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"Thinking Tree": Training the spoiled pasture puff Arab mare to tie once and for all

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
    My impatient Arab's solution to having all four feet still while tied was to be busy with his mouth--and learn to untie himself. I need to learn some new knots.

    Good luck!
    I have an Arab that can untie any knot. Maybe it's an Arab thing? I have to tie him where I can have the quick-release knot out of his reach. I think that he's just bored. Once he knows he can't get to the knot, he's fine with standing tied. The times that he has gotten loose, he doesn't go anywhere.
    I think that he and I both have the same flavor of ADD. I can't sit still to save my life and get bored easily too. Going to the movies is the worst.
    PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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    • #42
      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
      Ah, yes, the Bad Boy Wall!

      The technique is very sound. The "donut" from an innertube is an excellent way to protect the horse, the equipment, and the structure. We make ours out of bicycle innertubes, folded and re-folded to about an 8" diameter (and probably 6-8 layers of rubber). I've never had one fail. Nor have I had any equipment or structural failures after I started using them.

      A normal horse will try them a couple of times and then give it up. Horses are not stupid; they do what works and don't do what doesn't. I've had more than one "go down", thrash about, then stand up looking confused. "Road rash" is a common thing; in over 10 years and several dozen uses we've never had more than that.

      IMO if a horse tries to "kamakaze" in this situation there's a bigger problem. A horse that will self-destruct vice submit to the rope has a serious temperament issue. Submission to the rider's will is an essential part of training. If there's not submission here will there be submission under saddle? That's a fair and open question. Some horses have stronger, more aggressive temperaments than others. This can be an effective way to begin the process of submission to training. If it fails then questions are raised.

      As noted this is not an exercise for "fluffbunnies" or those who think their horse made of porcelain. It is one for effective training of basic manners and submission for a horse with such issues.

      G.
      So what you're saying is that I need to do this on a day when my husband is not home.

      My (retired NCO, combat veteran, medic) registered orthopedic technician DH is firmly convinced that the horses' bones are made of glass, that Fluff or Vee will break a leg or neck at the slightest provocation.

      My Arabs -being Arabs- have figured this out. Sigh. *headdesk*

      At least my non-horsey DH is bonded to the horses. That's good, right? Maybe? I think?
      PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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      • #43
        I need some tying advice as well.

        I have a horse who will throw himself down to the ground if he is tied with an unyielding knot. With a quick release knot he's fine. He's 8. I'm trying to remember when this started. He's good at ground tying, and he won't always panic on an unyielding tie, but he does it frequently enough to make me wonder how to get him over it. Reason for this post is that someone else tied him without a quick release and he just went down again.

        I remember once when he was much younger that he backed against a tie in the trailer with so much force that he broke the lead rope snap. This was when I had to go back to the tack room for something, and the his pasture mates were standing next to the fence calling to him. I usually trailer him loose in a single box stall by himself, and the only reason he was tied then was so I could get his hay bag. Other than that, I have no idea what panics him about being so constrained unless its something from his hospital stays.

        What's wrong is really wrong, and after he has thrown himself to the ground he becomes very, very headshy. I've not spent time on this because I always use a quick release and wasn't aware that he was so bad about straight tying.

        I should mention that all his long hospital stays have been for head related issues. Eye--three weeks; jaw--one week. He's also extremely hard to sedate; takes three doses of Dormosodan to knock him out.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire

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        • #44
          Has anyone seen those special metal ties that are sold?
          I think CA endorces them, they can be adjusted so that if the horse pulls hard, they will go with him for quite a ways. Stops the panic of being snubbed up.
          I thankfully have never owned a horse who did not tie or cross tie.
          Makes me nuts.
          I did however have my TB gelding who I recently lost, figure out how to undo a quick release tie.
          Was at a Dressage show several years ago and had quite a bit of time between classes. So the man was tied to the trailer With hay net, and my friend and I went to get some food at the food tent.
          We were standing around eating, and suddenly there canters this chestnut horse past us. I said wow that horse looks JUST like .... Oh my god.
          LOL It was at a barn we used to board at, and he went in the back door and straight down the isle to the stall he used to live in. The door was closed but there he stood as my friends husband walked up to him and caught him.
          Had to tie him with two lead ropes but only at the trailer, He just liked to mingle!

