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Another post about this TB... Tying issues

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    I'm with endlessclimb...there is nothing wrong with exclusive use of a blocker tie ring and a 12ft rope. I use it 90% of the time for any horse tied to my trailer. My horses generally tie well and are trustworthy citizens...but I cannot predict when a loose horse runs off xc right through the trailer parking, causing domino effect of pull-backs all around us. A horse tied to the blocker ring will pull back as the rest, but unlikely to reach the end of the 12ft rope. I also never leave my horses tied outside the trailer unattended, because loose horses and dumb people. If I have to walk a course or go to the office, I load them up. I have a stallion who is a wonderful guy, but absolutely CANNOT ever get loose on show grounds. He ties fine, but Murphy's Law guarantees any loose horse will run straight for him and cause an issue. At his first couple events, I even used two halters...a rope halter and lead, and a leather one with tie on top. I could not take the risk that he would be free with a broken halter! Never happened, but I prepared for the worst.

    I am not opposed to "patience tying" up to an hour. Practice tying at home at feed time, after work pr turnout, and gradually leave the horse longer. In a stall, the horse can't pull back far or get a "free run" reward for getting loose. Horses learn to accept standing tied, and use it as "nap time." I have several horses who get a little upset or worked up about life, tie them in a corner and they quickly "let go of their worries" cock a leg and relax. It may help to tie other dependable horses nearby...horses DO learn by observation, and surrounded by calm quiet peaceful tied horses your problem tie-er will be more accepting of the process. (Have you ever been to roping practice? 10 snoozing QHs tied to the pipe rail while dozens others flail ropes and chase cows.)
    A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
    ? Albert Einstein



      My horse tied nicely until a bundle of styrofoam sheets (think plywood size) got blown up by a strong wind into him and scared him half to death.

      I started with the blocker tie ring in his stall. For months. We gradually moved to other locations with the tie ring. At his last show, I was able to tie him to the trailer (with the blocker tie ring) next to a buddy and with a hay bag with zero problems.

      Currently he is trustworthy cross tied in a grooming stall or wash rack with a back wall on traditional ties as well as single tied on the blocker tie ring.

      Once a horse has a traumatic experience on a hard tie and has to bust loose for release, I think it’s reasonable to treat the horse like he has panic attacks on a specific trigger. I’m not sure why you object to using the blocker tie ring permanently? It’s safe, affordable, portable. The bit of give it provides in the first position provides enough give to avoid the trigger that causes the panic attack. The blocker ring does include a more advanced tie method that has less give once your horse learns to trust the system.


        Aside from the training tips .... I used to make all my own lead ropes by braiding in a quick release snap - after I saw a horse tied too long at a trailer, got a leg over the rope - or the horse that was tied behind an old bumper pull trailer and pulled back dragging the trailer after him. If a horse pulls back too tight to access the snap I can still release a tightly pulled rope. Not saying this is a training answer, it's a save the horse answer.
        The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


          Original Poster

          These responses have been great. I’ll work more extensively with the block tie and just keep it on the trailer. Find a way to increase resistance of blocker tie over a few sessions.


            And do not forget, or lose sight of, you have a nice horse.(Granted, having been wacked in the head by board fence tied to a horse-(not by me) -I am not real fond of no break tying and--forget about the horse panicking -as I panic when I see it!)


              Originally posted by tikkamasala View Post
              These responses have been great. I’ll work more extensively with the block tie and just keep it on the trailer. Find a way to increase resistance of blocker tie over a few sessions.
              The package on the blocker tie ring includes a booklet with how to increase the resistance of the tie! Good luck.

              This really may take more than a few sessions, like any training to overcome a traumatic experience.

              WS has a specific video on ground work to do with a horse that pulls back if you’re interested


                You can teach the horse to stand still when being groomed tacked and washed. You say halt, they don't move until you say they can. You can leave to answer the phone, go in and out of the tack shed, they will still be there when you come back out.

                You also teach them to come when called, so it doesnt matter if they leave or pull back and break the lead they come back when they are called.

                I only use this at home, not at my instructors or a competition but the training is there with or without a halter.

                You teach them to yield to the halter. In the end if you wrap the lead around their leg. They should lift their knee and put their muzzle to their knee and stay there. So if the rope is under their hoof it is released when they lift the hoof. Dropping their muzzle to the knee usually releases the rope if caught around something.

                You teach them to yield to their legs, around a post, through a solid fence, etc etc etc.

                You never put a time limit on a horse to learn something by. There is the old saying. Only have 15 minutes and it will take all day. Have all day and it will only take 15 minutes.

                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                  My OTTB had at least 2 episodes of rearing up and breaking cross ties. Once in a trailer , and once while being trimmed .

                  She would also panic if she stepped on her lead rope.

                  One day I turned her out in a safe area and just let her loose with her lead rope attached to the halter.

                  She nearly turned inside out the first few times she stepped on her rope, but she finally got that lightbulb moment when she realized that all she had to do was move her hoof.

                  (Of course I stayed with her to make sure she wouldn't catch the rope on anything or take of running. )

                  After that day, she didn't panic anymore, and she never tried to rear up or break away again.

                  I was at a Western training barn one day, and the trainer after working a young horse put on a halter that was connected to a sturdy rope and tied to a very stout tree limb very high up off the ground.

                  The rope was just long enough to allow the horse to lower its head but not so long that the horse could get tangled up.

                  i thought it was a good way to teach a horse to stand tied because the rope is so long and so high over the horse's head and neck that it cant get enough leverage to make the rope taut enough to put pressure on it.

