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Tying a horse for a long time

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  • #21
    Safety while tying....and.....

    One of the guidelines when tying a horse for long periods is to be completely sure on the length of the rope, that it is correct and has not only a 'quick release' feature, but also a 'giving' feature...either the rope itself has elastic quaility or the part where it is attatched to the wall is elastic...a poplular method, used where I board, is a quick realease type tie, fashioned to the indoor arena (SOLID) wall, I think a solid wall is essential...and the place where the tie is attatched to the wall...is attatched by by truck inner tube material, very elastic and encourages the horse not to pull. Also to be used is leather halter or a halter with a leather 'break away feature'. I might add that to get better effect of the tying lesson, the horse should be saddled, and the owner/trainer should either work another horse during this time, to watch the horse, or work in the barn...be around to keep an eye on the horse.

    and.....off topic...it is good to teach your horse to STAND around, with you on him.....

    I board at a cutting horse/team penning/working cow horse training facility. Sometimes when I ride, I am fortunate enough to have this place to expose my horse to many things...like cattle, we sometimes go down to ride, and there are twenty cattle in the indoor, and two to eight cowboys in there working them...I sit there on Shadrach in the arena and wait till they switch cattle and take a break. I have simply, 'sat' there on him for 20 minutes. Mentally, it is superb for them to learn that it is okay to relax, sleep, chill, watch what is going on...and not really have to work.
    Then I ride around. It is so good for him to just learn to stand there and have all this commotion going on around him. He is not afraid of the cattle or the other horses flying around chasing them...
    It is so annoying to me that dressage horses where supposed to be trained for useful, dependable mounts....and many dressage horses are neither useful or dependable outside of four walls.


    IT has been invaluable to me boarding there, picking up on little things that make these working western horses such great partners, and yes, these cowboys 'dance' and work with their horses too..Many of these horses cost as much or more than our dressage horses, and these horse actually pay their way...many of the men/women I ride with have won trailers, saddles and lots of cold hard cash. These men know a ton, and are in no way 'beneath' what our dressage horses, or less valuable than dressage horses are...these guys simply expect MORE from their horses,

    and FYI...the trainer at this barn....all of his working cow horses and reining horses could so do up to Third Level.
    ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~
    www.firstgiving.com/christinahyke

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Boy, you guys sure took an idea and ran with it here.

      I don't just tie a young horse to an oak tree and walk away It is progressive thing in the "learning to tie" process. I start out with my youngsters by just looping a lead line over a rail in their stall and putting some pressure on it so they learn to step forward to relieve the pressure. This takes some time because it is a horse's natural tendancy to move into consistant pressure. But a horse that never learns this lesson has never truly learned to tie. Once they have this concept down I tie them to the tree through a looped innertube with a swiveling snap and wait. I keep a lunge whip handy. When they set back as they inevidibly will, I just tap them gently on the butt to remind them to step forward. Once they have this lesson down, I work on getting them to stand there for a longer and longer time, gradually working up to an hour or two over several weeks. I do stay there with the horse for whatever period of time it is there (and I like it fine ). At no time do I ever leave the horse alone. Oh I may retreat as far as 20 yards off or so. But I get up close and personal frequently to hand out a treat or a scratch if the horse is standing there quietly. Mostly I am in a lawn chair reading a book, listening to my ipod or doing the things I have learned to do to get through boring situations, just like I want my horse to do.

      I never use a leather halter for this process because the one thing I don't want the horse to learn is that pulling back is successful. However I always have a sharp pocket knife in one pocket and pebbles in the another. If the horse fidgets, they get beaned with a pebble. If they stand quietly, they get a reward. They learn pretty quickly to just be. It takes a significant amount of time on my part but it is usually a good time for them. And they come through the process knowing that being tied for a while is no big deal, that they can just hang out and watch the world go by without stressing. It has nothing to do with brute force or broken spirit. I find it makes them confident, independent individuals.
      Last edited by nhwr; Jul. 9, 2006, 02:21 AM.
      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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      • #23
        sounds like an interesting place to board. I have not been so lucky.

