We used 3/4" soft laid, marine nylon line (available at any boat shop). We got the hardware from the Co-Op. We used through and through eye-bolts in 6"x8" main barn timbers. The "barn end" is tied in a quick-release knot.* We use regular heavy-duty clips on the other end. We seen horses break halters, but never one of the ties.
*Note that "quick release knots" presume that the knot is properly done so that when pressure is put on the line the loop will still slide. They also have to be "exercised" from time to time or the nylon will compress into a hard knot that won't release easily. I carry a knife at all times when in the barn (Swiss Army pocket knife or multi-tool). That's the "emergency release system" if the knot fails to release.
This is just an idea, but it works for me. I had a horrible accident once where a horse was about to set back, I stupidly stood by his face asking him to move forward, then he jerked his head up hard, breaking the leather crown, and the whole halter assembly went flying in my face. So lucky it was just cuts that got stitched and healed.
Anyway, the only thing I feel safe with is a regular cross tie on one side. That has a break away (cable tie) to the snap that snaps to the halfter. On the other side, I hang a blocker tie, and use the halter lead with that.
I love the "Tie Safe" brand -- nylon/velcro with swivel and panic snaps. Have seen it in action and it works well. Nothing to snap back at you or the horse. Takes quite a bit of tension, but releases before panic sets in.
I do similarly to Guilherme but I use climbing rope. I leave long ends with a quick release knot. If an accident occurred I only have to pull on the end to release.
I always use leather halters in crossties for safety.
I have a pair of Turtlesnap crossties but I don't care for them as much -- twine pulls right through, and it is too hard to reach up to the screw eye to release in an emergency -- you have to get too close to the horse. I much prefer the long tails on the climbing rope which I can quickly and easily grab from a safe distance. I do really like the Turtlesnap trailer ties.
I can also adjust them in a few seconds -- undo the knot and tighten them up for the 16.2 hand 2 year old so he can't get them in his mouth, and let them out for the 13.1 pony who would hanging by her halter from the shorter ties.
Two pieces of rope with snaps that you don't hate. For me that means no bull snaps, turtle snaps, safety snaps or anything but regular old snap snaps. My horses wear leather halters--those will break before my cross ties, but I don't leave horses with bad manners unattended in cross ties, and the ones who DO have bad manners are supervised and corrected when they're being idjits.
The ones I have now are elastic, with regular snaps on each end. I bought them on sale when I built the barn six years ago and haven't had any reason to replace them.
I like Tie-Safe Ties. Smartpak carries them. If a horse panics, the velcro will release. I have heard too many stories about horses being blinded when a snap breaks and flies through the air into an eye as the horse pulls away. You don't want your snaps to be the weakest part of the cross tie system. I fasten the cross ties to baling twine, but sometimes baling twine does not break when you think it should break. The Tie-Safe cross ties add an extra layer of safety to the system. They don't release easily, but will release in an emergency.
I like break-aways on 'em, self-made of baling twine; cotton rope or something like yacht braid if I have to choose. I'd avoid nylon because it stretches, and the bungee ones can be lethal, particularly paired with a "panic snap" if the horse sets back against them. As my grandma said, "You could lose an eye!"
Said the person wading into the whirling twitch handle . . . but that li'l adventure was over in the "Stupid!" thread.
Never EVER use elastic ones!!! They can snap back and hurt the horse!!!!
I try to avoid using "never" and "always", because those words can bite you hard in the hiney.
A little stretch in a rope can make the difference between a blow up and a deep breath on the part of a horse that's close to panic. Yes, disasters can happen and this is true with ANY piece of equipment. The best way to avoid injury when horses are tied is to be vigilant and not leave them unsupervised, and to teach them manners. I've seen loops of baling twine fail to break, I've seen elastic ropes "give" appropriately and convince a horse to not fling itself when being up against firm ropes failed to do so. I've seen brass snaps, steel snaps, halters, and ropes fail. I've seen handlers fail, too. This doesn't mean that any of those individual items is dangerous.
DW, I used the Equi-pings on the side of the trailer for awhile. They are ok, and were certainly nice in a panic (amd looked nicer than bailing twine). However, a couple of clever horses quickly figured out how to pop them. Most of the time they spent tied to the trailer was spent scolding them, finding them grazing a few feet away, or re-tying them. Usually, using two Equi-pings solved the issue, but a few needed twine.
Twine. Elastic is the worst. Never again. Horse pulled back and the elastic snapped and hit me in the side of head giving me a concussion, vision damage, and many stitches. No one was in the barn. Thank god someone came about 30 minutes later to find me knocked out in a pool of blood.
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.
FLeventer, your story illustrates the problem with elastic, or with cross ties that aren't designed to break. It sounds like you were standing right next to the horse, but could still not prevent the accident. I'm glad you are ok.
I like the tie safe cross ties. I like that when they release, there is no metal flying about.
When I was 15, a horse pulled back on a set of cross ties secured with baling twine. Baling twine snapped, and metal snap of crosstie came flying at my face, nailing me in the upper lip. I had braces at the time and have a very painful memory of extracting my lip from my braces, where the force of the snap had made my lip and the braces one unit. Also chipped a tooth and I have a permanent scar on my upper lip right below my nose from it. It was a bloody, painful mess.
So my vote goes to the tie safe ones!
If riding were all blue ribbons and bright lights, I would have quit long ago.
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2014
I've seen snaps break before twine did, and I've seen twine break with vigorous head-shaking. I like the idea of something a little more predictable, but since I own one who considers unfastening himself from the trailer as a sport, I will take YBs advice and double-Ping him.