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Horse Pops the Blocker Tie Ring Loose

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  • Horse Pops the Blocker Tie Ring Loose

    UPDATE is in post #32...

    I'm in the process of transitioning a 16YO Thoroughbred from a cross-tie grooming lifestyle to a single-tie grooming lifestyle. We are at a new barn and the grooming setups are very different from the old barn.

    As a former racehorse, Wizard was in all likelihood single tied in his stall when they did his legs, etc. I have also done a little bit of trailering with him, and he was always fine being tied to a trailer for short periods of time. But he was always with other horses.

    On the crossties at the old barn, Wizard was 95% reliable/quiet/content. He was a superstar for the farrier, and could stand quietly if I forgot something and had to run down to the other end of the barn for something. The 5% unreliability was when we did something that he considered horrifying. He broke his crossties (Turtle Snaps, so not really broken) twice when he thought I might be pulling his mane (I was combing it, not pulling it, but it was close enough for him to get into a tizzy).

    At the new barn, my options for tying are in the grooming area in the indoor arena or on the grooming mats outdoors. I think the open space behind him when he is single tied is what is causing him concern. I've been working on it slowly, and so far, we are doing alright. For the most part, I hold his lead rope with one hand while I work on him so he gets used to the new grooming areas. I sometimes pass the lead rope through the tie ring so he gets used to the feeling.

    Because it's a new barn and he lived at the old barn for about 10 years, he does a good bit of fidgeting and fishtailing, or swinging his hind end back and forth. The calmer he is, the more quietly he stands. We've been at the barn for a week, and he's calming a little more each day.

    One day, I had to grab something a few feet away and needed both hands, so I "tied" him to a Blocker Tie Ring by feeding the cotton rope through the ring and then looping it around itself a few times. Wizard immediately swung his head down, and something about the angle of the pressure popped the tie ring clip right open and then he was loose. He walked a few steps and I picked up his lead rope and he was fine. It was not a panicky moment, but now I need to figure out a better way to secure him when I need both hands for something.

    We have plenty of time to work on this, so I'm hoping for some fresh ideas and suggestions. I would not call him a dangerous puller, but I think there is the potential for a hairy situation if I rush the tying work with him. Something is telling me to take it slowly and carefully.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.
    Last edited by Alibhai's Alibar; May. 2, 2012, 12:19 PM. Reason: added update info
    Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

  • #2
    Originally posted by Alibhai's Alibar View Post
    I'm in the process of transitioning a 16YO Thoroughbred from a cross-tie grooming lifestyle to a single-tie grooming lifestyle. We are at a new barn and the grooming setups are very different from the old barn.

    As a former racehorse, Wizard was in all likelihood single tied in his stall when they did his legs, etc. I have also done a little bit of trailering with him, and he was always fine being tied to a trailer for short periods of time. But he was always with other horses.

    On the crossties at the old barn, Wizard was 95% reliable/quiet/content. He was a superstar for the farrier, and could stand quietly if I forgot something and had to run down to the other end of the barn for something. The 5% unreliability was when we did something that he considered horrifying. He broke his crossties (Turtle Snaps, so not really broken) twice when he thought I might be pulling his mane (I was combing it, not pulling it, but it was close enough for him to get into a tizzy).

    At the new barn, my options for tying are in the grooming area in the indoor arena or on the grooming mats outdoors. I think the open space behind him when he is single tied is what is causing him concern. I've been working on it slowly, and so far, we are doing alright. For the most part, I hold his lead rope with one hand while I work on him so he gets used to the new grooming areas. I sometimes pass the lead rope through the tie ring so he gets used to the feeling.

    Because it's a new barn and he lived at the old barn for about 10 years, he does a good bit of fidgeting and fishtailing, or swinging his hind end back and forth. The calmer he is, the more quietly he stands. We've been at the barn for a week, and he's calming a little more each day.

    One day, I had to grab something a few feet away and needed both hands, so I "tied" him to a Blocker Tie Ring by feeding the cotton rope through the ring and then looping it around itself a few times. Wizard immediately swung his head down, and something about the angle of the pressure popped the tie ring clip right open and then he was loose. He walked a few steps and I picked up his lead rope and he was fine. It was not a panicky moment, but now I need to figure out a better way to secure him when I need both hands for something.

