This is why you should always use safety snaps in cross ties!! - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 09:28 AM
Green Broke
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I've never really used crossties because I think they put everything in a bad position, and because of the way they are secured, if there isn't slack they can be hard to undo, hard to get to without danger, and will just cause more panic.

Not good about the dog - but really if its the first time this has happened it could just be an accident. Not saying it excuses anything but accidents happen to everyone, dogs get out, horses get out, it happens. Everyone's jumping on this barn owner, but I wouldn't believe that everyone on here had never had an animal escape accidentally.

I always tie with one rope, a quick release not that will pull free, and if not, I know given enough pressure the rope will snap, crosstie chains don't though. But with one rope, I think a horse is more likely to calm, they can turn and look, swing around.

I'm happy everyone is safe though.
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post #22 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 09:58 AM
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I've used cross ties in the past, and may use them again in the future...however, most people don't use them correctly. I'm borrowing some information a friend gave me on proper setup of crossties...the college I went to had their ties set up like this as well
Cross ties should hang straight down, so need to be attached to a structural 'overhead beam'. They can be anywhere from 2' to 4' apart. 2' is better, but 4' is still okay and allows horses and people to walk between them w/o getting banged. That is the main reason why people put them on walls...they find it an inconvenience to have them hanging down in an aisle way...but I'll get to another point about that.

The reason you do it this way is so the horse never feels restricted in its head. They never feel 'trapped'. The main reason horses panic when tied is because of the blind spot behind them. Whether single tied or cross tied, it's what they can't see that usually sets them off. When they get nervous, they try and turn their heads and can't. In wall cross ties, they hit the end, they feel trapped, can't see, panic ensues.

They can in fact turn completely around in properly hung cross ties and look. They can in fact turn around a couple of times in cross ties with no problem.

They can even jump forward and won't feel the same kind of restrictions. They can even pop up off their front feet and not feel trapped.

The reason why horses flip in inproperly hung cross ties is because when they go up, they hit the end quickly, they panic further, they hit it harder and then it breaks and they lose their balance. No such thing happens when they are hung properly.

While rope will work, it has the distinct disadvantage of being nonadjustable. Cross ties need to be adjustable in length according to varies sizes of horses. For this reason, the cross ties should be chain. Stainless steel doesn't rust, and links of 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" in length are perfect.

The portion attached 'around' the overhead beam should be closed with a screwable chain link so that it can't break or come down, unless the entire building which case...the building should have been checked for structural soundness first, or you're trying to tie an elephant.

Now, at the other end of the chain you use 'double ended BRASS' snaps. The reasons are two-fold...well, three-fold.

The double ended allows you to adjust the cross ties to the appropriate length for the horse. So you can put a 18h horse in them or a 12h long as the chain is long enough in the first place for the pony.

You can also snap 'up' the hanging cross ties when your'e done, getting them out of people's way.

But the most significant part of the snap is that it be BRASS. Brass is a soft metal. I guarantee, a brass snap will break before a leather halter will. If enough pressure is applied, or it's applied quickly, either the spring in the ends of the snap will break, releasing the horse, or the snap itself will break, releasing the horse. No damage done.
I've noticed a lot of people around where I live that use cross ties have them hooked into the wall, at eye level to the horses.
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post #23 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 10:37 AM
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A guy in our barn set up his own cross-ties, and even though his mare stands completely still regardless, he still uses them. A little frustrating because I have to duck under them to get from the tack room to my horse's stall. I never use cross-ties. I can see them being useful for a farrier but not really on other occasions unless a horse is being trained, etc.

As for dogs, our barn owner has an Airedale and she got her head run over when she was a puppy (not completely, but enough to make her a tad... slow). She's too dumb to bark at horses. The worst she does is halfway bury herself in arena sand and fall asleep... She has free roam of the property but she's harmless and spends most of her time out of the way.

Sorry this happened - I would be livid!
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post #24 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
I agree with Frankn, All our cross ties have safety snaps BUT, more importantly, they are tied to the barn with baling twine. If the horse pulls hard the twine will break loose and the horse still has the web ties attached for easy catching. If you use heavy rope or chain (yuck!) then have the twine on the snaps instead.
Took the words out of my to-be post

It's an easy improvement YOU can do, don't have to bug to have new snaps installed or anything. Just carry some twine in your pocket and use it when you gotta. Back before Indie was bomb proof with dogs and children running at her feet (Oh the joys of big families!), I used twine so she didn't end up breaking my good ropes or the fence.
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post #25 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thank you everyone for your input! I was just so upset when it happened, still am! But feeling better now.