        I lost 2 horses at a place where 525 horses were boarded in a very small place with lots of other activities going on at the same time- a true zoo. Plus trainers of all sorts and level of competency and incompetency in all kinds of disciplines were crosstraining. It was a nightmare of a place.
        One gorgeous Andi cross overturned in the crossties when a loose dog stormed into his place out of nowhere...
        a very expensive imported Hanoverian repeatedly reared and hurt his sacrum in the cross ties- when being severely spooked by- loose horses galopping by, housewives pushing baby carts with screaming kids throwing balls in direct vicinity...it was impossible to keep control....I gave up- moved and put a whole new layer of precaution around my horses..it has served me well...to the point where they can be standing on a loose lead rope in front of their stalls while being tacked- and nothing makes them leave...they are peaceful and grounded...the environment is everything- you can not imagine a crowded -nervous and loud barn- and how a horse can be unsettled by that....
        "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

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        • #24
          NHWR, True about the non leather to start out with, though that is only if you ARE right there with a knife...I have seen horses that have learned to break halters too, and it is worth the time and effort you have to schedule for it, and I think it is like trailer loading...and part of trailer training....it is something you should dedicate time to to make certain your horse knows and really understands, and "gets" the lesson. Sounds like you do a great job.
          ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~
          www.firstgiving.com/christinahyke

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          • #25
            Sabine, It sounds like you boarded at a county fair!!!!!!!

            Good to hear you got into a more peaceful surronding!!!!
            ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~
            www.firstgiving.com/christinahyke

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            • #26
              I am sorry for your horses. Terrible way to get hurt and easy to ensure it never happens again. Dont attach your cross tie to the wall directly, attach them to a single loop made of a cotton shoe lace. It breaks to pressure.

              Better, is to put to small loops of wool thread on each side of your halter and attach the x-tie there. Breaks immediately.

              Though like you, I have two horses who ground tie perfectly so little need to attach them.

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              • #27
                I think everyone here has different ideas of tying up. On one hand you have the people who tie up for hours and go away - that is unacceptable. Then you have the people who take the time and tie up their youngsters and groom them and leave them to stand while they are mucking out paddocks or stalls and generally being in touch with them so that they learn to stand happily. They build up the time slowly so that the horse is quite happy to stand anywhere and know that you are there to look after them. They are not expected to stand for hours without attention. I think we all agree that that is terrible. And I can't even imagine anyone tying up a horse with its head tied between its legs or to its side. That is not a horse person. That is cruelty. No doubt. When I go to a show, my horse will be tied to the float (to breakable twine just in case something out of the ordinary happens) for the day when she is not being ridden. BUT, she has a hay net, water, feed when needed, me popping back and forth or sitting nearby in a chair - whatever. I do think it's a good thing when a young horse is being handled to teach it to tie up and learn to relax and not fuss about. It's not about being tied up for hours on end. One of my friends got a mare a few years back who would not stand still when tied up (danced). In the end she tied her up and sat in her barn and watched and waited until she did stand. As soon as she stood still (and it took hours!) she instantly went to her, praised her and untied her and put her in her paddock. So she learned to stand quietly. She never has a problem now. She learned later that the farrier dreaded shoeing her as she wouldn't stand still. Wouldn't know it was the same horse now! So it's all about being sensible and I think learning to be tied up is just part of the education process. nhwr I think your training process is great. However, I don't live in a boarding situation with horses everywhere and my horse is never in cross ties. So I can't comment on that situation.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Sabine, I am sorry about your horses. I knew about Milagro but not the 2nd one. It is precisely because of experiences at the place you used to board ( I used to board there too) that I started doing this with my youngsters. I agree that environment is everything. But you can't always control the environment. Even a quiet facility can have an unexpected mishap. You can't completely eliminate the risk when tying a horse. Having a horse that has some inner assurance that these experiences provide is some added insurance.

                  FWIW, I hate cross ties because I think they make it difficult for a horse to figure out where the pressure is really coming from. And the kind of setup at the place-that-shall-not-be-named, concrete and usually wet, are a recipe for disaster, IMO.
                  See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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                  • #29
                    I don't believe that because dressage horses are athletes they can't be expected to stand still.