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          • #45
            cink, that your husband has some feelings for the animals is generally a Good Thing. But if the feelings prevent effective handling, or encourage deficient handling, that's not so good. Get him a copy of Forty Miles A Day On Beans and Hay and Chasing Villa. Both are available from the U.S. Cavalry Association store http://www.uscavalry.org/ As a combat vet he'll appreciate what troopers of the day endured; he'll learn a lot about what the horses endured. It should cure some of the "bubble wrap syndrome."

            Vineyridge, does your horse recognize different knots or has he figured out that if he throws himself down you'll come to the rescue? If it's the first case then you've got a real money maker on your hands and can retire by demonstrating this ability for Boy Scouts, boatswains mates, etc.

            But if its case number two then you are laying the groundwork for a real, seriously bad vice.

            The time to teach a youngster to tie is when they are just weaned. They are small and relatively easy to handle. They will heal quickly from any minor abrasions, and are still flexible enough that serious injury is unlikely. Again, if you have one that tries to kill itself rather than submit then there are other issues involved and now's the time to learn about them, vice when the beast 16 hands tall and weighs 1200 pounds.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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            • #46
              As far as I know, because I've personally never seen it, it's when he gets no give from the rope.
              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
              Thread killer Extraordinaire

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                Has anyone seen those special metal ties that are sold?
                I think CA endorces them, they can be adjusted so that if the horse pulls hard, they will go with him for quite a ways. Stops the panic of being snubbed up.
                I thankfully have never owned a horse who did not tie or cross tie.
                Makes me nuts.
                I did however have my TB gelding who I recently lost, figure out how to undo a quick release tie.
                Was at a Dressage show several years ago and had quite a bit of time between classes. So the man was tied to the trailer With hay net, and my friend and I went to get some food at the food tent.
                We were standing around eating, and suddenly there canters this chestnut horse past us. I said wow that horse looks JUST like .... Oh my god.
                LOL It was at a barn we used to board at, and he went in the back door and straight down the isle to the stall he used to live in. The door was closed but there he stood as my friends husband walked up to him and caught him.
                Had to tie him with two lead ropes but only at the trailer, He just liked to mingle!
                Those are Blocker rings. And they work, if used correctly. I bought mine from CA and he included an instructional DVD. You need to use a LONG round rope. Smart Pack also sells the rings and rope

                Back when my daughters briefly did Pony club The DC was very insistent (waving PC manual) that we tie our mare with A strand of bailing twine, despite my objections. Sure enough, within 5 min she was happily carovorting around the parking lot
                I wasn't always a Smurf
                Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  OK, let's say that someone, possibly me, was going to set up one of these thinkin trees. I get that there's an inner tube involved, but even from the various descriptions in this thread I can't seem to get a mental picture of this. How, exactly, is the folded-over innertube then affixed to the tree limb?

                  Also, that this Western tie'em up and leave'em technique is a Thing explains why my new horse-girl, with her Western background, caught and tied all my horses at the same time the other day, then ignored them while she went to pick up manure in their paddock. She looked at me like I had two heads when I explained that the horses were not to be tied and left unsupervised. I was grateful it wasn't windy, because the nutty Arabian would've blown a lobe.
                  Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                    My impatient Arab's solution to having all four feet still while tied was to be busy with his mouth--and learn to untie himself. I need to learn some new knots.

                    Good luck!
                    Strangely, I've had Aye-rabs who did the same thing. So I took the lead which lead from the halter, then AROUND whatever I was tying to and then back TO the halter and tied with a quick release. The horse can play with the lead but can't untie, because it's under his chin. Although, being an Arab, he might figger a way.
                    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                      OK, let's say that someone, possibly me, was going to set up one of these thinkin trees. I get that there's an inner tube involved, but even from the various descriptions in this thread I can't seem to get a mental picture of this. How, exactly, is the folded-over innertube then affixed to the tree limb?

