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Which is safer?

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  • Which is safer?

    Just something that I was thinking about this morning...

    Last night I was at the barn giving Herself a beauty treatment and I always tie her in her stall. I tie her to baling twine using a slipknot, and about 6 inches-1 foot of slack. She also wears a field safe halter,FWIW.

    She normally stands like a champ, but started itching her face last night and somehow managed to get her lead rope over her head between her ears and threw her head up. She didn't panic right away and I was able to quickly yank the tail of the slipknot, release the pressure and all was well. Re-tied her and she fell asleep.

    My question is this... what is safer? Tying to baling twine with a slip knot, or using one of those quick release x-ties?

    I know some people prefer to not tie at all, but with Herself, she'd do circles in her stall just for fun and I'm not game for that.

  • #2
    Baling twine. JMHO

    Comment


    • #3
      Depends on the horse. Both styles of tying are safe methods.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it depends on the horse/known issues and the environment.

        I'm honestly not a huge fan of breakaway stuff until the horse is actually taught to stand tied and give to pressure (with an emergency release) because if they learn to set back and break ties easily, you can end up with a difficult problem to solve down the line.

        If I DO use breakaway stuff, I hope to use something that will no joke break right away so you don't end up with a flip over or something.

        I think that no matter how you tie a horse, you should have an emergency release option. If people really don't know how to properly tie a slip such that it won't get tightened up if there's a problem, then it's better to use the quick release gadgets and/or twine.

        I've not had a "tying emergency" in years. But a few weeks ago, we loaded up my mare, leather halter, tied in...completely benign load/trip. But...when we got to our destination, her halter had snapped. We *think* we may have hit a bump or a turn that caught her off guard and the weathered leather halter snapped. But either way, she was safe and sound and not hung up or anything. Nor did she seem any worse for the wear.

        I like the idea of breakaway. But I still don't like the idea of starting horses that way. I'd prefer to train to tie by tying short and high to minimize the amount of energy they can get behind pulling back.

        It sounds like in your case, it was a flukey thing and you actually got more mileage out of the fact that A) she knew not to flip out about pressure and B) you had a quick release knot.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I agree, BR. (It's nice to 'see' you, btw! I hope everything worked out for you with the barn issues. ).

          I was taught that you should tie horses at eye level, because if you tie higher they have a better chance of breaking their necks in the freak event that something doesn't release? Is that true? I have had quick release snaps that haven't released in the event of an emergency.

          That being said. Herself is tied a bit higher than eye level because that's where the screw eye was placed (we have an option for x-ties or single ties in the stalls). The first few times I tied her, it was under close supervision, again with a slip knot.

          Also, she's tricky and can get the slip knot undone when she's feeling like being plucky. She knows exactly how to grab the tail and wander away. That would make the argument that a snap is safer, since she can't undo that...

          I do agree that the situation last night had the best possible outcome, for safety and learning. It just got me thinking about the pros and cons of each method.

          Comment


          • #6
            Horses seem to be able to find a way to kill themselves in any situation no matter the precautions we take, so I guess my focus is on training. I think that most of the breakaway things are great and worthwhile. But I have to tell you, the cross tie snaps? I have seen them actually create more trouble (when they do snap then fly around hitting people or horses) than just having the twine. As such, most barns I've been at in the last ten years use the breakaway cross ties TIED to the eye screws with twine. LOL

            Twine usually breaks first.

            Nice to "see" you too! New barn is great. Been busy (and sick) so haven't been around much. But things are going great!
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the big deal is whether or not you want to get near enough to the freaking horse to undo a slip knot.

              I usually don't. I'm a fan of tying them fast and teaching them to accept that. If a horse starts to panic, I save my own bacon first. I might say "Whoa." or to the recidivist puller, "Whoa, goddammit" on my way to safety.

              If you want to know you can always get a horse loose, keep a knife on you. Plenty of old-timey horsemen do that as a matter of general safety. It's a good idea.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                If you want to know you can always get a horse loose, keep a knife on you. Plenty of old-timey horsemen do that as a matter of general safety. It's a good idea.
                YES. Yes yes yes.

                I remember a time BO and I were in a stall with a mare and her new (few days old) filly. Mare was tied to a single screw eye, slip knot tied, no big deal. BO was grooming/messing wih the mare to keep her out of the way while I was medicating foal (baby was sick, unrelated). Maresy started itching her face on the wall, and her halter ended up slipping over the screw eye and got her face stuck to the wall. She freaked, set back, was in a HEAVY duty nylon halter that didn't break. Neither of us had a knife, BO had to try and keep the panicking mare from stepping on the baby while I ran to get scissors.