                    Barrel racing and cow roping horses are athletes. While many of these western horses have excellent training others are expected to enter the box and run like hell. They can rear, kick, buck, have tie downs and big bits to hold them, they are nuts in the competition arena (again not all).

                    If these crazy western horses (again not all) can act like loonatics in the arena and then stand tied to their trailer for a couple hours at a show, why can't a fancy dressage horse? After all, they're supposed to be highly trained animals that can half pass, pirouette, etc. Why can't they be well trained enough to stand still?
                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                    • #30
                      nhwr's OP sounds more like obedience training, or a tool to help the young horse understand not to drag whatever's at the other end of the rope (be it a tree or a person). More of a ground manners lesson, "this is a rope/leadline and we don't pull and drag against it."

                      Other exercises in tieing can be a bit different and wrong.

                      And I NEVER leave a horse alone in cross ties, or any ties, I don't care how dead quiet the horse is. Anything can happen, and it doesn't need to be the horse's fault when something goes wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by nhwr
                        FWIW, I hate cross ties because I think they make it difficult for a horse to figure out where the pressure is really coming from.
                        Ditto.

                        I have camped with horses tied to the trailer or to a high line, have worked competitive trail rides where horses are tied overnight (can and do lie down while tied) and organized probably 50 dressage shows where there was little or no stabling. Standing patiently tied to a suitable place should be part of every horse's education. Anyone who shows in any discipline in most of America better have a horse that can be securely (please, no twine) tied to the trailer or they are going to have a miserable day. A big shady old oak tree is a fine training device.

                        Cross-ties -- now those scare me. I have never willingly put a horse in cross-ties. If there is no safe tying spot available, I'd rather teach them to ground tie then use cross-ties.

                        Unrelated to anything ... I attended the British National Driving Championships years ago and was fascinated to learn there was NO stabling. Everyone had to bring their own overnight plan. As a show organizer who had to cope with fine facilities with little available stabling, I was fascinated by the concept. Many of the top UK driving horses were standing tied overnight.

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                        • #32
                          cross ties are dangerous.

                          i never cross tie my horses any more. they are tied in their stalls for grooming and tacking. i've never had an accident with cross ties but i know plenty of other people who have.

                          my younger mare tied well at one time but recently starting pulling back, so there is a hole in the training there somewhere. i don't tie her in the stall; i simply halter her and loop the lead around a bar. and sometimes work on teaching her to stand still without being tied.

                          i used to take out the center partition in the trailer and let her travel loose. that worked well for her. she liked to turn around and face backwards.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Sabine
                            Sorry Christina- still friends!- but I don't agree...maybe I have been burned bad- I lost 2 horses to tying/cross tieing accidents..a total of 70K down the drain- I won't do it again - ever...Sorry!!!

                            suggest you try overhead tie line...if they fall it will sang with them it will allow them to turn around to see what's behind them but keeps them in one place

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              You can't have it both ways...the energized beautiful master beast that makes people go WOW what a nice horse with great gaits...and then next you know he is tied to the trailer- his engine shut off, while I munch down a hotdog and review my score...NOPE that's not MY reality!!!
                              Look, sorry to hear about your horses. Like someone else said it sounds like you were boarding at the county fair.
                              Nevertheless....the above statement makes me cringe because somehow this "beautiful master beast" sounds like an ill mannered, brainless, large monster (which might explain some other training techniques you support but that is a whole 'nother discussion - which I don't want to get into - no, no, no). By definition alone, I DO expect a dressage horse to have decent manners and a brain. Breed has absolutely nothing to do with it. Lack of proper training does.
                              Personally I'm on the other side of the fence when it comes to this. I'm sick and tired of hearing DQs complain about "stroller pushing housewives" and the likes because they are not able to train and/or control their horse outside of the show ring.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                think everyone here has different ideas of tying up. On one hand you have the people who tie up for hours and go away - that is unacceptable. Then you have the people who take the time and tie up their youngsters and groom them and leave them to stand while they are mucking out paddocks or stalls and generally being in touch with them so that they learn to stand happily. They build up the time slowly so that the horse is quite happy to stand anywhere and know that you are there to look after them
                                EXACTLY!!!

