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AlterMePlease
Jun. 2, 2010, 12:26 PM
I must admit, I'm slightly embarrassed to be asking this question, but... I have a teenaged OTTB gelding that I recently acquired that simply will-not-tie. He's not scared, he doesn't pull back, he doesn't dance around. He simply and very calmly pulls with his head until the quick-release knot gives and then meanders around for a walk. I board at a rather busy facility so this is definitely not a good habit. There really aren't cross-ties and I'd rather not *have* to use them, if you know what I mean. Just rails. I've tried a regular halter and a rope halter, makes no difference to him. He just would rather not stand around doing nothing, he wants to be loose and investigating everything. But I'm scared to tie him fast in case there were an actual event that spooked him. Any ideas? I can't keep him with me the whole time if I want to nip over to the tack room or out to my car, etc. Otherwise he's pretty well behaved except that he's a little pushy and is refusing to get in the wash rack. Any good way to get across to him I mean business without playing with 'vegetable sticks'? :lol:

katarine
Jun. 2, 2010, 12:29 PM
Look up Clinton Anderson's stuff on youtube about the Blocker Tie Ring.

I think Clinton's too rough on a horse, but this particular set of work, works.

mayfieldk
Jun. 2, 2010, 12:38 PM
Well, he didn't invent the ring so you don't have to give him credit for that either. ;)

The quick release knot doesn't really do what it's supposed to--my horse recently flipped while tied (has an eye problem that is getting worse... sigh.) and there was NO WAY I was going to pull the 'quick release' (Tried--was. not. budging.). So I'm not sure what the point of it is, because that's a situation in where it should have helped.

I bought the blocker tie ring and haven't looked back. Tie your horse with it on the second setting, and i would watch him several times before leaving him. When he sees he doesn't get 'loose loose' he should be good.

The other way, of course, is the more western way of tying him with things that don't break and leaving him there for a few hours. If he continued to test the BTR, that's probably what I would do..

Dramapony_misty
Jun. 2, 2010, 12:40 PM
A properly done quick release knot shouldn't when being pulled by the end attached to the halter. It should be the loose end that can be pulled to release the tie. You might want to check on how you are doing your QR knot.

And for the love of God, tie him fast (with a proper QR knot) with a rope and halter that won't break to a solid post or tree that won't break, and let him struggle a bit. If it is not a panic reaction that causes him to pull, then there should be no danger of him really hurting himself.

AlterMePlease
Jun. 2, 2010, 01:34 PM
Wow, thanks for the fast replies! I'm not sure the BO would be happy with me installing a Blocker ring, but that WAS my first thought, actually. We'll see if there's a good place for it. The tie rails are horizontal and probably only about four/four and a half feet off the ground so not sure they're even the best setup for it. There IS a chance I'm not doing the QR knot properly, but it's the same way the other girls do it, so :confused: Probably doesn't help that my lead on the rope halter is that stiff rope material so it doesn't hold that kind of knot well. So basic consensus is if I can't get a good situation to use the Blocker to tie him fast and let him relearn he doesn't get to do as he pleases? Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being horrible horse owner of the year for tying my horse fast since *they* say to NEVER do that. I'll make sure I keep my pocketknife on me when I do it. He's basically a very good boy, he's just got a new person and I feel he's 'taking the p*ss' so to speak.

SmartAlex
Jun. 2, 2010, 01:49 PM
Blocker Ring, and a pretty long rope so he get's tired of pulling before he runs out of rope. The ring snaps onto an eyebolt, so if you don't have a place you can install an eyebolt, all you need is a few wraps of twine to tie the blocker to whatever you would normally be tying the rope to. But, you will need the right material rope to tie with. If you are using one of those slippery shipping halter/rope in one deals, it might be A. too short, or B. wrong diameter.

goodhors
Jun. 2, 2010, 01:53 PM
With him being so old, still not tying well, you might want to use a neckrope or cow collar, so he is not pulling on the halter itself, or even a belly rope if you want to start from scratch. The neckrope and cow collar move the pull location behind where the skull and spine attach, a very delicate location. With pull being further back on neck, you are on more muscled neck, not bone. Lots less likely to hurt the horse if he does fight.

