . . . #ranchfence #cowboy #cowboyaccountant #cowboywisdom #americancowboy #texascowboy #thinkfirst #thinkfast #talkslow #cowboylogic #sundaythoughts #sundaythought #greatleaders #leadershipskills #thinkaboutit #thinkbeforeyouspeak
It’s Friday y’all and even Whiskey’s glad it’s here (if you can’t tell). So, get out there and have some fun this weekend! . . . . . . . . . #ranchhorse #bayroan #hancockbred #hancockhorses #cowhorse #ropinghorse #ropingpractice #cowboylife #horses #cowboyaccountant #horseback #saddlebred #saddleup #cowhorsesofinstagram #horsesofinstagram #getbackonthehorse #horsefun #ropingpractice #saddle #saddlehorn #readyfortheweekend #workingfortheweekend #horsingaround #aqhaproud #westernriding #quarterhorse #quarterhorsesofinstagram #americanquarterhorse #cowboyhorse

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Every one of us that rides horses has heard the sage advice, “never tie up your horse by the reins!” And, while most of us heed this wise piece of cowboy wisdom, I’ve heard about a fair number of wrecks when a horse is tied up by the reins and something unexpected happens. From horses pulling back and banging up their mouths or cutting their tongues, to chewed up reins and tack that needs to be repaired on the spot, horses are unpredictable and sometimes do strange things. To be fair, while there are just as many occasions when a horse can be tied up by the bridle reins with no problems at all, I prefer not to take that chance. So, as I was searching for a solution to the challenge of what to do with Whiskey on days when I get on and off of her several times, I learned about hobbles for overnight stays, and the nifty “get-down rope” for times when I need to tie her up for short periods of time.


“A buckaroo never leads his horse by his bridle reins, as that can bump the bit against the roof of his horse’s mouth, causing pain and damage. Instead, he uses a thin rope to lead his horse for short distances when out cowboying.”


A get-down rope is an excellent tool for anyone who needs to dismount and lead or tie their horse during day work. While there are other methods such as teaching a horse to ground tie, a get-down rope is a superior solution as it gives every rider a measure of assurance that their horse will still be waiting for them — safely and without incident — when they are ready to remount. My horse ground ties just fine most of the time, so in the arena or cattle pen that’s all I need. But if I’m out on a more open range, and she decides she doesn’t want to ground tie that one time, I want a back up plan. Yes, I could carry a halter and lead rope tied to my saddle, but if you’re like me and riding with a halter under your bridle isn’t your style or you don’t have the time to halter your horse up every time you get off of him, read on.

A piece of cowboy gear is invented out of necessity

Cowboys have been getting on and off their horses for over a century now, and in many parts of the country that follow the “vaquero” method of horsemanship, the addition of a get-down rope is an effective tool for a cowboy to have at his or her disposal. As the name implies, a get-down rope was originally used for the cowboy after getting down from his mount. Over time, additional uses have evolved, limited only by the imagination and ingenuity of the cowboy. In addition to safely tying up a horse, a get-down rope can be used to lead a horse, keep a horse nearby for just a moment while freeing hands for work, or merely as an extra length of handy rope.

Image courtesy of Chris Cox Horsemanship.

Traditionally, the get-down rope is either tied around the horse’s throat latch or attached to an under bridle (the gear under the bridle), such as a thin hackamore, a leather noseband, a bosal or, what I use, the smaller bosalito. In many parts of the American West, under bridles are often beaded in colorful patterns by talented artisans and since there are only used occasionally, they can be more delicate and decorative than a regular hackamore. For me, a simple rawhide bosalito under the headstall, makes for an effective way to get and keep control of my mare’s head on the ground.

A get-down rope doesn’t need to be fancy

The get-down rope itself is usually made of horse hair, and a few are made of human hair, which while a bit pricier than those of the horse hair variety, are also much softer. Some get downs are also made of nylon, usually with a rawhide button tied onto the end. These are a little cheaper and good for use in inclement weather.

Get-down ropes are widely available from on-line merchants and tack stores. This one is from Double Diamond Halters.

