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Blocker ties?

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  • Blocker ties?

    Every once in a while, my horse Miss A. decides to test the cross ties. Wednesday night she freaked, pulled back, one of the ties quick released, the other broke at the baling twine on the wall, and she ran into the nearest open stall with the cross tie and lead rope dangling. She settled quickly and we finished grooming and tacking with me holding her.

    She doesn't ground tie. It was suggested that I get Blocker Ties. I looked at the videos they seem like a good idea. However, what happens she continues to pull back after the slack has been taken up? Can she pull the lead rope out? I'd rather the lead rope go free instead of her totally panicking and hurting herself.
    Proud member of Appendix QH clique

  • #2
    IMO you tie a horse eye high, arm's length, with and to something that won't break. Using any sort of "breakaway" device you will, eventually, teach the horse that with enough force they can leave where they are. I know this because I had a mare that was trained to do this by a prior owner and it was a problem that we never fully resolved.

    There are some strong opinions on the other side of this argument. I don't accept the arguments that support them.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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    • #3
      Yes she can pull the lead rope out unless you have a knot or something

      Comment


      • #4
        There are various ways to use them that produce more or less tension, but yes, the rope will come free unless there is a knot or something physically preventing the end from sliding through. I won't leave a horse unattended tied to one because the naughty smart ones figure out the trick to quickly and end up with 8' of freedom.

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        • #5
          I have something called The Clip, which is similar to a Blocker. I have them on both sets of cross ties in my barn and I've found that if a horse pulls back they relax quickly because they get a tiny bit of give (as opposed to a full on panic). I have yet to have a horse pull the ropes the whole way through, but they could in a true emergency. It also helped me relax with my mare who used to pull back because I don't worry about things breaking anymore.

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          • #6
            I have several and use them all the time in the barn and to tie TO the trailer. Not IN the trailer, but to the outside. They have totally eliminated the panic situations with horses that exhibit them. I haven't yet had a horse pull the lead all the way thru, usually a panic episode is resolved with 6" of lead sliding thru, but I also use 16' leads and never leave them unattended. The Blockers work best with a certain "feel" of rope - more of the yacht rope type that often gets labeled "trainer's leads". I doubt they would work well with a stiff poly lead, or a bulky cotton lead.

            I am on the same side as Guilherme, I DO NOT want my horses to learn to "break free" when they panic. The Blocker lets just enough rope slide thru that they relax, but have not broken anything and are not running free.

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            • #7
              The whole point of a Blocker Tie (which I use with my trailer for tying outside at a site) is so that the rope will indeed pull away if the horse gets majorly spooked. But it also offers enough resistance that horses trained to tie will remain tied and often not "extend the rope" from what you set it at. Inside the trailer, I use EquiPing plastic release fuses.

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              • #8
                I am really picky about horses knowing how to tie, and I think the blocker is a great item. As moving to dc says, an episode of panic virtually always resolves before the full length of the rope slides through. Depending on the thickness and stiffness of the rope and which side of the blocker you use, the rope might slide easily or very slowly. The "give" is enough to help a horse settle and enough to keep a horse from breaking halters and ties, but still doesn't set the horse free unless they are very persistent or have learned how to work the blocker with their mouth. On a practical level, having the blockers set up in my tie areas has saved me many broken halters and ties and helped me teach a lot of young horses to stand tied patiently.

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                • #9
                  I use the blocker tie rings when tied to the trailer at shows, situations where I have to step out of reach, or something might spook my otherwise well-trained horses and cause a disaster. At home they get schooled to tie with a tree and a rope halter, with a human holding a dressage whip to encourage them to step forward and release the pressure, and to control/release the pressure as the horse learns.
                  Third Charm Event Team

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                  • #10
                    Why is a breakaway better in the trailer than a blocker? I don't get the distinction. Can't the horse learn to tear the velcro or pop the ring?

                    I'm struggling with what I want to use in the trailer after having a horse freak out one night and pull back. The only horse I could ever brag about being awesome/rock solid in the trailer (figures). I don't want her to form a bad habit, but also don't want her to go down.
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                      Why is a breakaway better in the trailer than a blocker? I don't get the distinction. Can't the horse learn to tear the velcro or pop the ring?

                      I'm struggling with what I want to use in the trailer after having a horse freak out one night and pull back. The only horse I could ever brag about being awesome/rock solid in the trailer (figures). I don't want her to form a bad habit, but also don't want her to go down.
                      In order for the Blocker to work properly, you have to have a LONG leadrope, dangling on the ground. I have no desire to have a long lead coiled on the floor of my trailer, right under my horse's feet. In the trailer, I use Turtle Snaps. NO TWINE. I have never understood why someone would use twine AND a panic snap... The Turtle Snaps will hold, until a certain amount of pressure, and then they pop loose. They are also designed to release at the touch of a finger, no matter how much pressure is on them. It is a much better, newer, "engineered" design than the traditional old bulky panic snaps.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Miss A. broke out of the Turtle Ties. One TT did release, the other didn't.
                        Proud member of Appendix QH clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My horse went from being "completely reliable tied" to "absolute problem child" in under 5 minutes, thanks to my mistake in improperly tying him too low while out camping-- he pulled back in a tie stall and broke a lead rope, then within a minute of me putting him back in there, he pulled back and broke the breakaway crownpiece of a halter. Did the same thing to the second halter a minute later. He wasn't spooking, he just figured out-- quickly-- how to bust himself loose. So I put a regular nylon halter on him, with a regular nylon crownpiece (it was all I had left to use; we were 200 miles from home), and when he pulled back and met resistance, he really DID freak out, and managed to scrape the hell out of his head before I got him settled.

