The Spanish Field Knotby Diane Young
1st published in the Andalusian - mar/apr 1995
The field knot, which is specified to be used in Dona Vaquera classes, is also very useful for those who are expecting to ride in brush country. The field knot is also always used on Andalusian horses which are being worked in high school airs and for stalled Andalusians which step on their long tails.
There are a number of methods of tying field knots which are called TIRABUZON in Spain. The one described here was used by the Buzon family of horse trainers in Osuna, Andalucia, Spain and will stay tied even under adverse riding conditions.
Although not necessary, the tail may be dampened with water prior to tying the not resulting in fewer loose hairs and a neater looking finished product. Those who have recently applied any of the modern day silicon products to the tail hair may find it difficult to tie and have the knot stay in place while riding. It is best, therefore, that these products are not used on the tail prior to tying the field knot.
- Straighten all the tail hair. With your left hand, pull all the tail out from the horse and with your right hand pull out a bundle of hair from the inside bottom of the tail about 3 inches above the end of the bone and let it hang free. Figure 1.
- Twist the large hair bundle which is in your left hand counterclockwise into a rope cable. Figure 2.
- Wind this twisted cable upwards counterclockwise starting at the end of the tail bone, around the tail until there is approximately 10 inches of twisted hair remaining. Figures3a & 3b.
- With this remaining 10 inches of hair, make a small 3 inch underhand loop which will lie on the outside of the tail facing you. You will have approximately 6 inches of hair left hanging down from this small loop. Figure 4.
- While holding this coil in your left hand and holding the small loop with your left thumb, take the first bundle of hair hanging from the forward inside of the tail and with your right hand twist clockwise into a rope cable. Figure 5.
- With this twisted rope in your right hand wind clockwise down around the tail toward the coil in your left hand. Figure 6.
- Finish this clockwise coil so that the final 2 to 3 turns go below the small loop under your left thumb, winding it over the loose end hair of the small loop leaving a few inches of the loop end exposed to permit pulling the loop closed. Take the remaining part of your clockwise coil and bring it from behind through the small loop under your left thumb. Figure 7.
- With your right hand close to the small loop and pulling the exposed end of the hairs which coiled from the small loop. Figure 8.
- Twist and wind the remaining ends of both round coils so that they wind up into the large coils, be sure to lay them in the opposite direction of the larger rope coils. Then, with both hands on the top coiled tail pull it downward to tighten all coils. Your finished knot will look similar to that shown at the top of the page. Figure 9.
- Now give your horse a pat on his croup for being so patient while you fumbled with his tail.
If you are ever bothered by questions from your fellow riders why you are riding your Andalusian with a field knot, you can always stop further questions by stating that it makes more sense to cut a six inch bridle path for a one inch bridle.
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