I am still having issues with tying my 4 year old. Here's the history -
When I first got him he could not be tied at all, the previous owner would just throw a rope over the fence and "hope" he wouldn't move. :(
I purchased him and immediately sent him to a trainer to be started. The trainer used a rope halter that would not break and did a lot of tying to a patience pole. Basically he let the horse figure it out. When I got the horse back his tying had drastically improved for a while. But he has recently broken a couple of halter/tie rings at my place and it seems to be getting more frequent.
The horse in general is somewhat spooky at silly things. He does normally stand still while being tied unless he gets spooked and then back he goes. He does for the most part have good ground manners (not pushy, yields if I ask, etc) and is going well undersaddle so far.
What should I try next? Would a blocker tie ring help this type of horse?
Your horse startles then sucks back. He comes to the end of his rope (literally) and meets a wall. Panic ensues. Things break.
Sounds like my knucklehead.
Someone else might have better ideas, but I've found out that confining and constricting my horse too much causes issues. Meeting that sudden wall is what causes his blow ups, whereas if he's tied with something that gives a little, he doesn't explode and does regain his marbles rather quickly. I think you'd have luck with a block ring so sucking back and breaking things doesn't become a habit.
That being said, my horse is very sticky with giving to pressure going forward. I think the two are VERY much related -- he would rather plant his feet and toss his head around than give to the pressure and go forward. I think this is what gets him into trouble and we've been working on the "go away from the pressure to get relief" reflex for forward motion and he has made improvement.
Yes, I think the blocker ring will help you AS A TRAINING AID not as a magic cure. You'll still have to work with this. A lot. Probably forever.
I am going to link another tool that I recommend only with great hesitation because I think this is closer to abusive than training aid. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. But if you use it only as a training aid, as part of a serious, thoughtful, humane training program designed to teach your horse to give to light pressure and tolerate reasonable confinement-- well, it might spare you or your horse an injury. It's not something I'd use except in desperation.
Originally Posted by Cindyg
Seems like that thing would cause more issues than solve, not to mention mask issues instead of fixing them (the mare with the ear sensitivity for instance). I thought by the description that it was self-regulating, but it doesn't look to even reward the horse for compliance...crap deal for the horse IMO, especially since by the time you loosen it up, it'll have no idea what you're rewarding. I don't even think it would give the horse the ability to try and figure out what you want. It's forced through physiology to put up and shut up, tipping it over into learned helplessness.
ETA: Begrudgingly I'll admit I could see this as something useful in a dire emergency where the horse won't cooperate for it's own good (an injury requiring care) but otherwise, no thanks.
When a horse learns he can break free, he will keep trying until he learns something else. The reason he got better with the trainer is that he couldn't break the rope halter. Horses are smart. I trained a wb filly that wouldn't tie because the owner had "taught" her to tie on crossties and she broke them. The first time I tied her, I used two rope halters tied to an oak tree. She fought for about an hour before she gave up. After that she would tie beautifully, but in crossties, she would immediately sit down and break them. In addition to rope halters, I usually stand by with a whip to lightly tap the horses hind end if he's really intent on sitting down and thrashing (not common). Breaks their concentration and makes them stand up. Teaching horses to tie is an exercise in patience. You've got to be willing to let them stay there until they quit fussing. Just keep in mind that anything with metal hardware will probably break and you'll have to start over.
Can you use a blocker ring in a horse trailer? Your horse must learn to tie. He started to learn with the rope halter and patience pole, so go back to tieing this way. At the same time work on yielding to pressure.
Why not go back to the rope halter and solid place to tie?
I watched the video and I did not think it was all that terrible. It is made for extreme cases. There was the option for relief by unclipping or moving the neck loop up. The idea of it seems to be to stop the problem, then teaching the horse to yield to poll pressure.
Originally Posted by VaqueroToro
I have (now retired) a horse who was a chronic puller. He did not start off that way. He would pull back when frightened but ultimately yield and come forward. One day when he went up. All the way, like Black stallion. Happily the break away halter worked as intended and he was free. Otherwise he would have gone over backwards on the cement aisle. To this day I don't know why he went up. I was grooming him as normal. He stepped back one too many steps and hit the ties. Normally he'd resist then come forward. He did it again the next day. I never crosstied him again. The facility I was at did not have a solid post in a safe place to practice tying. At his age, 18 or so at the time, I did not want to risk damage to his poll by trying to fix it knowing it would take one more rear and the normal ties would break. If he did not go over first. I taught him to ground tie and that was my shortcut solution. He was happy and never moved while being ground tied. One friend said it could have been a symptom of Lyme as it can affect neurologically. Who knows.
I might have given this thing a shot as it forces them to bring their nose in and down which is hard to do and still rear.
Use a close fitting rope halter
A long lead- like 10'
take a few days off in a row :)
and handle this horse a LOT. Tie him often. Ride. Tie. Bathe. Tie. Graze. Tie. repeat.
he has to learn that a) he won't die and b) he can't leave.
YES Blocker tie rings are expensive because they are worth it!! Definitely use it!! Parelli rope halter and Parelli lead are the ones I use and have excellent results. A DVD comes with the tie ring ( at least it did when I bought it from perhaps Charles Wilhelm ( I forgot who).
I had one mare who looked like a Sailfish at the end of a fishing line when she was tied. It fixed her problem.
when Warwick works with any horse, he desensitizes them to the rope before he does anything. This teaches the horse to stand for things that startle them. The tying issues simply disappear when they learn to stand for things that are flap-y or noise-y.
I love the blocker tie rings! Have them everywhere, trailer, wash rack, cross ties. my 25 year old gelding has always pulled back when he's tied hard. will stand all day with the blocker. he'll even test them when he gets worried. little pull, rope gives, he relaxes. The pullers that I've seen, panic. they are not trying go get away to go grazing, or have some great motive, just panic. They panic, pull, things break, they relax. The blocker elimates that. They are so much safer in the trailer too. They do need a different kind of rope to work well though. the thin ropes pull right through, so sometimes its a search for the right rope to work with them best.
This works because these horses are panicked by being pulled at the poll and this has them work against themselves, plus it puts downward pressure on the nose. As anyone who knows (nose) about that sensitive area where the noseband goes, and how resistant a horse who is not wishing to cooperate becomes, they do not want to have their nose pushed downward, these same types do not willingly respond in a positive way to forward motion by pulling at the poll. This is part of the reason why the knotted halters work if the knots are tied correctly, they go to pressure ponts at the poll and across the nose that really can help a horse to relax. Probably the steady pull on the poll gives some of them an intense headache, I don't know, I just know it works. I like this idea but you do have to be very sensitive as to the number of times you ask. Multiple times I heard him say once only as people tend to continue to pull. It is an interesting tool in the right hands.
Originally Posted by Cindyg