Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Horse Needs to Stand Tied

Shari and two other people e-mailed me with basically the same problem, having a horse that won’t stand tied and/or pulling back from the tie rail and breaking lead lines.

Once a horse learns they can pull back, break a lead and get freedom it is hard to teach them otherwise. I don’t know how horses are getting their feet trimmed or shod without standing for that. Quickest way to have to find a new farrier is to have a horse that won’t stand for trimming or showing. Also dangerous to have a horse tied while you are trying to saddle him and have him pull back.

Using a web halter and a lead rope with some type of snap, a pulling horse can easily break the lead rope and usually at the snap. This can create a hazard where the rope and the remaining metal piece from the snap get whipped back at the horse. And if the horse get’s beaned in the head with that piece of metal, he’ll for sure think his escape was justified.

A rope halter, with a tied on lead rope, is generally better than a webbed halter and lead rope with a snap, as when the horse pulls back, the rope halter being a small diameter adds more pressure to the poll and is stronger than a lead rope with a snap, however I have seen horses break rope halters also.

The way to teach horses to stand tied is to have them stand tied but hard to do if they pull back and break the lead. I have found it helpful to use a friction device that allows the lead rope to pull through at a controlled rate. There are many on the market: The Blocker Tie Ring from Ted Blocker and the Aussie Tie Ring from Clinton Anderson, which are similar products.

I found some ring clips in a store which I use for cross ties on my farrier’s stand and wash stand. I also use a product called The Clip. See picture at top. I do not like the stop feature on the Clip (see the Clip on the right of the above picture), so I hack saw them off and file it down smooth (see the Clip on the left side of the above picture) . They come in handy tying a horse to a trailer D ring on the inside for trailering or the outside of the trailer when tacking up.

Once I hacksaw the stop feature off and smooth down the metal, which takes about 5 minutes total, I now have a smooth surface on the Clip for the rope to travel across.

Mainly used for horses who spook when tied, the idea is that when a horse spooks the lead rope will feed through the ring or clip at a controlled speed, allowing the horse to escape a little, but more importantly give him time to think and ultimately the horse should figure out that he doesn’t need to spook or pull back. Some horses just have to pull back and escape in order to figure out that they don’t have to.

Links to tie ring products: 

Ted Blocker Tie Ring

Clinton Anderson Aussie Tie Ring

The Clip

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