August 3rd, 2006

Smart knot for smart (?) horse

There's a very nice mare called Hawkey in Zernovka stables. Unfortunately, she has few drawbacks. One is that she sometimes tries to attack people coming near her. Unfortunately, she only ever does that if you are not holding her, making it impossible to explain her that such behaviour is not welcome. Then she likes to quickly move sideways when she senses danger, making it "interesting" for a rider. (Of course, her danger-sensing has a bit too much false positives, to make it more interesting).

Anyway, I guess no knot is going to solve that, but there's one more problem. She generally tends to stand where you leave her, but when noone is paying attetion, she of course tends to move to the nearest grass. If you tie her somewhere using leading rope... it usually is okay... until she senses danger, tries to move back, senses un-comfortable pressure at back of her head and panics. Usually, halter, rope or something breaks and she is free. If not, she'll retry.

I've created leading rope where critical part is made of few centimeters of smaller rope -- hoping that I'll only have to replace those few centimeters next time something bad happens, but it got me thinking: it would be more elegant if even those few centimeters did not have to be replaced.

"Smart" knot would help: something that holds tight when the force is less than, say, 1kN (~100kg), but lets go when force is over 1.5kN or so. I created some strange knots that have similar properties, unfortunately for way lower forces, and I think that my creations would untie themselves over time.

Does practical "smart" knot exist? I guess it would be useful for more than just horses...