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13 years

in business!

Y Knot Rope Tack

began in

March, 2007.

Thank you to my many customers for your support and loyalty!


Event Schedule

Midwest Horse Fair

Madison, WI

I will no longer be attending as a vendor

Click here

for full story


We have moved! Check out our new address on the contacts page.


New flag colors:

black, yellow,red,blue,purple


with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26    


​​​​​​​​​​Unique Trim ~ Leather Accessories

Custom Orders

Rope Halters, Lead Ropes, Long Lines,

Reins, Sticks & Strings, Hackamores,

​ Headstalls, Mecates & More

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  ... God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

​Genesis 1:1,27 ESV

Brandy was my horse for 6 years.  She was a "green-broke" 6 year old when I purchased her in June 2010, but she had not been ridden for 2 years.  So we went back to the basics and did a lot of groundwork - using Y Knot Rope Tack equipment, of course!  She became a very good trail horse and she worked every day I worked at the ranch. (Picture above was taken at the ranch in 2011) It was wonderful to have my own horse again!  

After retiring from the ranch, I boarded her at other facilities but with demands of my business increasing, I had less and less time to spend with her.  That, plus boarding fees and other costs rising, it was no longer feasible to keep her. So in 2016, Brandy got a new owner.  I miss her - we taught each other a lot over the years - and she was not only my horse and partner but my model and tack tester as well!  

We have finally found the farmette we've been looking for, so eventually (it is a fixer-upper) I will once again have a horse to call my own and enjoy that special bond.


​​I am certainly not a professional trainer but I have studied and used the natural horsemanship methods of several of today’s top trainers and appreciate the value of high quality training equipment.  In fact, that’s why I started this business – I was looking for the "good stuff" for my own use, but the local stores didn’t carry it and the equipment offered by the professional trainers was too expensive for my budget.  I thought there were probably many others in that same situation, so I decided to make it myself . . . thus the conception of Y Knot Rope Tack!

                                              Hey . . . Y Knot?

Along with the horse gene, I also have a "craft gene" and a "perfectionist gene".  These three are a great combination for a rope tack business.  With my horse experience, I know what will work and why.  My craft talent enables me to make basic equipment with the correct techniques and also to create unique items with intricate knots and fancy braiding.  The perfectionist in me ensures that all my products meet the highest standards (mine!) and the quality of my workmanship is something I am proud of.

I started Y Knot Rope Tack in the spring of 2007 and had to quit my part time job as a church secretary a couple years later because my business was growing steadily.  As my business continued to grow, I had to cut back on the number of days I worked at the dude ranch (my other part time job).  At the end of the season in 2013, I decided it was time to "retire" from working at my "fun job". It was a hard decision - I loved working at the ranch - but my business had grown into a full time job -- and more! The Lord has blessed me greatly and to God be the glory for my successful business!

I have a workshop at our home and while I do not have  "store hours", if you are in the area you can call and set up a time to stop by.  Most of my business comes from internet sales - I have sent products to all 50 states (Thanks to Scott Arnold, I can finally add Delaware to the list!), Washington DC and Puerto Rico, several provinces of Canada and at least a dozen other countries.  I participated at several fairs and events in the early years of growing my business and attended the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, WI from 2009 - 2019.  I may occasionally be a vendor at some local events but I no longer plan to participate in any large fairs or expos.  I am too busy with orders to have time to make stock!  Aside from retail, I make tack for several trainers as well.  Visit the Trainer page for information and links to their websites.   

-- I specialize in custom orders so you can get exactly what you want -- a halter for a hard-to-fit horse, reins just the right length, or maybe you have an idea for something new that you haven't seen anywhere else. 

-- I try to describe my products as accurately as possible so you know exactly what you are getting - no vague terms that don't really tell you anything. 

-- I sell my products at reasonable prices so even those on a limited budget can afford high quality training equipment - this is the good stuff but without the famous trainer price! 

I enjoy making and using these products and I am glad to be able to make a piece of equipment for someone who will appreciate it and enjoy using it for many years. Thanks for your interest in my business.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

~ Carol Vander Wyst 


​​My name is Carol Vander Wyst.  My husband Lou and I have been married since 1983 and we live just outside of Byron, Illinois - a small town southwest of Rockford in north central Illinois.  
I have the "horse gene" in my veins. I grew up on a farm in southern Indiana, got my pony when I was 5 years old, my horse when I was 12 and spent most of my early years "living and breathing" horses. College, marriage and family took me away from horses for a time, but as our kids grew up, I was able to return to the horse world. (Our son graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in May 2009 and is currently serving as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force; our daughter graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2014 and is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.)  Over the past several years, I have worked at a park district as a trail guide and riding instructor and on a "Dude Ranch" here in Illinois as a trail guide and wrangler.  I have also spent many hours working with some of the ranch horses and friends' horses.