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  1. #1
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    Mar. 28, 2008
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    Question Patience Pole

    I would love to hear everybody's opinions about patience poles. We are talking about putting one in where I board, which I think is a fantastic idea. What are your opinions about how one should be built and rules associated with using a training tool such as this?

    It seems that some boarders feel that a patience pole is inhumane and horses should not be expected to stand past 2 hours?? How should these concerns be addressed?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Why don't you explain your (and your barn's) definition and how it will be used? There will be some folks here with no idea and others with the wrong idea.

    To answer your final question though... why would it matter what someone's opinion is? Are they going to be forced to use this thing?
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  3. #3
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    Mar. 28, 2008
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    Our plan right now is to put in a telephone pole about 4 feet or so cemented into the ground in a safe, level surface with no objects in the immediate area. The idea for the pole is that it allows for a safe place to tie a horse for multiple hours (or however long it takes for the horse to stand quietly).

    I am totally with you, I don't think it should matter what I do with my horse and what they do with their horse. The facility I am at takes in everyone's concerns before making modifications to the facility.



  4. #4
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    I think the idea is a really good one. It is also called a 'snubbing post'. Some say it should be sunk 5' in the ground rather than 4'.

    The old ones I've seen and/or used had a groove carved all the way around at a height of about 4.5' or 5'. I've seen some with three grooves carved around ... like 4.5', 5', and 5.5' or even 6'. ETA: that way there is no hardware to injure a horse's eye or the like; no tie rings. The higher you tie the head the less leverage the horse will have to pull back on and possible hurt himself. I have never seen one get hurt, but it can be very tramatic to watch the first time one decides to really fight it. Usually they try it and give up and step forward, but those first fews trys can be "WOW, that's a lot of horse power".

    It is best to use a twenty foot to twenty-five' 1" cotton rope instead of a lead rope with a snap. The rope is run through the bottom of the halter (loosely, just slide it between the horse's chin and the bottom of the noseband - don't run it through any halter Ds or rings - it must be very free to slide). The head end is run up over the poll of the horse and back around and tied with a BOWLINE KNOT under the jaw, loosely but not so loose it can slide off over the head (maybe four or five fingers worth of slack). The other end is tied to the post by wrapping it and creating a fast release knot.

    You have to use a BOWLINE KNOT to do this or you will strangle your horse. No slip knots or improperly tied weird knots. No 'granny knots' or such.

    The 1" cotton (do NOT use nylon) rope is the safest thing to use as it is very soft, round and strong and should not cause an injury to the poll and upper neck vertabrae or any of the blood vessles in that area.

    Some people will use an innertube for the neck piece and then rig the rope to that.

    So many horses are spoiled and have not learned to be patient. It can get them into trouble later if their owner is beginning to do a lot of things with them.

    I am getting ready to put one in myself, so I am biased.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Jan. 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2001
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    Bryan,Texas
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    I tie my young horses or those needing patience training to the patience tree. This tree has high branches and the rope is high above the horses head.
    In Texas, the tree provides shade in the spring, summer and fall months of the year when it used.
    Maybe your boarding facility has a tree that can be used.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 12, 2007
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    A time honored horse training technique going back over 2000 years that we know of. I happen to use a huge cottonwood tree in my woods. Horses need to learn to self sooth. It makes them brave and patient and calm under duress.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  7. #7
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    Rising Sun, MD
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    I have a patience tree. It's been an invaluable tool- esp since I trail ride/ camp and they need to learn how to STAND. Most recently, I have a gelding who came from the show world to be a trail horse and he was not at all used to just standing and having no attention. Every time I worked another horse, Rossi came out and stood tied to the patience tree. Now he understands that being tied is his down time, he's quit pawing and pretty much just dozes off while standing there
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  8. #8
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    IMO, horses do need to learn that being tied means "in park indefinitely." Sooner or later, your horse WILL need to stand tied and wait when he doesn't want to, and when the circumstances and equipment are not perfectly safe. A horse who won't do this is a danger to himself and others.

