How to Tie a Stock Tie

Updated May 19, 2023
person wearing a properly tied stock tie and pin for a horse show

What is a Stock Tie?

In modern riding, a stock tie is a piece of neck wear which is worn in competitions of various equestrian disciplines such as dressage, hunter derbies, three-day eventing, side saddle, driving, and fox hunting.

Original Purpose of Stock Ties

The stock tie was originally used by fox hunt riders. It worn to protect the rider’s neck from dirt, wind, and water, but also, as a piece of cloth that could serve as a sling in case of injury to the horse or rider.

Today, riders have the choice between an already-tied stock tie which is convenient and simple to use. You can still add your personal stock pin on one that is completely pre-tied. Or you can choose the traditional four-fold stock tie, which is tied with a nice big knot and closed with a stock pin. The traditional four-fold stock tie gives a more traditional look to your outfit.

Video on How to Tie a Stock Tie

How to Tie a Stock Tie Step-by-Step

  1. Lay the stock tie around your neck, with equal length ends hanging left and right.
  2. Feed the long end through the hole in the fabric on the other side, pull it through to have the tie hanging loosely around your neck. Make sure there are no twists in the fabric and that it lays flat
  3. Turn the whole tie to have both long pieces hanging at equal lengths to your left and right shoulders while the piece around your neck is also well centered. That’s when you can tighten as much as you want so it is sitting comfortably around your neck and does not slide around.

    how to begin to start to tie stock tie with fabric laying flat.

  4. Now you are ready to tie the first knot. Take the right end of the tie and lay it over the left end. Tie a normal knot pulling the right end under the left end.

    tie a knot with stock tie ends

  5. Take each end and lay them over your shoulders. Right end over right shoulder, left end over left shoulder.

    fabric ends of stock tie over opposite shoulders

  6. Make another knot by taking the right end that is laying over your right shoulder and lay it flat over the left end. Bring it through the fold of the left end that is laying over your left shoulder.
  7. When you tie the knot, adjust the tightness to your liking. If you want more volume and a bigger looking stock tie you leave it a bit looser, otherwise you tie the knot a bit stronger. Even out any wrinkles.
  8. Take both ends and cross them over to finish the cross-tie look.
  9. Then you take your stock pin and secure both ends.
properly tied stock tie on a horseback rider

To be sure the ends of the tie are not flying away and end up in your face, you can take safety pins and secure both ends to your shirt diagonally right and left. Once you put your jacket on, you can double check if you like the size of your knot and the height of your pin or would like to adjust either.

Shop by clicking the link if you need any other horse show accessories such as hair nets, stock tie pins, bows, belts, or gloves.

The information provided in the Horsemanship Library is based solely on our SmartPak authors' opinions. SmartPak strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian or equine professionals regarding specific questions about your horse's health, care, or training. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or behavior and is purely educational.