I looked around at all the other cross ties in the bars, 3 other sets all are done up in some other un safe way, really makes me upset! I'm. Working student for my trainer and I work with her clients young Irish sport horses and they are big and their owners have put a lot of trust and money into their training with us as well as traust of of taking the best care of their babies too! This may sound strange, but I have to say I am glad it happened to my gelding as he seemed un phased once I got him loose and walked him around a bit. I don't know or want to think about how much worse it could have been with one of our clients horses!

As for leaving the barn from this, I'm not. Like someone else pointed out could have been the first time this dog had done this and hopefully when the bRn owner and manager gets there ears filled by my trainer about how much worse this could have been.

I did look to see how Hightower the hook and eye scree thing is from the ground, it's above the door way, so Bout 7 feet up?

I'm just glad this didn't happen to the two very small girls who whe in the cross ties with there ponies just before me!

My trainer will be letting me know how it goes with the BO and BM today's nd checking Oliver out as well.

I must have really ul Ed so e muscles in my back and neck nd my right hip is pretty sore, everything happened so fast I do t know why it is that my body feels like it got run over!

Thanks again everyone!
I will most likely be tacking up in my stall from now on haha
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post #26 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 11:56 AM
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I've never had a need for cross ties before, but if I ever felt inclined to use them, I think the method BlackCricket posted would make the most sense to me.

At my barn we just don't use them. We use a single tie against a wall. We also have three dogs who run around loose all the time, and the sheppard-mix has been known to chase the horses on occassion - although she would NEVER do it when someone is working with the horse, and only ever does it when we're moving the horses out of the front yard at which point she can be rather helpful in funnelling them into the correct pastures. It's nice to have them loose as we are right on the edge of the bush and they are great at alerting us to any wild animals that might be happening by.

That being said, if a dog is NOT well behaved it should not be allowed loose without supervision - I would have been livid in your situation. It is definitely unfortunate what happened - I'm glad everyone is okay, and I hope your horse has no lasting issues from this incident.

A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli
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post #27 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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This dog was so annoying before the whole cross tie incedent even happened! I saw the barn manager call for them once in the mooning whe at the BO house.

The dogs where going under the hot wire in the temp pasture we have that I had turned 3 clients horses into, making them run and slip and slid, then when I finally yelled atbthedogs long enough they went off. Later they where in barn pulling horse toys (jolly balls and what not) while I was doing water buckets and hanging blankets up! Then when the kids and some haul in riders where in the arena working there horses the borader collie kept trying to creep in!

Supposedly the BO decided to change rules after my trainer moved her hors and clients horses o this place about dogs, as she NASA small dog who needs some around the clock care and is older. So she would have him in a large kennel in our tack room (each trainer gets huge tack room) and the dog was content and slept all day in the kennel! No not allowed they're rude dogs are allowed to roam free doing these things....
Not fun
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post #28 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 12:42 PM
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First off, I'd have shot that friggin dog long before now if he's a chaser. LOL! 2nd, that's why I reallllly don't like cross ties and avoid them whenever possible. If a cross tie area is the only area provided to tie a horse, I generally only use 1 tie. I have a horse who got "tuned up" in cross ties and when I use 1 she's fine, hook the 2nd and she will flip over backwards every time.

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post #29 of 48 Old 10-24-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
First off, I'd have shot that friggin dog long before now if he's a chaser..
Advice which would have you in jail or facing a stiff fine - let alone a possible law suit.

Talking about all the problems that the dogs are giving you really doesn't accomplish anything. If you think it's unsafe and the BO isn't going to do anything about it, then leave. Simple. It's her place, not yours.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #30 of 48 Old 10-26-2011, 12:24 AM
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Our barn owner has 3 dogs - they never bother the horses. Pepper is a little fellow - looks like a parti-colored Cairne terrier mix - cute as a button. He sniffs the horses sometimes but that is it. Candy is a chocolate lab and Ginger is a golden lab. They are very sweet dogs and I played catch with Ginger today. That is just terrific for us but if the dogs were bothering my horses or scaring the bejeezes out of me I would have a real problem with it.

A good friend brings his dog on our trail rides. OMG she runs all over the place and Biscuit was charging her a few months ago and getting more and more upset til I got off of him to calm him down. A month and a half ago we were coming up the trail lickety split due to a storm and here she comes running right up behind Biscuit when he was either cantering or in a fast extended trot...he kicked out at her. Last time we went 2 weeks ago she ran under another friend's green horse and she reared and went over and thank God he wasn't hurt.

I think any dog that won't heel on the trail should be let behind!

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at
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