                          It was an absolute nightmare, and unfortunately 100% due to my own ignorance.

                          Anyway, I ended up getting a blocker tie ring to use at my trailer, along with the good thick blocker leadrope they sell, and I no longer tie him at the trailer with a halter-- he gets a neck collar instead. Like Guilherme said, when they're tied, they need to learn to be tied and STAY PUT; I figure the risks of someone getting hurt by my runaway horse (whether at a show, on a road with cars/trucks, etc.) outweighs the risk of him hurting himself from fighting a tie. Sad but true, and if that makes me a bad owner, so be it-- he needs to stay tied when I tie him. (Mind you, I don't leave him there unsupervised, and I always keep a knife on-hand to cut ropes if necessary-- but he no longer gets to decide when he gets loose, regardless of how much he hurts himself trying.)

                          The first time I used the blocker tie at my trailer, Horse decided to go back to his old tricks and pulled back to break loose. The blocker did its job perfectly-- it "gave," but only slightly; he only pulled it out maybe 6-8" before realizing that it was more effort than it was worth.

                          And I have not had one problem with him since.
                          *friend of bar.ka

                          "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My ever-crafty gelding found it to be great fun to "release" himself from the blocker tie rings on the cross ties at one boarding barn.

                            Not to anthropomorphize, but that horse truly did have a sense of humor and loved to do stuff like that just to prove he could.
                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My girl is an OTTB and they don't teach them to tie at the track. When I first got her I had real problems with her pulling back when tied and going nutso when there was no give (not crazy but just not nice). She improved a great deal with tying where there was some give (she reacts to hitting a solid resistance)- but will quit if there is give. I am not advocating bungee ties (have heard bad things about when they break) but at one point she was tied to a trailer with a bungee tie. My friend observed her pull back and rear (I guess something spooked her) but then she came down and stood calmly. These days I tie her to baling twine and she almost never breaks that (not one incident in the past year).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                While generally not a fan of new fangled tying devices, I love this thing. I don't use it for cross-tying, but for a single tie. With a long rope the horse will get over the panic/pulling back reaction before he runs out of rope, and you can just reel him in. I've used it to reschool a couple who had become difficult to tie (breaking ropes.)
                                "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by moving to dc View Post

                                  In order for the Blocker to work properly, you have to have a LONG leadrope, dangling on the ground. I have no desire to have a long lead coiled on the floor of my trailer, right under my horse's feet. In the trailer, I use Turtle Snaps. NO TWINE. I have never understood why someone would use twine AND a panic snap... The Turtle Snaps will hold, until a certain amount of pressure, and then they pop loose. They are also designed to release at the touch of a finger, no matter how much pressure is on them. It is a much better, newer, "engineered" design than the traditional old bulky panic snaps.
                                  Thank you! This is helpful information. I will look into the Turtle Snaps. But I am still really concerned about her pulling back again AND getting completely free again. My Featherlite has the dreaded mangers, but in this case they may work to my advantage with a Blocker tie. When I tie it is on the inside by the aisle, which the horse can't step into, so it is almost impossible for the rope to get wrapped up in her legs. She's also been pretty desensitized to ropes wrapping around her legs, something I train, so I feel relatively confident that won't be an issue.
                                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post

                                    Thank you! This is helpful information. I will look into the Turtle Snaps. But I am still really concerned about her pulling back again AND getting completely free again. My Featherlite has the dreaded mangers, but in this case they may work to my advantage with a Blocker tie. When I tie it is on the inside by the aisle, which the horse can't step into, so it is almost impossible for the rope to get wrapped up in her legs. She's also been pretty desensitized to ropes wrapping around her legs, something I train, so I feel relatively confident that won't be an issue.
                                    I don't think you'd want to use a blocker tie ring INSIDE a trailer-- you do need a long rope for the blocker to work properly, and that would be unsafe inside a trailer. I use the blocker for tying the horse OUTSIDE the trailer, before and after rides-- inside, I use a non-bungee trailer tie, with the bull snap on the horse's halter and the panic snap on the trailer end.
                                    *friend of bar.ka

                                    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I use the Blocker Tie rings with your regular poly lead ropes and they work fine wIth my horses. I also use it inside the trailer for one horse who came to me as a problem hauler. He's very good now but I was thankful for the blocker tie ring in the trailer when I had the horse colic during a trip and as I was going to unload him he went down. The blocker fed enough lead to allow him to go down without him panicking and fighting for his head. It was easy for me to flip the ring open from the head access door without having to go inside the trailer while he was getting up.

                                      If working with a horse that has a problem being tied and pulling back, you may need the long rope. When using the poly lead ropes, the slightly aged ropes work best.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I LOVE my Blocker tie ring!! I only have one and I use it to tie my gelding to the trailer. It's the best investment I've ever made.

                                        Comment

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