    We have plenty of time to work on this, so I'm hoping for some fresh ideas and suggestions. I would not call him a dangerous puller, but I think there is the potential for a hairy situation if I rush the tying work with him. Something is telling me to take it slowly and carefully.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.
    Go to a bicycle shop and get an old innertube. Cut out the filler. Then make a donut by laying out the tube in a circle, then make a figure 8, then putting the loops together to make a circle, them make another figure 8, another circle, and so forth until you have a multi-layered, small (6'-8" in diameter) circle with mutliple layers of rubber. Use electrical tape at the four cardinal points to hold it together. Tie one side of the donut to something that won't break and other side to the horse. You now have have a pretty much "horse proof" shock absorber in the line.

    It works, is cheap, and creates no undue hazard to the horse.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

    Comment


    • #3
      You cannot use cotton lead ropes with the blocker tie ring. you need nylon. Cotton won't slip thru the way it is supposed to with the blocker.

      there is a tutorial video on the blocker website.
      http://www.blockerranch.com/index.php?cPath=34

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
        Go to a bicycle shop and get an old innertube. Cut out the filler. Then make a donut by laying out the tube in a circle, then make a figure 8, then putting the loops together to make a circle, them make another figure 8, another circle, and so forth until you have a multi-layered, small (6'-8" in diameter) circle with mutliple layers of rubber. Use electrical tape at the four cardinal points to hold it together. Tie one side of the donut to something that won't break and other side to the horse. You now have have a pretty much "horse proof" shock absorber in the line.

        It works, is cheap, and creates no undue hazard to the horse.

        G.
        Thank you!
        Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
          You cannot use cotton lead ropes with the blocker tie ring. you need nylon. Cotton won't slip thru the way it is supposed to with the blocker.

          there is a tutorial video on the blocker website.
          http://www.blockerranch.com/index.php?cPath=34
          Ohhhhh! I'll go back and watch the vids. I'm probably missing a few other steps as well, now that I'm looking at it. Thank you for the link!
          Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

          Comment


          • #6
            I like "the Clip", which might be an alternative for you as well:

            http://www.theclip.info/

            My TB is generally perfect on a single or cross tie, but if I left the general vicinity of where she was single tied to a trailer, she often popped the halter and wandered off. The Clip gave me a lead (yes, nylon like the Blocker) to grab, and no more broken halters. I tied a knot to the bottom of the rope, which is enough time for her to calm back down and stay tied now. Its been a long long time since she had an incident, but the other day I had her tied to a rail out the back of a friend's barn we were visiting, and just happened to use the Clip out of habit since it was what I keep in the trailer for her. Imagine our surprise when I went to grab the saddle from across the way and two huge Canadian geese came honking over the top of the barn and splashed down into the pond on the other side of her rail! I could not blame her for her airs above ground, and was glad the Clip slipped right thorugh long enough for her to not take the post with her. Of course she was in a break away halter, but the length was enough that she could safely come back down and no damage done. Whew.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by jengersnap View Post
              I like "the Clip", which might be an alternative for you as well:

              http://www.theclip.info/

              My TB is generally perfect on a single or cross tie, but if I left the general vicinity of where she was single tied to a trailer, she often popped the halter and wandered off. The Clip gave me a lead (yes, nylon like the Blocker) to grab, and no more broken halters. I tied a knot to the bottom of the rope, which is enough time for her to calm back down and stay tied now. Its been a long long time since she had an incident, but the other day I had her tied to a rail out the back of a friend's barn we were visiting, and just happened to use the Clip out of habit since it was what I keep in the trailer for her. Imagine our surprise when I went to grab the saddle from across the way and two huge Canadian geese came honking over the top of the barn and splashed down into the pond on the other side of her rail! I could not blame her for her airs above ground, and was glad the Clip slipped right thorugh long enough for her to not take the post with her. Of course she was in a break away halter, but the length was enough that she could safely come back down and no damage done. Whew.
              That looks like another good possibility- thanks! Have you also tried the Blocker ring? Do you find any big differences between the two or big advantages of one over another?
              Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

              Comment


              • #8
                It sounds like the horse knows how to tie. Why don't you just tie him? It really doesn't need to be this complicated...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I still can't imagine how the blocker clip popping open was anything but a freak occurance. I use them a lot for both straight tying and cross tying and have never had anything like that happen.

