War Knot Series, Part Two: Spanish Cross Knot

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Ranch Life

In Part Two of an ongoing series on tying a war knot or buckaroo knot, you’ll learn how to tie the Spanish cross knot.

As mentioned in Part One, buckaroo traditions were handed down from the California vaqueros, who learned their skills and customs from the Spanish conquistadors. In keeping with tradition, many modern-day buckaroos tie certain knots in their horse’s tail each day before riding off to work. Called “war knots” due to their origins with the fighting conquistadors, these knots help keep a horse’s tail clean from the dirt and brush, help keep a tail from getting tangled up in a rope, and they just look cool. If you’re going to wear out your body and a good saddle in the pursuit of making less than minimum wage on a daily basis, you might as well have some style while doing it.

The Spanish cross knot is a variation of the commonly used mustache knot. The Spanish conquistadors came from a devoutly Catholic culture, and this knot is a nod to their religious heritage. It works best on a longer-tailed horse. Here, Jim Young demonstrates how to tie this knot.

Step-by-step instructions for tying the Spanish cross knot:

1) Comb your horse’s tail out so it’s free of tangles and debris
2) Divide the tail into three equal sections
3) Tie a mustache knot (see Part One) over the top of the middle section
4) Leave the middle section as is; it will naturally form the upright part of the cross for the Spanish cross knot
5) Pull the knot tight

Now you’re set to ride all day without getting your rope (or sword) tangled up in your horse’s tail. Just make sure you know how to use your rope, or are willing to learn, so that you’re not all style and no substance.


Full War Knot Series

War Knot Series, Part One: Mustache Knot
War Knot Series, Part Two: Spanish Cross Knot
War Knot Series, Part Three: Spanish Ring Knot
War Knot Series, Part Four: Figure Eight And Rooster Tail Knots

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....

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