If horse can get the rope loose with pulling, it does not sound like you have made a correct quick-release knot. However some kinds of rope, will bind or easily release, so you need to consider rope types as part of your problem.

I always use the heavy, 3/4" twisted cotton for ropes when tying a horse. Not likely to burn if pulled, but they can bind if wet or pulled REALLY hard. I never use nylon ropes. The cotton is easy on my hands, cuts quickly if needed. I buy expensive snaps that will quick release with any amount of pull on them, but they don't release accidently or with rubbing. I just get the snaps at the local tack store, but this photo shows what snap looks like.

http://store.ryansproducts.com/boasbrpasnho.html

I am a firm believer in tying "hard and fast", all my equines go thru tie-up school to learn how to manage this. Takes a while to get everything clear to them, give to pressure, being calm about the whole deal, before they are trusted to be tied for long times in all kinds of places. My horses know that being tied is a good place to be, you are GOOD when you are tied up. I ALWAYS want them waiting for me when I return. Probably some "cowboy movie proverb" I absorbed as a child, always having your horse faithfully waiting for you to escape on or chase someone with.

I have had a lot of success with the Highwayman's Hitch, as a quick release knot. Have not been able to get it to bind up no matter how hard we tried.
Here are a couple sites, that show how, one pics, one video.

http://www.thepirateking.com/knots/knot_hitch_highwaymans.htm

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-tie-highwaymans-hitch-knot-177172/

Make sure your tie rope is long enough to do the knots correctly, have a tail end left to poke thru the loop.

A quick google for "quick release tie knot" brought up a whole lot of methods, and utube videos like this, and more knots off to the side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZMUsPvOKsc

Use good quality equipment in halter, snaps that will hold him on rope. Leather halter and cheap buckles are not going to hold if he fights. Good luck with retraining.

AlterMePlease
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:20 PM
Thank you, goodhors! I DO have a lead with that type of snap and a good rope halter that won't break and I've never seen that type of quick release knot before, now I'm excited to try! I don't think it's that he doesn't know HOW to tie, it's just that he was coddled for quite a bit so now he's of the opinion that we are here to cater to him, of which he needs to be disillusioned :lol: I've dealt with one that didn't tie out of fear which is how I can tell this isn't really the same deal. You can watch him think about it and make a decision, he's one of those that watches, thinks, and then decides what he feels like doing. Not gonna fly with the things like this that really need to be "my way or the highway". Thanks everybody!

Auventera Two
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:39 PM
I agree with what everybody else posted. Just wanted to add that it also helps to tie a horse high - above his head. The muscles underneath the neck required for pulling UP and BACK are much stronger than the muscles on top of the neck required for pulling DOWN and BACK.

My opinion is that hitching rails are really bad news when you're teaching a horse to tie. I wouldn't use one until the horse was well trained to tie hard and fast first. Hitching rails seem to just invite horses to set back against them. The two worst tying disasters I've seen have involved a hitching rail and horses that were not well trained to tie hard and fast.

There was an article on the net somewhere (but I can't find it now) mentioning how predators take prey down - they manage to get underneath them and grasp the windpipe and flip them down to the ground. When the horse realizes he can't put his head up, there is a much stronger panic reaction than if he realizes he can't put his head down. By tying high, you aren't fighting that instinctive prey drive that tells him to get his head loose from whatever is holding him down NOW.

jazzrider
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:50 PM
The other way, of course, is the more western way of tying him with things that don't break and leaving him there for a few hours. If he continued to test the BTR, that's probably what I would do..

