Cross tying - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Cross tying

Today my horse and I had a cross tying accident. I had just got him situated in the cross ties next to his stall and was brushing some fluff out of his eye with my left hand when disaster struck. The BOs boyfriend came past the barn on the mower and sent a bunch of stones against the side of the metal barn, Phoenix freaked and spun around to try and run, he managed to get my hand trapped between his face and the cross tie (which is stupidly some baling twine type of material), luckily he nudged my body around with his neck and chest but managed to step on my foot.

He got the cross tie that was tied on the left side of his head through his mouth between his teeth and bottom lip and proceeded to panic with my hand still trapped. I managed to pull free and unsnap the ties (which didn't break even though they should have) and get him in his stall to calm down.

I'm sitting here with burn salve on every finger of my left hand, the rope has shredded the skin on my index finger and it's pretty painful.

I'm going to invest in some better cross ties that are actually designed to be used as cross ties instead of someones idiotic twine idea and i'll have to do some cross tying training with my horse. He ties wonderfully when tied straight, to a post or something. His manners are almost impeccable when tied like that, but when cross tied he dances around and paws. How can I teach him to stand like a good boy?? Or should I petition the barn owner to let me straight tie him for my own safety?
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 06:02 PM
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I've seen way too many cross tie accidents, fatal and not, it's not something I will ever do with any of my horses. I teach them to stand, and if the barn owner wouldn't let me tie any other way, I'd take them outside and saddle them there.
But this is why I always teach to stand. It's only a well broke horse that I'll tie to saddle, and even then, horses will be horses; they can and probably will still spook eventually.

I wouldn't say your boy was being bad, he was caught my surprise - like walking past a car that suddenly backfires; even if you've never been shot at, you're probably going to jump.
Cross ties just leave too much room for error, in my opinion.

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WSArabians View Post
I've seen way too many cross tie accidents, fatal and not, it's not something I will ever do with any of my horses. I teach them to stand, and if the barn owner wouldn't let me tie any other way, I'd take them outside and saddle them there.
But this is why I always teach to stand. It's only a well broke horse that I'll tie to saddle, and even then, horses will be horses; they can and probably will still spook eventually.

I wouldn't say your boy was being bad, he was caught my surprise - like walking past a car that suddenly backfires; even if you've never been shot at, you're probably going to jump.
Cross ties just leave too much room for error, in my opinion.
I completely agree with you. I hate cross tying, this is the first barn where i've really had to do it. I much prefer to straight tie and even then I know there are risks, he broke one of the ties one pulling back because of spooking at something. Maybe I should try teaching him to ground tie instead and forego ties altogether. Any advice on that?

I know he wasn't being bad, I know he hates the sound of the mower (and the weed whacker) and the BOs bf insists on mowing so he over shoots and throws up stones.

I was more concerned with getting him loose than punishing him, plus once he started to pull it made him pull more to try and get away, that definitely didn't do my hand any good. I'm just glad he got my left hand because I have an exam in 3 days and need my right to write with.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WSArabians View Post
I've seen way too many cross tie accidents, fatal and not, it's not something I will ever do with any of my horses. I teach them to stand, and if the barn owner wouldn't let me tie any other way, I'd take them outside and saddle them there.
But this is why I always teach to stand. It's only a well broke horse that I'll tie to saddle, and even then, horses will be horses; they can and probably will still spook eventually.

I wouldn't say your boy was being bad, he was caught my surprise - like walking past a car that suddenly backfires; even if you've never been shot at, you're probably going to jump.
Cross ties just leave too much room for error, in my opinion.

This. I've found in searching for our two horses this seems to be a popular thing now. Some will even advertise "can cross tie for X amount of time". All my 50 year old brain does is come up with potential disaster senarios.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BBBCrone View Post
This. I've found in searching for our two horses this seems to be a popular thing now. Some will even advertise "can cross tie for X amount of time". All my 50 year old brain does is come up with potential disaster senarios.
I wish my 28 year old brain had foreseen the danger, I was pretty lucky today, I could have easily lost all my fingers on my left hand. I think i'll try and teach him to ground tie, he's due to go to a trainer in august, so if he hasn't mastered it by then i'll tell the trainer to help him out.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 08:15 PM
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I cross tie all my horses. Ones for training. Its actually how I teach my young horses to tie. And have never had any issues. I tie with stuff that wont break. Most horses if they figure out they can set back and get free, it will become habit. I always sit and watch with a sharp knife to cut if nessecary. But I have never had to. And my horses will stand tied hours on end, if somethimg scares them, and they do pull back, they get off the pressure.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-03-2012, 08:26 PM
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I don't understand why it is so important to cross-tie a horse. Mine will "tie" with the lead either dropped on the ground or flung across the back. Often, not all, horses in x ties feel trapped. The enemy is lurking out there and he needs to know he can make his getaway. What I have found is that when horses have the option to leave, they will usually stay. By tossing the rope over the back it is easy for you to grab if he starts to walk off. Repetition and a treat at the right time will have him staying put in no time.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-04-2012, 10:00 AM
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I like straight tying. I also tie my horse's head so that he has enough room to touch his lips to the ground without stepping on the rope. He is a lot more relaxed than when I cross tie him, because with cross ties his head is restricted and he can't spook a little if he has to.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-04-2012, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cowgirl140ty View Post
I cross tie all my horses. Ones for training. Its actually how I teach my young horses to tie. And have never had any issues. I tie with stuff that wont break. Most horses if they figure out they can set back and get free, it will become habit. I always sit and watch with a sharp knife to cut if nessecary. But I have never had to. And my horses will stand tied hours on end, if somethimg scares them, and they do pull back, they get off the pressure.
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I've known a lot of horses that will cross ties just fine, but i've also seen some go down in cross ties and end up laying on their side (not a nice sight). I think the way my horse dances cross ties aren't for him.

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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
I don't understand why it is so important to cross-tie a horse. Mine will "tie" with the lead either dropped on the ground or flung across the back. Often, not all, horses in x ties feel trapped. The enemy is lurking out there and he needs to know he can make his getaway. What I have found is that when horses have the option to leave, they will usually stay. By tossing the rope over the back it is easy for you to grab if he starts to walk off. Repetition and a treat at the right time will have him staying put in no time.
I'm going to try and teach Phoenix to ground tie, until then i'll be straight tying him, if the barn owner complains i'll show her my hand which looks like it might be getting infected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripplewind View Post
I like straight tying. I also tie my horse's head so that he has enough room to touch his lips to the ground without stepping on the rope. He is a lot more relaxed than when I cross tie him, because with cross ties his head is restricted and he can't spook a little if he has to.
I'm gong to straight tie for a while until my horse learns to ground tie. I'll see if the BO will put in a ring for me to use.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-05-2012, 02:42 PM
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I have had some go down on their side. But after a few seconds they get back up and usually that's when they realize its easier to stand. Now I never teach them to tie on concrete. So they don't cut themselves up. I have two trees that I use. So they learn on dirt.
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