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Fiador knot

Fiador knot
Names Fiador knot, Theodore knot
Category Loop
Related Bottle sling, Diamond knot
Typical use rope halters, hackamores, and hobbles
ABoK #1110, #2569

The fiador knot (also Theodore knot) is a decorative, symmetrical knot that is used in equine applications to create such useful items as rope halters, hobbles, and components of the fiador on some hackamore designs. It is a four strand diamond knot in which six of the eight ends loop back into the knot, thus allowing it to be tied with a single line.[1]

Considered a difficult knot to tie, cowboys were said to have been able to collect a fee for tying this knot.[2] Clifford Ashley went so far as to include it in a chapter covering trick knots in The Ashley Book of Knots stating archly that, "the trick is to succeed in tying it."[3] More recent sources have shown a simpler method of forming the fiador knot.[4]



The origin of the variant name "Theodore knot", found in the United States, was suggested by Philip Ashton Rollins and related by Ashley, "When Theodore Roosevelt, 'the hero of San Juan Hill,' visited the Southwest, shortly after the [Spanish-American War], it was a foregone conclusion that the Spanish name 'Fiador' would be corrupted to 'Theodore' in his honor."[1]

Uses by equestrians

File:Fiador knot closeup.jpg
Fiador knot on a hackamore's fiador

Uses of the fiador knot by horsemen are of several kinds.

  • The knot often is used on the underside of the fiador of a hackamore.[5] The knot is worked into the fiador as an open ring then slipped over a knob (heel knot) or ring on the bosal of a hackamore.
  • On knotted rope halters, the knot often is used under the chin both as a decorative knot, and also to fashion the lower loop onto which a leadrope or similar leading device is attached. On a rope halter, the fiador knot is made from one continuous piece of rope, and is, along with a series of double overhand knots, one of two types of knots that comprise most rope halters.
  • In North America, again according to Ashley, "Cowboys have employed the knot as a hackamore or emergency bridle. According to Philip Ashton Rollins, the method originated in the South American pampas and worked its way, via Mexico, to the Southwestern cow country, arriving there soon after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War."[1]
  • For a set of hobbles, a brass ring is attached to the double loops on one side of the knot to join the hobble for the horse's other front foot. On the other side, a diamond knot terminates the two loose ends and the single loop is placed over this to encircle the horse's fetlock. A small rope slide (melted with a solder iron) on this single loop is pushed against the diamond knot to prevent the loop from slipping off the foot.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ashley, Clifford W. (1944), The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p. 201 
  2. Ashley, 43.
  3. Ashley, 413.
  4. Longanecker, Diane (2002), Halter-tying Success, Dayton, Washington: Horse Owner Success Books, pp. 39-54 
  5. Grant, Bruce and Rice, Lee. How to Make Cowboy Horse Gear Cornell Maritime Press; 2nd edition (June 1956), ISBN 0870330349, ISBN 978-0870330346

External links


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