    The best pole I ever saw was at a cowgirl's barn in the middle of a round pen. It was metal, sunk into the ground and cemented there. It had another pipe cap with a ring welded in that would swivel around. This let nervous horses move in a full 360 but not leave.

    She used this as part of her colt-starting practices and I think it helped. Among other things, horses were taught to accept restraint, accept the uncertainty of waiting and tolerate general crap before tack or rider was ever introduced.

    If you have a chance to get a well-built snubbing post and have the need, accept it's installation with open arms.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  9. #9
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    May. 14, 2009
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    First we must assume that horses can reason-they can't.
    To me I would leave said barn if they started employing those options.
    It is an unnecessary short cut to any decent training regimen.
    And yes as OP stated it can be hard to watch.
    IMO hard to watch is something done incorrectly.
    Have a barn full of horses different ages/breeds/sizes and disciplines, all can be trusted to ground tie where ever @ home, horse show, trail ride, it doesn't matter.
    And don't have a roundpen or pole.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    I think the idea is a really good one. It is also called a 'snubbing post'. Some say it should be sunk 5' in the ground rather than 4'.

    The old ones I've seen and/or used had a groove carved all the way around at a height of about 4.5' or 5'. I've seen some with three grooves carved around ... like 4.5', 5', and 5.5' or even 6'. ETA: that way there is no hardware to injure a horse's eye or the like; no tie rings. The higher you tie the head the less leverage the horse will have to pull back on and possible hurt himself. I have never seen one get hurt, but it can be very tramatic to watch the first time one decides to really fight it. Usually they try it and give up and step forward, but those first fews trys can be "WOW, that's a lot of horse power".

    It is best to use a twenty foot to twenty-five' 1" cotton rope instead of a lead rope with a snap. The rope is run through the bottom of the halter (loosely, just slide it between the horse's chin and the bottom of the noseband - don't run it through any halter Ds or rings - it must be very free to slide). The head end is run up over the poll of the horse and back around and tied with a Bolan Knot under the jaw, loosely but not so loose it can slide off over the head (maybe four or five fingers worth of slack). The other end is tied to the post by wrapping it and creating a fast release knot.

    You have to use a Bolan Knot to do this or you will strangle your horse. No slip knots or improperly tied weird knots. No 'granny knots' or such.

    The 1" cotton (do NOT use nylon) rope is the safest thing to use as it is very soft, round and strong and should not cause an injury to the poll and upper neck vertabrae or any of the blood vessles in that area.

    Some people will use an innertube for the neck piece and then rig the rope to that.

    So many horses are spoiled and have not learned to be patient. It can get them into trouble later if their owner is beginning to do a lot of things with them.

    I am getting ready to put one in myself, so I am biased.
    Bowline Knot. BOWLINE. If you're going to be emphatic, it helps to know how to spell the word in question so a body can look up how to tie one.

    25' of rope? Why? the only need enough slack to get their chin to their point of shoulder or so, so 25'? And rigging around the head and neck sounds an absolute itchy PITA mess and you forgot a very important piece- a swivel. A truly fretful horse will just snub themselves shorter and shorter wallowing and wiggling. And who uses an inner tube around the neck? The inner tube would go round the post or tree branch, not the poor horse's neck LOL.

    Five' tall? maybe 6'? no, unless you want one to set back and wrench their neck, or really fish flop and hurt themselves, that is not nearly high enough. Tie higher than ear tip height- ideally- truly ideally- from overhead like a tree branch or highline. For a 16' horse six feet is about eyeball height, not really tall enough.

    I appreciate the time it took to type out your suggestion, but dang it's bad on some details.

