Goat tying has become a mainstay of rodeos across the country today, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s loads of fun both to watch and participate in, and more and more people are perfecting their craft.
If you’re just getting started in goat tying, then you might be having some trouble with the process as a whole.
But don’t worry—we’re here to help.
We’re going to lay out the most important steps to tying a goat, from start to finish.
So, let’s not waste any more time.
Here are a couple of helpful instructional videos:
Straddle the rope
Once you’ve dismounted and caught the goat with the rope, you’ll want to straddle the rope between your legs.
This makes sure the goat won’t run away before you flank it.
Make sure to run quickly enough to close the distance but not so suddenly you unduly spook the goat.
Next, you need to position the goat to get it ready for flanking.
Grab the goat and gently pull its left side into the front of your legs on your lap.
Place your left hand on the right front leg, reaching down.
Then, use your right hand to grab the goat’s flank.
Make sure to get a firm grip on the goat so that it doesn’t run away.
You also want to make sure that you aren’t hurting the goat, which will make it resist you more.
Apply gentle pressure.
Now, you need to flank the goat to get it into a position where you can tie it.
With your hands in the positions we’ve outlined above, you’re going to pull the goat up and pull your wrists back.
Again, be gentle with the goat—you aren’t trying to hurt it.
The goat’s feet should then flip upwards away from you, and then you should firmly place the goat down on its side.
Flanking is one of the hardest parts if the goat isn’t cooperating, so again, be careful to strike a balance between roughness and gentleness.
Either during the flipping onto its side, or once its flanked on its side, use your front leg to gather the goat’s two back legs together, and place them on top of the front.
Remember you’re only tying three legs, not four.
Make sure to firmly grasp them together so the goat doesn’t move out of this position.
At this point, you should have three legs together in your left hand, and leave your right hand free for the tying.
Once you’ve got the three legs together in your hand, grab the string from the loop on your belt.
Bring the end of the string in front of you.
Using your wrist, make a flicking motion to create an unfinished loop around the goat’s feet.
You can hold the end of the rope in your teeth to help you out here.
The step above is your “first flick”—now you need to continue with the knot.
Use the exact same motion again to follow through and wrap around the legs a second time.
This is your second flick.
With a second flick, your goat shouldn’t be able to get out of the tie once it’s finished.
Think of it like tying your shoelaces.
Start the tie
On your second wrap, you should stop halfway through.
Take your left hand—the hand which was holding the feet together—and stick it through the gap of each string end.
Keeping the end in your mouth to steady it, will create the start of your actual knot.
Once you’ve started it, you’ve got to then finish it.
Finish the tie
Once your hand has gone between each string end, you need to twist your wrist and grab the end of the string from your mouth with your free hand.
After you’ve grabbed the end, pull the string through to create a knot.
The goat should now be firmly tied.
You should finish the knot in a single, swift motion after tying it.
While pulling the tie, you should twist and pull it with your right hand.
If you do both actions simultaneously, the knot should secure itself tightly, directly beneath you.
This will create a firmer and stronger hold on the tie, using your own motion as the force behind it.
Your tie should now be finished—these motions can be confusing for your hands at first, but with practice, they will become muscle memory and you won’t even have to think about it.
Hands in the air
Once your tie is done and you’re happy with it, throw your hands in the air to signal you are done.
This will stop the clock.
You can create a diamond shape over the knot to signal you are done, and this saves a bit of time in lifting your hands all the way up.
Either way, signal as quickly as you can and, most importantly, do not touch the goat again once you have signaled you are done.
This will have you disqualified and you won’t score any points.
And there you have it!
Even with the best instructions in the world, goat tying is something that takes time and practice.
No one who is good at goat tying got there without trying.
The key is persistence and sticking with it—and most importantly, having fun!