My OTTB used to break every tie or cross tie he was put in for years (used to sit back like a dog until it broke :rolleyes:, not freaking out, just sitting back with a look of determination on his face). After one particularly scary incident where he bent back a 2x6 rail and snapped it, I had someone with experience tie him one sunny day a few summers ago when he was about 16. He got tied to a telephone pole, high, with some sort of special rope. I couldnt' watch. :no: But you know what? He has never broken a tie since. I can actually now leave him in cross ties in the aisle while I get stuff out of the tack room or trailer. He doesn't even try.

Though I have to say at that time if I had know about the blocker ring, I would have tried it. But he's a tenacious and stubborn guy. He might have run it all the way to the end...

twofatponies
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:51 PM
I think the "tie them fast" method is effective - at least I've seen it work many times - BUT I do think it can be quite risky for an amateur to try on their own, especially at a boarding barn where others could be frightened or hurt. I've watched several trainers do it on a dozen different horses, but I would never do it myself.

Some things to consider are the fact that some horses will pull for a minute, realize they can't break away anymore, and give up. I'd say of the ones I've seen about 80% are in this group. But others may fight quite hard or have a temper tantrum, throw themselves down, rear, strike, etc. which can be quite emotionally upsetting for the owner or bystanders to see and potentially hurt someone who gets excited and rushes in to "save" the horse at the wrong moment. The human panicking at the wrong moment and letting the horse loose defeats the purpose of the training, too. The person training needs to have the experience and judgment to distinguish between a horse having a temper tantrum and a horse having an emergency problem. And that comes from some experience.

Also, it's not uncommon for people misjudge the strength of the thing they are tying the horse to. The OPs barn has "rails" 4 feet off the ground. I would consider that too low, and possibly not strong enough to hold a horse pulling back hard. A horse can take out a barn support post, a 2x4, a fence rail, a car bumper and many other "strong" things you would think are not breakable. Then you have a really, really dire situation.

I met a horse recently that had been tied to a fence rail by an unthinking kid the previous year. It took 2 vets all night to get all the wood splinters out of her body after they caught her. Retraining her would have taken a good many sessions, if it would have worked at all. She still cross-tied, so her owner just left it at that.

I think for amateurs working on their own, the blocker tie ring solution is safer.

AlterMePlease
Jun. 2, 2010, 03:04 PM
All valid concerns, but I thought I'd jump back in and clarify a bit. I call them tie rails but they are actually all at least 4x4's. And I don't really consider myself an amateur (although certainly am not a professional), I've just never really come across this situation before. I will use the tie POST the first few times and tie him high so that I'm sure he doesn't get the wrong idea. I really wish there were better tying options at the barn though.

katarine
Jun. 2, 2010, 04:17 PM
I hate hitching rails. There. I said it. If I have to use them I prefer to just put the rope round it once and be done and get done and go ride. The rails ought to be about 8' off the ground :) It wouldn't matter if they were made of 8X8s they are low rails in terms of horses with issues. I just don't like 'em. I have a decorative one here and I use it to prop rakes against. Horses get tied to poles- high and happy :)

To teach one to tie it's a rope halter and a tied on stout rope and a tree limb that's quite stout too and higher than the horse's ears. He can't get leverage, so he can't much fight it. He can sit down. He can sull up and lie/lay? down. He can rot for all I care. He's going to stand there tied until I deem it time to untie him.

The blocker ring is nice but you need a long rope and longer mental fuse. He's going to toy with it until he cyphers that he's tied and not running out of rope.

OP, you could fashion a mobile attachment for the Blocker to your good stout tie rail. So it's only there if you're there, and doesn't bother the BO.

I didn't say Clinton invented that ring, but I like how he uses it and the youtubes are good demos of how it's supposed to be used. Even Clinton says he didn't create it :)

AlterMePlease
Jun. 3, 2010, 07:11 AM
OP, you could fashion a mobile attachment for the Blocker to your good stout tie rail. So it's only there if you're there, and doesn't bother the BO.