                      Also, that this Western tie'em up and leave'em technique is a Thing explains why my new horse-girl, with her Western background, caught and tied all my horses at the same time the other day, then ignored them while she went to pick up manure in their paddock. She looked at me like I had two heads when I explained that the horses were not to be tied and left unsupervised. I was grateful it wasn't windy, because the nutty Arabian would've blown a lobe.
                      To make a "donut" take bicycle innertube and lay it flat (in a circle). Then twist half the circle to make a figure-8. Now fold one circle on top of the other to make a new circle. Now make another figure-8 and repeat the process. Keep doing this until you've got a circle 8"-10" in diameter. Now secure the donut by using electrical (or some other good quality tape) by wrapping the layers at the four cardinal points.

                      To use the donut, tie one side to the hard point (tree, major structural member, etc.). Tie the horse to the donut using a good quality halter and lead rope. The donut will now function as a "shock absorber." Keep the entire length (hard point to halter) short (under 24"). Step back and let the youngster learn about their environment.

                      Simply put, you still tie the horse "eye high, arm's length, with and to something that won't break" but part of the "arm's length" includes the donut.

                      Don't tie the youngster any longer than you'd tie any other youngster.

                      All the standard rules about tying a horse still apply. If a youngster goes down then examine the situation. Be prepared to cut the line, but don't be too quick to do it. If you can untangle legs or otherwise address the problem, do so. If you've kept the length correct the odds on having to cut anything are small. Remember that the Object of the Exercise is to teach the horse that pulling back is a poor strategy.

                      As with any training technique, use good sense.

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Our foals learned to tie from the day after they were born and we never had a puller in many foals and many years of breeding.
                        We tied them with their mother while we cleaned pens, for three weeks, until mares were out of foal heat, then were turned out with the herd.

                        During that time, we haltered, worked a bit with them and tied them and untied them after cleaning, maybe worked a bit more.
                        When untying, let them nurse a little, takes the edge off.
                        They nurse because they are nervous, not really hungry.
                        Letting them to after you again work a bit with them lets them go remembering people as good, fun things.
                        You can see we tied where, while being fast, the lead rope did have some give back and forth on the upper pipe, tied then below:
                        Attached Files

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                          OK, let's say that someone, possibly me, was going to set up one of these thinkin trees. I get that there's an inner tube involved, but even from the various descriptions in this thread I can't seem to get a mental picture of this. How, exactly, is the folded-over innertube then affixed to the tree limb?

                          Also, that this Western tie'em up and leave'em technique is a Thing explains why my new horse-girl, with her Western background, caught and tied all my horses at the same time the other day, then ignored them while she went to pick up manure in their paddock. She looked at me like I had two heads when I explained that the horses were not to be tied and left unsupervised. I was grateful it wasn't windy, because the nutty Arabian would've blown a lobe.
                          FWIW, horses are less likely to officially blow a lobe if they are tied with buddies.

                          To you and Viney:

                          There are some horses in whom "the marble falls out" and the dumb SOB will stop thinking when he's in a scary but very simple situation. There horses might have scars on them-- more than once since they were loose babies in a herd, they have chosen to do things that didn't protect their own cotton pickin' body.

                          Sometimes we want this trait in a horse-- it makes him willing to run when his lungs are bleeding, jump over horrible ditches, into water and the like. The lack of consideration for his own butt has its uses. But most of us need a horse who will not hurt himself if he can possibly help it. It's part of what makes it possible to reason with 'em.

                          So for the horses who panic, or you think they will, you have to ask yourself what will happen if the sumb!tch stays tied no matter what. What if no one scares him-- he just had a hissy fit on his own time? What if nothing broke and he merely gave himself a neck ache? What if no one rescued him, even if he fell over?