The get-down rope doesn’t have to be fancy. It is generally a function-over-form situation, but some like to make a statement with this piece of tack, as it can be both handy and attractive. Horsemen prefer to use everything from a traditional horsehair mecate to something flashy (or as cowboys say, “punchy”) like purple parachute cord! However, any simple braided rope of correct length—12 to 16 feet—will do. And, while some may want to enjoy the get-down rope purely for function’s sake, I think anytime we can add a bit of cowboy style to our gear, we may as well look good while doing our jobs.

How to use the get-down rope

Regardless of the type of material, get-down ropes are super handy for outside riding. Cowboys use them when they dismount for a short time for little chores like opening wire gates or airing out their horses’ backs. The get-down rope must always be tied around the horse’s neck with a knot that doesn’t slip. This is of utmost importance. The most common and simplest is the bowline knot. It’s a common, useful knot that every horseman should know, but under no circumstance should it be confused with a knot that can move or slip its position. It needs to be tied around the throat latch with plenty of breathing room for your pony. If you’re not familiar with how to tie a bowline, renowned horseman Dennis Moreland has a good, basic tutorial here.

You could also explore learning to tie an equally handy, and slightly punchier knot known as the “parade knot” or “cavalry knot.” Similar in look and construction to a hangman’s noose, the cavalry knot also stays in place on my horse’s neck and never tightens up on her. She wears it proudly, in part because of the compliments we get in the form of a knowing nod of the head from other riders.

Whiskey dressed with a “cavalry knot” at rest, with the ends coiled and attached to the saddle strings. Note the get-down rope is tied lower on the neck to show the detail of the cavalry knot.

Regardless of the knot you choose to tie, the tail and remainder of the rope is run through the noseband or bosalito you prefer and half-hitched it to the saddle horn, coiled and tied to the saddle strings or tucked (not tied) under your belt. This way, it’s handy to grab and go at any point when mounting, leading or dismounting your horse. I prefer to tie mine to the saddle by the front strings on the left side, but basically wherever is convenient for you, will be just fine. As with everything else in the cowboy class, form and function is far more important than the convention of others and standardized rules.

Now, the get-down rope isn’t without controversy, mind you. Some believe it’s dangerous to tie a horse up by the get-down rope because of the pressure it places on the horse’s neck. I personally believe that if you’ve trained a horse to respond appropriately to that sort of pressure, and you tie your knots properly, you’ll be just fine. I’m not trying to persuade anyone to try it; I just know what works on my horse. If you’re not comfortable with it, I’d recommend against it. However, if your horse is comfortable with this sort of pressure, a get-down rope is a convenient and safe option to explore. Just always remember to use caution and common sense when you tie your horse up, and always tie at shoulder level or above.

The get-down rope is handy and punchy

Using a get-down rope offers many things to the rider. Whether we have leather split reins or hand-crafted rawhide romal reins, our tack is better cared for and preserved when we don’t have to use it to lead or tie our horses. There is a lot of security in having the get-down rope handy, because every time we step off — whether it’s on the trail for lunch, to doctor cattle, or just to pick up an iPhone we dropped in the dirt — we have direction and contact with our horses. This means heightened safety for us, a feeling of security for our horse, and a little insurance that he’ll be close by when we need him.

My get-down rope has helped me immensely with my daily tasks. I no longer waste time with a clumsy halter, reins wrapped half-assed on my saddle horn, or busted tack. I love knowing that if I need to hold, lead, or even tie up my horse while working, I can do so quickly and without incident. And yes, both Whiskey and I take a bit of pride in admiring how punchy it looks.

Until next time, mis amigos, happy trails! ★


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2 comments on “Why the Get-Down Rope Might Be Right For You

  1. I bought a 14 foot tie rope years ago from Jim Robinson’s Buccaroo sales because I thought they looked so good. It has a leather popper on one end and a pineapple knot with a horse tail tassel on the other. It has hung on my saddle ever since and been put to good use . The horse hair is looking a little thin nowadays but its the only way I tie up when my horse is bridled. I run the end under the curb strap with the neck loop tied with a bowline knot. I remember it from my Boy Scout days – “the rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree, and goes back in the hole”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yours sounds very similar to the one I have, although it sounds like you have age on yours, which always makes things better. Bowline is a great, all purpose knot that every horseman should know. I use a parade (or cavalry) knot, mostly because I like the way it looks. Glad to have you in the “get down rope” fraternity!

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