How?

katarine
Jun. 3, 2010, 09:40 AM
I don't know, how about a mega-stout dog collar you can clip the carabiner to ? Something along those lines that you can buckle or tie around the 4X4. If you'll learn to tie a bowline knot you could tie a short piece of stout rope 'round the tierail, clip the Blocker onto it...then untie it and chuck it in your tack trunk when you go home.

goeslikestink
Jun. 3, 2010, 10:39 AM
A properly done quick release knot shouldn't when being pulled by the end attached to the halter. It should be the loose end that can be pulled to release the tie. You might want to check on how you are doing your QR knot.

And for the love of God, tie him fast (with a proper QR knot) with a rope and halter that won't break to a solid post or tree that won't break, and let him struggle a bit. If it is not a panic reaction that causes him to pull, then there should be no danger of him really hurting himself.

echo you matey lol

look here always te the horse to a piece of baling twine which should be connected to what ever you intend tieing the horse up to, as 1- the baling twine will break rather than the neddies neck. this may be on stbale ring a horse box ring a trialer ring, or the outside area ring etc

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CB4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newrider.com%2FStarting_Out%2 FGetting_Ready%2Fquick_release_knot.html&ei=5L4HTLXRMYf20wTo5rFk&usg=AFQjCNG4wg2PUGp2D_YMwROZR7s3N9DPhQ&sig2=bUNZDXkmPdwPyMjevKDW8w

goodhors
Jun. 3, 2010, 12:22 PM
I would like to agree with folks that heavier post is, the better. I would not tie a horse to a 4x4 post, even tied high. Just not that strong a piece of wood. I probably would not use a 4x6 either. Telephone poles of thick diameter is probably a better idea of the size post you want. And you want post up high if only using one post, 8ft so horse can't rear up and pull it out or land on it. He also might pull the rope off the top of short posts, rearing. The posts I like best, have a high up, anchored ring on one side of post, you run the tie rope around post and thru the ring, preventing rope rising or falling while horse is tied.

Have to say I would never use a hitch rail type system for training to tie. Horses I have seen tied to them go over or straddle to cross piece, land on the upright posts when they get to fighting or are scared. Hitch Rail is just a VERY BAD system for actually training a horse to tie with. Something with the cross rail only 4ft high is just asking for trouble unless the whole farm is only ponies under 13H. Any taller of an equine, they tend to try jumping over the cross piece and the fun begins because most hitch rails are NOT constructed as true restraint devices, just are ornamental. Rails break, pull out, fall apart.

We have railroad ties anchoring a solid wall with 6ft high rings to tie onto. I do use a bicycle innertube on the ring for the rope. Has some give, but not going to break. Even a large horse is not going to move that post or wall when tied correctly.

You have to figure the weight of horse is increased when he throws himself around. Can't remember the formula to get the force of body jerking, but his weight is multiplied more than twice. So those kinds of weight are what must be considered when you plan to tie one up that might fight. That is why you need the correct kind of rope and halter that will hold him in spite of his antics.

Tree with springy branch moving, takes up some impact force of horse body and dissapates it down. Same with the bicycle innertube that folks use as the anchor for tie rope on a post. Spreads out the impact to lessen it.

Right on Target
Jun. 3, 2010, 01:13 PM
to goodhors:
F=M*A
Force = Mass times Acceleration

I'm glad that high school physics paid off for something!

twofatponies
Jun. 3, 2010, 02:13 PM
to goodhors:
F=M*A
Force = Mass times Acceleration

I'm glad that high school physics paid off for something!

