How to Tie a Cow Hitch Knot

You see this one in old westerns all the time when the gunslinger hitches his horse outside the saloon. It's sort of the cowboy equivalent of parallel parking.


Up next in How to Tie Knots (17 videos)

Knowing how to tie a proper knot is a wonderful skill that always comes in handy. In this video series, you'll learn how to tie a square knot, a clove hitch knot, a fisherman's knot, a two half hitch knot, a noose knot, an overhand knot, a manharness knot, a hangman's noose knot, a cow hitch knot, a figure 8 knot, and much more.

You Will Need

  • A single length of rope
  • Something to hitch to, such as a post, pole, or ring


  1. Step 1

    Wrap rope

    Wrap the end of the rope around the ring or post, from back to front.

  2. Step 2

    Pass end under

    Pass the end under the remaining rope and bring it straight up.

  3. Step 3

    Wrap rope again

    Wrap the end around the ring or post again, this time front to back.

  4. Step 4

    Pull end through loop

    Pull the end straight down through the loop you've just created.

  5. Step 5

    Tighten knot

    Pull the remaining rope to tighten the knot.

  6. Also known as the Lanyard Hitch, this knot requires tension on both ends to work—hence the horse or cow.