    --------
    with that said, I have a highline installed under some shady trees and I like it for parking a horse to chill out and snooze, while I ride or work another. Good for their minds to learn they can tolerate it and flopping about does nothing but tire them and annoy them. I have yet to meet a truly well trained 'ground tie-er' standing alone by a horse trailer or porta potty. Asking a horse to ground tie while you braid them, sure. Asking them to stay there by the horse trailer while you go to lunch across the fairgrounds? Notsomuch.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 29, 2006
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    Mountains of WV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltc4h View Post
    First we must assume that horses can reason-they can't.
    To me I would leave said barn if they started employing those options.
    It is an unnecessary short cut to any decent training regimen.
    And yes as OP stated it can be hard to watch.
    IMO hard to watch is something done incorrectly.
    Have a barn full of horses different ages/breeds/sizes and disciplines, all can be trusted to ground tie where ever @ home, horse show, trail ride, it doesn't matter.
    And don't have a roundpen or pole.
    are you saying you do not tie up your horses?
    You trust them to stand ground tied at shows, all day
    trail rides. . .? Please share with us how you accomplished
    this.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Posted by Ltc4h:

    First we must assume that horses can reason-they can't.
    To me I would leave said barn if they started employing those options.
    It is an unnecessary short cut to any decent training regimen.
    And yes as OP stated it can be hard to watch.
    IMO hard to watch is something done incorrectly.
    Have a barn full of horses different ages/breeds/sizes and disciplines, all can be trusted to ground tie where ever @ home, horse show, trail ride, it doesn't matter.
    And don't have a roundpen or pole.
    I don't believe it was the OP that said it CAN BE hard to watch, I believe that was my comment.

    I have had horses brought to me that were totally out of control spoiled brats. They had learned to throw their weight around, and would bite kick, charge, lunge and whatever. No one wanted to get near them when they were having a bad hair day. And they consistently put owners and verterinarians in danger for just the simple things like sticking a thermometer in their butt or giving a shot. This is NOT a healthy or safe situation for anyone. I also had one five year old 1200 pound gorgeous stallion brought in straight off the range who had never seen people before. Not too mention all of the "halter breakers" that just broke all of your normal equipment and continued to successfully not ever be tied.

    In all of those case humans had created a very major problem by not doing it correctly in the first place.

    I think it is also dangerous to think that the horse cannot 'reason'. That type of thinking might add to the fact that there are so many spoiled horses. Horses can and do reason quite well.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Jan. 6, 2010 at 01:51 PM.



  13. #13
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    Posted by Katarine:

    BOWLINE
    Right, sorry.



  14. #14

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    Most patient poles that I have seen have an inner tube wrapped around it then a rope tied to that so there is some give, and most are closer to 7' - 8' tall.



  15. #15
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    Posted by katarine:

    Bowline Knot. BOWLINE. If you're going to be emphatic, it helps to know how to spell the word in question so a body can look up how to tie one.

    25' of rope? Why? the only need enough slack to get their chin to their point of shoulder or so, so 25'? And rigging around the head and neck sounds an absolute itchy PITA mess and you forgot a very important piece- a swivel. A truly fretful horse will just snub themselves shorter and shorter wallowing and wiggling. And who uses an inner tube around the neck? The inner tube would go round the post or tree branch, not the poor horse's neck LOL.

    Five' tall? maybe 6'? no, unless you want one to set back and wrench their neck, or really fish flop and hurt themselves, that is not nearly high enough. Tie higher than ear tip height- ideally- truly ideally- from overhead like a tree branch or highline. For a 16' horse six feet is about eyeball height, not really tall enough.

    I appreciate the time it took to type out your suggestion, but dang it's bad on some details.

    --------
    with that said, I have a highline installed under some shady trees and I like it for parking a horse to chill out and snooze, while I ride or work another. Good for their minds to learn they can tolerate it and flopping about does nothing but tire them and annoy them. I have yet to meet a truly well trained 'ground tie-er' standing alone by a horse trailer or porta potty. Asking a horse to ground tie while you braid them, sure. Asking them to stay there by the horse trailer while you go to lunch across the fairgrounds? Notsomuch.
    First of all I have never had a horse that was 16' tall , so lets discuss the details

    1" diameter cotten rope is hardly itchy. Have you ever held a good cotton rope in your hands? They are extremely soft and they will not 'burn'.