So how do you calculate the acceleration? 0-20 mph in 2 seconds? x 1200 (edited typo) pounds?

leilatigress
Jun. 3, 2010, 02:40 PM
My mare was like the Ops horse in the fact she would just pull the end I was supposed to and walk off to find me. I tried various knots and she figured out how to undo all of them. (I would pay a heafty price for a man that had that mobile of lips). I resorted to hobbles which I DO NOT reccomend without being very sure of your surroundings. Tie hard and fast method usually works for most. Again did not work for my mare since she wasn't pulling or breaking anything just using her lips in creative ways. When I was not sure of my surroundings I just told her to stand (halter no rope, bridle no reins). When we went camping we used a portable pen so no worries there. For the stand command I started with a halter and leadrope and a set of hobbles. Told her to stand and walked off with the leadrope to the end. She couldn't walk because of the hobbles. Took the hobbles off rinse and repeat. Rewards with rubs and praise voila horse that doesn't need to be tied and if she did spook I wanted her free to get away from whatever it was anyways.

Mukluk
Jun. 9, 2010, 12:21 AM
I have an OTTB that has a history of not tying well- I got her when she was 4 and she is now 6. When they are at the track they are NEVER tied (so far as I know). Groomed in stall, jockey mounts while they are in motion etc. She is better now than when I first got her. I use a blocker tie. If I really have to tie her, I use a bungee rope. What freaks her out is when she hits solid resistance. She was tied to the trailer with a bungee tie one time, freaked out, reared, and then came down and stood still. I am not willing to do the tie 'em to a tree until they figure it out. I have heard too many stories of horses that got injured. For me, it just isn't worth the risk. Good luck to you and hope you will be able to resolve the problem.

hundredacres
Jun. 22, 2010, 09:20 AM
I'm very late coming to this topic but wanted to emphasize what the last post mentioned - your OTTB probably not been asked to tie. I've fostered several ottb's and when they're new to me I just assume they don't tie (learned by mistaking assuming they do!) and I just give them daily mini-lessons while grooming...keeping in mind they were hardly ever expected to stand still for anything so this may be a new concept.

I've never used a tie blocker or anything fancy. I start immediately by grooming sessions: one hand on the lead, looped through the tie ring and I pull or give as needed but continue doing my thing as he finds his comfort zone and learns it's no big deal to just stand there. ~ I loop the lead over - I don't tie it - over whatever it is it would normally be tied to - and I hold on to the end and hold it taught as if the horse is tied. I start out at exactly the length it would be if I'd tied it and when the horse moves, I give them some room but increase pressure if the get too far. If they get close to the end of the rope I stop what I'm doing and pull them back in and go back to my business (very matter-of-fact like...very low-key and not a big deal because sometimes I think fresh OT horses think everything is a big deal :). I've never had one panic and pull because I am right there, giving them a little rope and reminding them to come back to where we were by pulling it in. I hope this makes sense. This has always worked for me and I eventually cross-tie these horses without much to-do after about a week or so.

Again, sorry this is late...you may have already solved your tying issue but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

JaneeneSings
Jun. 25, 2010, 03:09 PM
I have a mare that sets back HARD when she feels resistance and a gelding that likes to untie ropes. Both stand nicely tied as long as needed with my Blocker Tie II. I wish I had found it years ago! :yes:

saddleup
Jun. 25, 2010, 06:31 PM
I had a horse like this, who wasn't upset and belligerent about being tied, just didn't want to have to stand there.

I tied him every single day for two hours. For two months. I'd go and do chores, sit and read a book, talk on the phone. But his job was to stand there.

He had on a halter that wouldn't break and was tied to a telephone pole. He fought a little bit at first...he was lazy and bored...but he quickly learned it did no good and there was nothing going on anywhere else..so he soon used it as his nap time.

Now he ties anywhere, anytime. It's part of his job description.

Tobias
Jun. 25, 2010, 07:47 PM
My horse was a great tier! but one time there was a 3' drop off behind the cross ties, (bad set up) and then the round pen behind that. a horse in the RP spooked and took off which spooked my horse, he was cross tied to two 4" round poles, he broke them both and backed off of the 3' drop. Thank fully he didn't get hurt, but now I only tie him to the blocker tie ring, It teaches them not to pull back in a panic. BUT my horse has learned that if he pulls hard enough, he can reach down to the grass. Bad boy!!!! I would do the tie ring, and bailing twine. Twine will not break with just a horse pulling, but a panicked pull it will break, so its safe!