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                                • #36
                                  Just my opinion - which is - if I EVER saw a trainer pulling this on MY horse - well, it wouldn't happen. Period. For several reasons.

                                  (1) MOST IMPORTANTLY, for gut reasons alone, they need to move around. My horse does trailer tie, but he has HAY and water and it is never for that long a period of time.

                                  (2) Vision etc is blocked by the trailer. Lots of going on at shows etc. Why have your horse possibly panic because something happens because they can't escape? Which is why I would never leave for horse unattended for any length of time. It's natural prey behavior.

                                  (3) After the track, my horse will only pee in a stall, especially in a strange place. Why put him under that kind of stress? In addition, he's very fastidious - when we had a run stall, regardless of weather, he'd leave to poop rather than use his stall. Why have him in a situation where he has to stand in his own soil?

                                  I am responsible for my horse, which means I should not be putting him a situation where there can be issues. Tieing thehorse to a tree for hours, in my opinion, would destroy that trust.

                                  Could my horse stand for hours almost immobile? You betcha. At the last barn, they kept the stall guards up during the day for better air flow (the big tubing ones, wrapped chain type). The stall door was not closed that night as it should have been. My guy put his foot through the two guards. And he had the smarts and presence of mind to stand there until someone showed up the enxt morning. By the pile of poop behind him, it was obvious it had been a while.

                                  But that was a mistake, and not repeated. To do that on purpose? I can't see the benefit. Only the possible disastrous outcomes.

                                  And ditto this:
                                  think everyone here has different ideas of tying up. On one hand you have the people who tie up for hours and go away - that is unacceptable. Then you have the people who take the time and tie up their youngsters and groom them and leave them to stand while they are mucking out paddocks or stalls and generally being in touch with them so that they learn to stand happily. They build up the time slowly so that the horse is quite happy to stand anywhere and know that you are there to look after them
                                  www.specialhorses.org
                                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    well,

                                    if they are tied properly they CAN move around. they should be able to move their hqs from side to side, and some horses need to be taught this, so their feet don't get "stuck" which can lead to a panic(especially in a trailer.)

                                    when i was growing up all the school horses were in tie stalls. they had hay and water and enough room to lay down, but nontheless were tied all night and much of the day.

                                    not just the grades and quarter horses, but the ottbs and warmbloods, too.

                                    it's not how i would choose to keep a horse, but it is definitely do-able.

                                    i, too, do not understand why fancy warmbloods do not need to have good manners. my old trainer's grand prix horse used to snatch the lead rope out of her hands to try to grab a mouthful of grass. what the hell is that?

                                    and i had a jumper trainer who rode a big oldenburg stallion, who had to be held so he could even get on him. another big wb gelding was a bully to his handlers. at one show, i was grooming for this trainer along with another gal who did hunters, but also western pleasure and showmanship. she got stuck holding the bully for a long period of time one day, and put him to work learning showmanship. LOL!

                                    he behaved, at least for her, after that. and it didn't affect his jumping ability one bit!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by bjrudq
                                      if they are tied properly they CAN move around. they should be able to move their hqs from side to side, and some horses need to be taught this, so their feet don't get "stuck" which can lead to a panic(especially in a trailer.)

                                      when i was growing up all the school horses were in tie stalls. they had hay and water and enough room to lay down, but nontheless were tied all night and much of the day.

                                      not just the grades and quarter horses, but the ottbs and warmbloods, too.

                                      it's not how i would choose to keep a horse, but it is definitely do-able.
                                      seems like a recipe for promoting degenerative osteoarthritis...just my opinion.
                                      www.specialhorses.org
                                      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        if a horse is tied to a trailer properly they can turn ... but not all trailers are safe to tie to

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                                        • #40
                                          "i've never had an accident with cross ties but i know plenty of other people who have."

                                          We have the quick release cross ties, I use 'em but I don't trust 'em: they are not hooked directly to the wall. They're attached by baling twine to the wall ring with a pair of scissors hanging on the same wall ring. Just incase the quick release isn't quick enough I can instantly cut through the twine.

                                          There are some horriffic freak accidents that can happen, none to do with how dead quiet a horse is or how happily he has been taught to stand. I simply don't ever leave a tied horse alone.

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