I thinks i almost had my head removed by a horse panicking and pulling a board loose when it did not break and they were securely tied (by someone else.)
When we started feral horses some 50 years ago, we didn't have any really good horse halters, just leather and not that good of metal parts to them.
Originally Posted by MaybeMorgan
We had woven grass string halters with a lead rope woven right into them.
Even our ropes were mostly grass ropes and not really the best, until you got to the really thick, unhandy ones.
We slipped the grass halters on them, but also put on them cow collars, those used to tie dairy cows to mangers, that are made of several thickness of leather sewn together and with a big metal D and a big metal buckle.
We did leave a longuish rope hanging from the D, but that is not what we tied with the first time or two.
Why that? Because those feral horses would at times easily slip out of their grass halters, so we still had something else attached to them to get a hold of them without having to work at getting up to them again.
Those feral horses we moved around in a small space, holding onto the rope but not really holding it tight or pulling from it, just teaching them to give with little tugs, but never holding onto it so they tried to pull back.
We didn't want them to learn to pull on us, but to give, to follow our asking.
Then we tied them with the collar to a big chain hanging from a concrete wall, close up and worked with them with a hose and water, like giving them a bath.
The idea was not to scare them out of their mind, but to do it in a way where they would understand that it was ok, just wet them a bit here and there until they stood there and realized we were not out to kill them.
Those horses would pull very little if at all, danced around some and then stood there quietly in a few minutes.
Now I think that, if we had had strong halters and used those, the horses tied differently then, more by the face and nose, they may have fought the halter more than they ever did the neck collar.
Here we use leather hobbles to hobble ranch horses when we don't have something to tie to.
Those hobbles make excellent collars also, for a neck rope when roping tied fast and for tying a horse by it in a pinch.
The point of my story, we put a halter on a horse and use a rope to handle and tie horses by habituation and because it works well most of the time.
Then, we really should also consider that there are other ways, for some situations, maybe better ways to keep our horses secure in one place.
Finally, we need to also think that there are consequences to all we do, if we tie well and solid, or if we tie where a horse can pull loose if pushed to do so.
That is one reason most horses at most tracks have a chain lead on their halter and those are used if necessary.
That is not because they are all rank horses, but because if your horse gets loose and interferes with others and you are known for not paying attention and keeping your horses under control at all times, that chain lead ready if and when you ever may need it, then you are quickly not welcome to train/race out of there.
(For those that may not know, you NEVER tie with those chain leads!
They are used only to lead horses and to get a frisky horse's attention back on you.)
I am in the camp that, if we are where others will be a risk from our loose horse, then those others are our most important concern.
We should not put them at risk from our loose horse.
Not tying fast and solid is doing just that.
..........and a point to consider in these sue happy days- If you're at an event, your horse pulls back, breaks his twine and takes off- bowling over (God Forbid) a little kid that gets severely injured. Can you imagine defending the fact that you had your horse tied with a piece of baling twine? Or a halter that's *meant* to break? Might sound uncaring, but I'd rather my horse hurts itself than another person.
Something to think about, here.
Originally Posted by kasjordan
Horseowners owe many duties and one of them is to the general community around them.
Regarding injury from "pulling back," a young horse will often "set back" as part of their general "explore their universe" quest. With youngsters I always use the "donut" until we pass that "milestone." Most do it once or twice, get some "road rash" for their efforts, and it's done. The minor injury is a normal, natural, and rational result of their behavior ("hey, hard pulling back hurts!"). A normal horse figures this out pretty quickly and it's over.
If you've got a horse that will pull back to serious injury I submit you've got a horse with a serious temperament issue. The "pull back" is one manifestation of such an issue, but I'd bet money that you'll find others (general spookiness, unreliable under saddle, tendency to rear, etc.).
There may also be a "genetic component" in a horse that will set back. I know of a mare who does this, as do two of her three offspring. The are all on the donut, all the time. The mare is 20+ and VERY well trained. She yields to the rope and the bit without issue. She moves nicely under saddle and is a superlative lesson horse. But when she's tied, and she decides she's been there long enough, she'll try to break free. I don't know the youngsters well enough to know if they will follow this pattern into later life or not. But none of these horses should ever be "safety tied" because it's not safe for them.
"That is stupidly tied, not securely tied."
I am not sure one can always know what will withstand a 1200 pound animial pull. But I also do not tie horses to trailers and will reload at events so if I have a loose horse it is more likely I fell off or some other stupidity. :-)
This, Horsemanship 101 in my youth. I'm old. The things I've seen people tie with and their horses to, has made me blanch. Only in a dire situation would I tie to something that can move or chase the horse.
Originally Posted by Simkie
I've known since about age 9 that a fence board will not withstand a horse's sitting back on it. It is basic horsemanship 101. If you don't start riding until age 30, then you should be learning that at...age 30.
Originally Posted by omare
My old trainer 'rehabbed' a mare who was notorious for sitting back and breaking loose. The mare learned she couldn't get loose so she stopped trying. So her owners took her home, and less than a month later tied her to the "U" that was a part of the DOOR LATCH on a sliding metal barn door. Mare flapped her face at some flies, the door jiggled in its frame...you can see where this ended.
No, my trainer didn't take the mare back for another round after she was released from the vet's care.
I agree. The 'pullers' in my life all had other issues including under saddle. They were never 'safe' to tie.
Originally Posted by Guilherme
Excellent post. I do something very similar, I teach horses the skills to tie in a confined area (stall) with a rope through a metal ring, with the handler holding the other end while they groom. They teach the horse to give to the pressure when "tied" and that the pressure will stop when they move forward. Then, I hard tie with a similar setup. At some point, a youngster might set-back as Guilherme describes, but because of what they already have been taught they don't panic.
Originally Posted by Guilherme
"I've known since about age 9 that a fence board will not withstand a horse's sitting back on it. It is basic horsemanship 101. If you don't start riding until age 30, then you should be learning that at...age 30."
It was a board out of a wall--but actually I was thinking of the fence post coming out of the ground incident--I am not sure that would be anticipated--I know others do--nor how sturdy are ties to trailers--think metal fatigue etc.
But I think to each their own. I take precautions so that my twine and or breakable halter does not put anyone else in danger.