    The twenty-five foot length is used to "snub up" a horse ... to bring him in closer to the pole if he is not used to being handled at all ... as in wild off the range. Like reeling in a fish. If you are dealing with an unpredicatable horse to begin with, then I would not ever just tie him and walk away and let him fight it out. It is called a "snubbing post" because the trainer can 'snub' (reel in) the horse in or let it out a tad (as in an inch or two) as the horse begins to fight with it. Sorry if that sounds bad, but when horse are not started early and consistently it becomes very difficult to get things back on track. They weigh a lot. Using a 'snubbing post' allows the trainer to take up the slack. It gives the trainer a huge amount of leverage in controlling an out of control 1200 pound animal. It is a give and take situation. it also can be used for the confirmed halter breaker by running it around their barrel, tying a Bowline Knot, bring it up between their front legs, running it through the chin strap of the halter and then up to the snubbing post. Personally I thing that is the safest way to start with a horse that is really going to fight before they realise they are more comfortable just standing and going to sleep.

    A second peice of rope that has a ring spliced into it can actually be used to wrap around the snubbing post and tied off with a half-hitch or double half-hitch. Then you can just run the horse rope through the ring ... it slides much better, but you will loose the leverage that is gained wrapping around the post doing it the previous way. It works well for horses that have a lot less initial resistance.

    Most of the horses that I have seen this done with were somewhere between 15hh and 12hh (ponies). It certainly can be adjusted to taller horses. Getting it too high can create just as much of a problem with a horse that has not had any handling. 5'9" works fine for 14.2hh to 15hh. Technically a horse can 'fish flop' OR lunge forward OR drop all of his weight if he is tied really high ... UNTIL he is 'snubbed' up to the post. Usually that height should be about eye level or ear level. The key is getting the horse's nose right next to the post. AND using a bit of give and take. AND talking to them in a soothing voice. It is like any other method of training. The horse has to learn the boundaries and the trainer should sooth them for accepting those boundaries. It is not supposed to be a punishment, but if you have a horse that did not learn their boundaries as a baby then you have a major problem and the options become much more "tramaticc" before you can get to a calmer starting point.

    The basic premise will vary a great deal depending on the background of the horse ... completely wild to improperly started by people and very bratty ... to the actual height and weight of what one is dealing with.

    It depends a great deal on the personality of the breed, size and individuals that you tend to handle.

    The "innertube" detail involves cutting a strip that is long enough to go loosley around the horses neck and then the rope is tied in such a way that the knotted connecting section rests right beneath the jaw/neck. It is never long enough to wrap around anything, it is only a way of distributing weight behind the poll. I haven't seen this method in a long time, but when I did it worked very well.

    How you 'work the rope' depends on how extreme the horse is.

    Sorry to have not gotten much more detailed if I was going to be so emphatic.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Jan. 6, 2010 at 01:55 PM.