                Mare was fine, baby was fine, no one was the worse for wear, but it was scary as crap, and could've ended up much worse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I'm tying to an eyebolt I tie to a piece of baling twine with a quick release knot. In the aisle way where the cross ties are we have the cross ties that are a bull snap on one end and quick release on the other. One cross tie is connected to baling twine and the bull snap attached to it. The other side no baling twine but the emergency release snap is attached to the wall and bull snap to the horse. This is the set up we use for horses that don't have pulling back issues.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't like those quick release clips, they always seem to come undone when they're not supposed to.
                    I LOVE my Chickens!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use quick release snaps. The only time I've had a major freakout both crossties came off. I don't actually trust baling twine to break (when I get bales with the sissal-type on it at all now; most of what we've been getting has blue nylon) and I can't tie a slipknot, plus I don't want to be that close to pull the knot OR try to cut heavy rope or nylon near a thrashing horse. But I've never had any problems with breakaways coming undone when they shouldn't or not opening when they have to.
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                      • #12
                        If you use baling twine, don't use the plasticy-type as it doesn't break. I've not had experience with the more rope-type twine, but two years ago my gelding completely unexpectedly freaked out in the cross-ties, and because I was behind him I couldn't get to the ties to undo the quick-release without him smashing me. The metal snap on the cross-ties broke, my baling twine never did. Definite learning experience and it scared the crap out of me.
                        It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          FYI: A horse can make a slip knot too tight to pull loose. There is another kind of knot you can tie that you can get undone, no matter how many pounds of pressure the horse put on it. It has to do with tying the knot with a loop of rope. I'll try to explain it if you guys are interested.

                          For those of you willing to jump in close to the head of a panicking horse, God love ya.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Definitely don't use the plastic baling material as already stated it won't break or at least "easily". The normal twine though is what we use.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The normal twine, not plastic. A friend of mine ties two loops with twine - but one loop is quite a bit bigger than the first. If the horse snaps the first loop, it has the second one to keep it attached to the trailer -- what do you guys think?
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Superminion View Post
                                Just something that I was thinking about this morning...

                                Last night I was at the barn giving Herself a beauty treatment and I always tie her in her stall. I tie her to baling twine using a slipknot, and about 6 inches-1 foot of slack. She also wears a field safe halter,FWIW.

                                She normally stands like a champ, but started itching her face last night and somehow managed to get her lead rope over her head between her ears and threw her head up. She didn't panic right away and I was able to quickly yank the tail of the slipknot, release the pressure and all was well. Re-tied her and she fell asleep.

                                My question is this... what is safer? Tying to baling twine with a slip knot, or using one of those quick release x-ties?

                                I know some people prefer to not tie at all, but with Herself, she'd do circles in her stall just for fun and I'm not game for that.
                                Neither.

                                G.
                                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Something I have noticed is that many people have the quick release snap at the end closest to the horse. This is a mistake, as you may not be able to get near the horses head in a panic situation. The release should be at the far/off side. If I tie my horse using a quick release knot, I attach said knot to baling twine first, and not the plastic twine, the other stuff. That all said, I rarely tie my horses, even at shows. I always hold them or have a helper do so.
                                  "Anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
                                  Crying eyes, we're so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent" Buck 65

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by drawstraws View Post
                                    The metal snap on the cross-ties broke, my baling twine never did. .
                                    American twine, Chinese hardware is never a good combination

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by up-at-5 View Post
                                      Something I have noticed is that many people have the quick release snap at the end closest to the horse. This is a mistake, as you may not be able to get near the horses head in a panic situation. The release should be at the far/off side. If I tie my horse using a quick release knot, I attach said knot to baling twine first, and not the plastic twine, the other stuff. That all said, I rarely tie my horses, even at shows. I always hold them or have a helper do so.
                                      The problem there is that you have a relatively heavy piece of metal at the end of a rope a horse is using as a whip.

                                      Again, I'm all about taking care of me first in the face of a panicking 1,000#-er. I don't want to get hit with that hunk of metal. Neither does the horse, actually.

                                      In cross ties, I haven't seen great success with this set up. If you can release one side, the horse still feels the other and keeps going. More often than not, the other side quick-release thing fails and you have metal flying around.

                                      I'm just a big fan of teaching them to tie because I can't imagine having a horse that always needed a human hitching post. Too often, I can't find one!
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                        The problem there is that you have a relatively heavy piece of metal at the end of a rope a horse is using as a whip.

                                        Again, I'm all about taking care of me first in the face of a panicking 1,000#-er. I don't want to get hit with that hunk of metal. Neither does the horse, actually.

                                        In cross ties, I haven't seen great success with this set up. If you can release one side, the horse still feels the other and keeps going. More often than not, the other side quick-release thing fails and you have metal flying around.

                                        I'm just a big fan of teaching them to tie because I can't imagine having a horse that always needed a human hitching post. Too often, I can't find one!
                                        I can see that happening, yes, the heavy end flies around, but in an emergency, which option is more dangerous? The metal end flying around, or the horse hung up and all twisted, in a panic, and the only release is at the head? And as for a human hitching post, well, I think there is a difference between needing one, and one being there for safety. The farrier never comes out to the barn expected to do the horses alone, so no need to tie in that case.I tack up in a stall, no tying there, I do, once in a while, chuck on the shank and ask my horse to stand quietly, no stall roving involved. There is a huge difference between horses knowing how to tie, and the human knowing when/how to tie.
                                        My guys all tie, they trailer here and there, go for all sorts of outings, and there is no "need" for a human hitching post. I err on the side of caution. I also don my helmet when I grab the grooming kit, and I hold them for vet, shoeing, and I tack up in a stall.
                                        On outings, I get all my stuff ready at the back of the truck, and hold my horse for grooming and tacking. Better safe than sorry.
                                        Regardless, it's dangerous to tie a horse that is upset, herd bound, or what have you.
                                        "Anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
                                        Crying eyes, we're so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent" Buck 65

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