DRAW HITCH OR HIGHWAY MAN’S HITCH OR THIEF HITCH
The highwayman’s hitch is a type of knot. It is a quick-release, draw loop hitch popular for temporarily securing horses. There are two main features to this hitch. It can be untied with a tug of the working end, and the working and standing ends are released on the same side of the object (ex. pipe fence rail) that was tied on to.
Both of these features are desirable when dealing with horse emergencies where a panicked animal may be straining against a tied off lead rope. Because the working (free) and standing (horse) ends release on the same side of the object tied to, the free end of the rope is not whipped around behind the rail by the animal, thereby forcing the quick-release grip on the rope to be abandoned.
The knot is three bights linked through one another. To tie, begin by forming a bight behind the pole. Next, pass a bight formed from the standing part (the end that will receive tension) over the pole and through the first bight. Then, pass a bight formed from the working end over the pole and through the second bight. Pull the standing part tight to ensure that it holds. Until the knot is tightened and properly dressed the highwayman’s hitch has little holding power. When properly tied to posts or rails of approximately 2.5 – 3 inches diameter using the large diameter, compressible ropes commonly used for hose leads, it can be a remarkably secure knot.