  16. #16
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    First let me say that I know I can't explain how I train them to do it, I wish I had the secret recipe if I did I would be happy to share it.
    I know that I've found a method that works for me.
    No, I don't leave my horses for hours untied, I have never been in a situation that that was needed.
    At shows or anywhere I trailer to, my horses stay in the trailer when they would need to be tied.
    It's not that I don't trust my training or the horse, I don't trust the surroundings.
    I'm not a fool and always have in my mind that no matter how many training hours,time,energy and patience have gone into the horses they are just that horses and have animal instincts and behaviours.
    So, when the other loose horse,dog,kid,strollers,balloon,plastic bag or any other such thing that would set them into flight. Mine are standing quitely without hay to pacify them in the trailer, while a whirlwind occurs outside.
    I also maybe should not have used the word groundtie, I basically teach the stay command.
    Just like you would with a dog. I use the word stand up, and sometimes put the lead/reins on the ground, over the fence,over the neck, or if loose in the field there is nothing attached at all.
    Just like with training a dog, they learn through consistant repetition. I put them somewhere tell them to stand up and as soon as they move I put them back to exactly the same position. Over and over.
    I can trust them @ shows while putting in studs or forgetting something in the loft, putting a # on a different rider. At home I set jumps that way all the time and have taken the occasional potty break while on a trail.
    I try not to put them in a situation that would lead to failure.
    No, I don't think that I could stand them in grass outside and go to town for lunch and come back to them in that same location, but I also don't understand why if I go out to lunch my horse still needs to be on the clock.
    As far as reasoning I will admit I am fairly closed minded about that.
    I believe that horses feel the simple emotions of fear, anger, curiosity, confusion, sadness and happiness. But, The way emotions are processed in the human brain is different from the horse because of the compartmentalization of the horse’s brain. As humans, we have the ability to reason why we feel a particular way. Horses simply feel emotion (without reasoning) because they don’t have the ability to rationalize the feeling.
    Knowing this information we need to realize that horses don’t feel animosity or contempt towards us; their misbehaviors aren’t premeditated attempts at ‘getting back at us.’ They are simply expressions of what the horse is feeling at that given time. If the horse is fearful, it is because it is. If the horse is unsure and confused, it is because it is.
    But just in case all of my horse both single and cross tie calmly, just in case.
    Last edited by Ltc4h; Jan. 6, 2010 at 12:51 PM. Reason: added



  17. #17
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    Oct. 13, 2008
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    Georgia
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    I personally love the idea of tying and teaching a horse patience. I've seen some spoiled horse's and the simple act of making them stand tied without pitching a tantrum helped in many areas. At least you know you can tie your horse and walk away without coming back to lord knows what. I don't think you should expect a horse to just get it the 1st time - I have a yearling that I taught to tie and started out in 30 minute intervals first, then moved to 45 minutes, and kept moving up gradually. You have to consider the age of the horse also, not all young horse's are going to stand tied for hours - they are young and full of energy and need to be exercised before tying. I do tie my horse's (all) while I do stuff around the barn - it's a great idea. I know a lot of trainer's that recommend this, especially for young horse's!

    Not sure about how to make one, I have some really good tree's around my place and also use the horse trailor some for the older horse's but other's have posted some good ideas.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    You can make a bowline out of a slip knot.

    Here's how:

    Step1
    Step2
    Step3
    Step4

    Yes, done by a farrier while barefoot!



  19. #19
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    May. 7, 2004
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    One trainer I have used has, rather than a single pole, a couple of sturdy (as in, made of telephone poles) tie racks, outside the barn, in the shade. Once a horse understands the rudiments of yielding to pressure (this is taught in hand, with a halter), the workout ends with cooling out, a bath, and an hour or so spent standing tied. It's good practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by HuntrJumpr
    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.



  20. #20
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    LOL got me, though as a high headed 16.2 HAND mare ...she does sometimes seem 16' tall anyway


    The length makes sense as you further expanded- but we aren't (mostly) talking wild horses off the range. And no one suggested hard tie 'em and leave 'em.


    Yes, expecting a horse to stand there while you fiddle with something is not ground tying. Ground tying is stay here while I walk behind this tree and pee in the bushes LOL.

    If you don't 'need' a horse to stand tied for hours, great.

    Some of us do. My horses are used to standing tied to the trailer while at a show or trail head, or camping overnight they are on highlines. So my sort of horse greatly benefits from learning that tied=chance to nap.

    No, horses don't reason. If I break a carrot in half, and they are watching me standing there at their shoulder, and I move that hand down under their belly to teach them to bow for a carrot, they have no clue where that carrot went. None. Takes a while for them to catch on. They can see that hand down there flapping- but no, they can't reason that maybe that hand has the carrot. But they can learn....tied =chance to nap. Which, in my world, is very valuable.



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