TBrescue
Jun. 25, 2010, 09:26 PM
I have an OTTB that has a history of not tying well- I got her when she was 4 and she is now 6. When they are at the track they are NEVER tied (so far as I know). Groomed in stall, jockey mounts while they are in motion etc. She is better now than when I first got her. I use a blocker tie. If I really have to tie her, I use a bungee rope. What freaks her out is when she hits solid resistance. She was tied to the trailer with a bungee tie one time, freaked out, reared, and then came down and stood still. I am not willing to do the tie 'em to a tree until they figure it out. I have heard too many stories of horses that got injured. For me, it just isn't worth the risk. Good luck to you and hope you will be able to resolve the problem.


My OTTB used to break every tie or cross tie he was put in for years (used to sit back like a dog until it broke :rolleyes:, not freaking out, just sitting back with a look of determination on his face).

Though I have to say at that time if I had know about the blocker ring, I would have tried it. But he's a tenacious and stubborn guy. He might have run it all the way to the end...

My OTTB has learned how to break himself loose when tied. He wears a velcro field safe halter for turnout, and has figured out how to back to the end of the ties then throw his head up and pop the velcro on the halter. He does this when you are not paying attention. If you catch him before he starts to throw his head up, he will step quietly forward and sulk. I think it's a challenge to him....he KNOWS he's not supposed to do it, but he can't help himself if you're not paying attention. I used to think he spooked and that was how he got loose, but in reality it is very deliberate. He casually backs up til the tie is tight, then flings his head in the air. He's succeeded in getting away with it several times, so now he tries it more often.

My answer has been to "tie" him in the rope halter with a very long rope that I loop through the ring and let hang. He stands quietly, and has room to move around a little and never hits any resistance that he can pull against.

I am honestly afraid to tie him tight in a halter that won't break. I'm afraid he'll panic and end up getting hurt.

bbradley
Jun. 25, 2010, 09:48 PM
I have to share my enthusiasm for the blocker tie ring.

I have an aged TB rescue horse who would truly panic when tied - pull back, fall down -- even one time ran backwards 25 feet in pure terror - crashed thru a wooden fence and impaled himself with a broken board.

Anyhow - with much trepidation I tried the blocker tie ring. The first time I put him on it - I just hooked him up and stood back to see what happened - same thing -- ran backwards- fell down --pulled the rope all the way out of the ring. I thought -- "Well _____! this thing doesn't work".
Then I decided to follow Clinton Anerson's methods to desensitize him while he was tied up. First time, I threw my hands up and deliberate spooked him - he ran backwards and pulled the rope all the way out and ran around the paddock in a frenzy. I caught him and tied him to the blocker ring again and spooked him again -- this time he ran back 10 feet and stopped and looked at me. I nearly sat down and cried. It was working!!

I continued with CA's methods -- ran at him, plastic bags, feed sacks, threw stuff at him.... anything to try to get him to spook... and he just gave me a bored look.

I now tie him anywhere (always with the blocker ring) for long periods of time with no problem. That ring really works -- but for my hard core case - I had to do the desentization stuff too.

Hope this helps!

Heart River
Jul. 7, 2010, 09:31 AM
Blocker tie ring. I've used it to start a number of horses, and it's brilliant. I'm old and beaten-up and not interested in either getting hurt or creating a train wreck for horses that simply don't know how to tie and stand. I've used the Blocker ring on a bunch of young stock, and it's a low-stress, high-effect tool. But it does need to be attached to something really, really solid, like a telephone pole. I'm currently using one in a round pen - I screwed the eye into one of the upright posts, and remove the ring itself when I'm not using it (or worry that someone will come along and take it). It's high enough not to get in the way. I wish I'd known about it when I had the OTTB and with the first off-the-range Nokota I started.