                          I haven't had a bad tie-er fall over when I was working on one. But if I did and he could still breathe, I might leave him there for awhile to think. Either he'd be athletic enough to get up (... and stand tied again as he was before), or he could wait on the ground, saying "Uncle" until I felt I could safely get close to him. In this case, I think you would have to get more serious about teaching the horse to tie. That's because falling over is the Big Uh-Oh of being a horse. It's a species-wide existential crisis that has been the source of sagas for many, many generations. The horse who chooses to fall over when no one but a rope he didn't like made him do it.... that one isn't smart enough for my taste.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

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                          • #53
                            My horse went through his own personal hell a few years ago when he was in a vet hospital for two weeks being treated for a corneal stromal ulcer. I had used this vet before for another horse with an eye problem, but not nearly as severe. Apparently Bud was not a good patient for them, and they had to treat his eye five times a day. Vet refused to use a catheter for the medication and also refused to give him a long lasting tranquilizer. So not only were they hurting his eye five times a day, but they were using brute force for the medication. I think they may have snubbed him and ear twitched and nose twitched him all at the same time with multiple people involved. Perhaps he has PTSD from that, and being tied without give brings back flashbacks to that. Trainer says that he is one of the smartest horses he's ever worked with, and he's worked with hundreds. Trainer says he won't send him back until he's got this phobia under control.

                            After the first vet gave up, I sent him to a specialist who immediately inserted the catheter and said treating him was no problem at all.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                            • #54
                              Crone I would have looked at you like that too!

                              When we want our horses to stay somewhere we tie them up, wind or no wind. Or moose, or trees falling, or neighbor horses running by.

                              Horses are really capable of being much more practical. They're like kids; if you let them act like freaks they will.
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                              • #55
                                My mind has been opened to the use of blocker rings or inner tubes. To me, it doesn't matter what the beast is tied to so long as he stays tied and gets no pay-off from trying to leave. Even the "loose for a minute and tied back up" seems like pay-off to a horse who panicked and didn't decide to un-panic.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                  Horses are really capable of being much more practical. They're like kids; if you let them act like freaks they will.
                                  Crone....read and memorize.

                                  I have sat back and watched many horses and how their owners interact with them. You can see the gears turning in most horses' heads when they figure out their owner/handler will come running if they even breathe wrong! Some of the worst handling horses I've ever ran into were in a show barn and the owners wigged at anything the horses did. Couldn't tie hard and fast because Horse didn't like it, yet, when I was handling the horses and the owners weren't around, the horses tied just fine for me.

                                  I've seen horses tied up, when they thought no one was around, stand there and chill. The moment they see their 'mark', they start wiggling and testing the lead rope. The handler would wig slightly and the show was on. Those horses were the ones who set back and broke leads or halters.

                                  Me? I walk on by and ignore. Now that's not to say if a horse were to get in real trouble, I wouldn't do anything, but that was so few and far between as to not be overly concerned.
                                  GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                                  • #57
                                    Guilherme,
                                    Thank you for the book recommendations. I'll pick up those books next payday.

                                    It cracks me up mostly because my DH is your typical old-school medic with his adult human patients (he's great with pediatric patients), but he gets so upset and worried when one of the horses gets a little scrape.
                                    PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                                    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                                    • #58
                                      Crone,
                                      I went to your blog last night and fell down the rabbit hole. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading your posts. You are an extraordinarily talented writer. I've bookmarked your IBTP blog for this weekend when I can stay up later.
                                      Best regards,
                                      Amber
                                      PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                                      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                                      • #59
                                        That has happened to a few of us, CAinKS! She's a wonderful writer!
                                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                        • #60
                                          I've got an Ay-rab that's an occasional puller, which wasn't helped when I tried one of the Ping things and he realized that 175 lbs of pressure was very easy to exert and blow the Ping. Found him and his show buddy wandering the show grounds eating grass once or twice before we threw the Pings in the trash. I remember Fugly talking about using bike inner tubes so I bought the tiniest bike inner tube I could find (for a kid's bike, 16" I think) and I tie him to the trailer with that. I just pull it through the trailer ring and loop it through itself and then tie him to the loop. The first time he tried to pull back he got this very weird expression on his face - what? no breakee? - and that was the last time he's pulled. I highly recommend it. And cheap too!

                                          This is the Ping thing. They have re-designed it since I bought mine, but I'm sold on the $2 inner tube myself.

                                          http://www.smartpakequine.com/equiping-9859p.aspx

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