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Teaching a yearling to crosstie?

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  • Teaching a yearling to crosstie?

    When do you generally introduce the idea of standing on cross ties? And how?

    I have a yearling who knows how to stand tied in a stall, but I would really like to introduce the idea of cross ties. The way my barn is set up, makes it difficult to get much done when he is tied (small-ish stalls, dark.) The only set of cross ties that has a "back" is the wash stall, which I figured would be a good start.

    At what age to typically introduce cross ties? Any tips on transitioning from the enclosed wash stall ties to "open" ties?

  • #2
    We usually have two people begin the process of introducing cross ties. If your baby stands in his stall and stops fighting when pressure is applied to his pole if he pulls back that is a very good start.

    To begin with lead your horse in to the crosstie and have someone hold him and go about your activities, brushing, hoof picking etc. After the horse stands quietly for that, you can attach the crossties. Make sure that they are quick-release by the nose, with zipties or something else making them "breakable" at the wall. Once again, a helper can stand by their head, with lead rope attached while you brush, fuss, etc.

    The last step is to attach crossties and leave the leadrope on your horse while you work on him by yourself, always ready to support with the leadrope if he gets worried. This is usually a process I do over a couple of weeks unless the horse is super easy or worried... then we adjust our timing.

    Quick visits at first with lots of praise are a good start to get a horse very comfortable in a place they will likely spend quite a bit of time in the future.
    Specialized Equine Rehabilitation, Reproduction, and Fitness in the Wine Country of Northern California


    • #3
      If he's standing quietly tied in his stall you're mostly there! Here's what we do, first they are taught to stand for humans, period-in the pasture, stall, whatever. Also I throw the lead rope over their neck as I am teaching them to stand quietly so this becomes their signal. When teaching to cross tie, I have the lead rope on them and only do one cross tie. I 'groom' them, mostly to reinforce the standing not to necessarily get them clean.

      Praise, praise praise-I do not give treats. If they get that and some of them do it in one session, I move to two cross ties. I still have the lead rope on the so in case they have a moment and bust out of the ties I have a rope to grab them with. Honestly I have never really had any issues with building their skills from the ground up. Best wishes.


      • #4
        I haven't done a lot- most of mine crosstie as weanlings. I start with "fake" crossties and simply lightly fix two leads like crossties without really tying down.

        After a couple times/they seem settled I move onto crossties. Make sure your crossties are secured with a breakable fixture- binder twine. My yearling hangs out in the cross ties for grooming and fussing like an old veteran.