                  I do use nylon ropes though. These specifically http://www.sstack.com/lead-ropes-sha...on-Round-Lead/
                  ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried both in the store. The Clip was lightweight but sturdier and gave me a lot of options as where to clip it. The tenseness on the rope can also be manually adjusted with the screw from easy-to-pull-through to really-has-to-spook-before-it-budges. I have it on the latter setting now, adjusted from looser settings in the past. The Blocker has just the one tense setting, which is okay but I wouldn't trust it for tying to a trailer as much since once the horse learns it can pull it out, he may continue to do so. At least the Clip is a lot of work if I want it to be! I balked really bad about paying $20 for a gadget but the first bad pull back saved me that in replacing a halter or injury to the horse so that made it all worth it. Just guard it,they make nice things to walk off with

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      It sounds like the horse knows how to tie. Why don't you just tie him? It really doesn't need to be this complicated...
                      Although he has been cross tied for years and was probably single tied in a stall when he was a youngster, I don't think he's ever been single tied in an open area without other horses near him. He is definitely not yet settled in at the new place, and I'm concerned about his reaction if something sets him off. He has been at the new barn for a week, and each day he's getting a little better.
                      Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                        I still can't imagine how the blocker clip popping open was anything but a freak occurance. I use them a lot for both straight tying and cross tying and have never had anything like that happen.

                        I do use nylon ropes though. These specifically http://www.sstack.com/lead-ropes-sha...on-Round-Lead/
                        My friend said her mare did the same thing with the Blocker Tie Ring, and was able to pop it open with a certain downward flick of the head. Not sure if she was using cotton or nylon. I'll be sure to try the nylon. Thank you!
                        Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by jengersnap View Post
                          I tried both in the store. The Clip was lightweight but sturdier and gave me a lot of options as where to clip it. The tenseness on the rope can also be manually adjusted with the screw from easy-to-pull-through to really-has-to-spook-before-it-budges. I have it on the latter setting now, adjusted from looser settings in the past. The Blocker has just the one tense setting, which is okay but I wouldn't trust it for tying to a trailer as much since once the horse learns it can pull it out, he may continue to do so. At least the Clip is a lot of work if I want it to be! I balked really bad about paying $20 for a gadget but the first bad pull back saved me that in replacing a halter or injury to the horse so that made it all worth it. Just guard it,they make nice things to walk off with
                          Thank you!
                          Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alibhai's Alibar View Post
                            My friend said her mare did the same thing with the Blocker Tie Ring, and was able to pop it open with a certain downward flick of the head. Not sure if she was using cotton or nylon. I'll be sure to try the nylon. Thank you!
                            I wonder if it depends on which way the snap is facing (opening forward or opening backward)? I clip mine fat end up, opening to the wall.
                            ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                              I wonder if it depends on which way the snap is facing (opening forward or opening backward)? I clip mine fat end up, opening to the wall.
                              It was facing with the opening to the wall, and with the clippy part facing the wall as well, like it is in the photos on the website. But now I'm questioning my tying/fastening methods- it looks like I have a few other options that might work. I'll experiment and report back
                              Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Sorry not a PC opinion I think you really are a nice person but here is the but, the horse is 16 years old not 6 months. I think he is being naughty and you should be correcting his behaviour by telling him off for waltzing about while you try to do stuff with him. He has now been tied quite often in his life.

                                My horses (not babies who I take my time with) get tied to strong rails if they pull back they don't get off (except one and I bought him a super strong halter that he tried very hard to break) and if they break their neck then so be it. I've seen too many loose horses at shows that pull back the minute mum or dad leave them alone (absolute PITA) and head for the nearest exit at speed. Extraordinarily dangerous for the horse and people they almost take out. Sorry if rant like it isn’t the intention.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wow, sounds like you are really overthinking this. I have used the innertube for pullers and they always tied. No setting back. I can honestly say every last horse I've ever had, no matter whether they tied when I got them or not, would tie and stay put for however long I left them. I do not care if there is a horse-eating monster right outside the barn door, the horse stays tied till I get good and ready to untie. Like someone said, you're making this waaayyyy too hard. Methinks you kind of like a little horse drama going on with your guy?? :-)
                                  GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Use Smart Tie, we never have a probleme with it.

                                    http://www.smarttieproducts.com
                                    The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I know AA in the real life kind of way and she just doesn't want Wiz to hurt himself. No harm in that. He's a big fizzy and the last thing she wants is for him to feel his head has been grabbed and panic.

                                      I think, AA, you need to switch to a soft nylon rope that will 'grab' itself properly in the Blocker, and also look at how you used the Blocker. There are 3, I think, levels of firmness in threading the rope through the Blocker.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Well lolita1, glad that works for you. Some of would like to avoid a siutaion where a broken neck might be a result. I had one (just lost him last week) that would stop thinking when he was afraid; it was just his personality (never under saddle, though). He never tied well. So he was taught to stand. Rock solid stand with the lead rope thrown over his neck. Different strokes and all.

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