                  I am not sure what would happen if a horse threw itself backwards though. None of the horses I saw tied this way tried it.

                  I know you dont want to involve a pro trainer but maybe you could see if there is a Western trainer close to you that has a similar set up.

                  The trainer I saw use this method was quite matter of fact. He simply put the halter on the horse and went about his business. He didnt leave the horse unattended but he didnt stand right next to it either.

                  He let the horse figure it out.

                  Good luck.

                  Certified Guacophobe


                    Totally agree with the ground work aspect. A lot of OTTB’s don’t get that type of training nowadays. I worked at a large TB training stable in my early 20’s (15 years ago) and all of the TBs were safe and ground trained, lunges and line driven.

                    the racing work now is a lot less of that. Many of them are backed by a person just getting on in a stall etc and then worked out. It’s not the same
                    quality of training.

                    So when you get an OTTB, starting over and focusing a lot of ground work is a huge asset to build the trust and bond.

                    Lots of great responses here. My ottb now is learning about the cross ties etc but she is a treat glutton and like Jealoushe said, she never has the opportunity to actually pull back into hard pressure (which I think will be your key). She will start backing up and I gently make her step forward and give her a reward when she’s halted and calm. She doesn’t fly back though and has a pretty gentle personality.


                      I get death stares at barns (particularly english ones) when I put my horse in cross ties and just throw the lead on the ground right in front of them. I do this with all my horses, always have. Even the super hot mare learned what to do if she stepped on it.

                      The biggest thing for you, OP, is if he pulls back and gets some slack out of the blocker, you need to stay calm throughout the whole thing, walk up, put him back, tighten it back up, and go back to whatever you were doing.


                        I must be the only person in eventing who not only does not tie their horses to the trailer but Would not ever consider it...The damage they can do the trailer and themselves is in evidence all over the parking areas. I leave mine safely in the trailer with haynets and water fly spray on etc. I usually have an extra person to keep an eye on them if possible. The amount of horses who get loose, get hung in a haynet, pull back and flip over kick a friend and whack the trailer or the fender....if the mare doesn t want to be tied why force her...put her in the trailer apparently she has no problems in there.....


                          Playing off what others have said I use a tie blocker exclusively for one of my horses. She was fantastic about tying but had an incident where a running child spooked her badly while tied. (Child was running, holding a chicken, with a hoodie up along with giant sunglasses. I couldn't intercept or stop them in time) Since then she gets extremely nervous when cross tied and will weave or jig. I tried the tie blocker and she is so much more relaxed. No more swaying or nervous behavior and she's happy to stand for as long as needed at her ring. I can faux cross tie her so she gets the simulated effect with the tension but ultimately I decided cross tying isn't something I cared too much to perfect with her. She ground ties just fine, tie block ties just fine, ties off a trailer and will tie to virtually anything else, but cross ties make her nervous. One thing I have recently noticed was that after I stopped pressuring her to cross tie nicely she does seem to be doing a lot better as if using the tie blocker has helped her chill out.

                          At the end of the day so long as the horse is standing nicely I don't really care how they have to tie.

                          I do agree with others who have said they wouldn't tie and leave unattended at shows. I frequently show out of my trailer and if my horse isn't in my hand, in my helpers hand, or actively being tacked up/groomed/cared for then they're in the trailer. I've seen too many issues with horses getting tied up, left unattended and a domino effect occurs when someone gets loose. To the individual who said they use two halters, I agree with that and follow that also. My mares wear a rope with a lead and then a leather halter over it. They tie on the leather halter and the rope is for leading around. After having a friends horse get loose without a halter on I decided that mine would never be in that annoying spot as he was a nightmare to catch. One big thing is that I do teach my horses to not panic when they step on their own ropes.


                            Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                            I tie with a blocker ring 24/7. To me, it's not just a training tool, it's a safety net. Horse can't get hurt, and horse can't get loose. Both are safety aspects. I never solid tie, ever.
                            Very much agree with this. Having watched my mare rear up in the crossties and nearly flip over because she was terrified, I'm loathe to hard-tie her anymore.

                            Ground tying is also super useful, even if you never leave their side.
                            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                              Have you tried a neck collar? Like a dog collar only bigger.

                              I had a mare who wouldn't tie, as soon as she felt her head restrained, it was broken ropes, halters from flying backwards. She stopped as soon as she realized she was free.

                              The neck collar lets them have the freedom of moving their head without the confining restraint, which seemed to be the trigger for the panic. I coupled it with a halter on a long lead, not tied, but thru a ring, with the bight out of the way. That gives me something to grab if things go awry. And of course, watched her for a number of sessions while she was learning.


                                I remember using old inner tubes to tie the lead line to and when the horse pulled, it would "give" but not break and then snap back. It is relatively safe, but if one is really bad and wants to flip, the danger is still prevalent. If they do it just because they are used to breaking something, it might work. But tie it high enough and a decent length for comfort but not for ease of pulling back.


                                  We have an amazing gadget in the UK called an I think you have similar in the USA?

                                  I use this on every SINGLE horse. It prevents so many accidents and the horses all learn to tie up. It just stops the reaction to pressure which is what makes the horse panic. I no longer chase round the lorry park after horses who have broken loose and all my leather headcollars remain intact. I take a lot of 4/5yos out to their first lessons and competing and its an easy way when by yourself to be able to do stuff and not worry about them.
                                  The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.