Dancing and rearing when tied? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Dancing and rearing when tied?

Late October I was finally able to move Gypsy to where I am going to school. Previously she was at my parents house almost 2 hours away, and so she wasn't getting worked very often.

When I first moved her she would dance away from me when I tried to pick her hooves. I immediately corrected her and she figured out pretty quickly that she wouldn't get away with that. However, about 2 weeks after I moved her she started dancing when she was tied whenever I wasn't standing directly next to her. I tried my best to correct her, but the behavior has only been getting worse.

Then, on Tuesday, she started rearing when tied. Her front legs only went less than a foot off the ground, but I am afraid that she will hurt herself or me. She wasn't rearing when I was directly next to her but I was still fairly close.

I believe this behavior is at least partially caused by her being herd-bound. She can't see her pasture mates from in the barn, and the more they call the worse she gets. Plus, she has always had issues with being away from other horses, and when I am at the barn, there are usually no horses inside or in sight. She has always behaved fairly well when tied, unless there were no other horses but even then she would only dance a little.

I'm not sure what to do in this situation, so any advice would be appreciated. Normally I would ask the BO for help, but she is gone on vacation for awhile and I don't know anybody else at the barn yet.
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 08:29 PM
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when the horse starts acting up go untie her and work her. And I mean so she is sweating and breathing hard. Tie her back up. Doesn't take long for them to figure out standing still is much easier than working.

Most of the time reprimanding the horse with a smack or yelling at it only makes the situation worse. The horse is getting worked up so work it and let it burn off some energy. Soon enough though getting tied up is a nice thing that the horse enjoys.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 09:15 PM
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I do it a little differently. I teach my horse to stand first while I walk down part of it's body then return and reinforce whoa. I might even pop a treat in his mouth. I will continue until I can not only circle him but work it until it's a 50' circle. I will continue to reward him standing still. I then walk straight out and return and then I will leave and close the gait. And return with a treat. I will do this for 3 days in a row. The horse has taught to be patient and trusts that I will return. Then I will "tie" him by just throwing the lead over the fence and leave and return. Again with a treat. By now he'll stand as long as his rope is over the fence. If something should frighten him he can escape but won't be traumatised by being tied. Also by now he'll ground tie. A horse that will ground tie is more relaxed because he knows he can escape should one of those fire breathing dragons shows up but because he can leave, the he will stay. BTW the exercises are done with the horse at liberty so you'll need an enclosed area altho I did it in the pasture.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 10:06 PM
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I'm a bit of a jerk, I guess. When I encounter a horse with tying problems (actual problems like rearing/pawing/pacing, not young horses still learning) I work them until they're tired, tie them to a good steady tree that is above their heads, and leave them tied. Not tight, but enough that they can't get their heads down to graze. I'm in viewing distance but I don't go back to them until they've settled down, even if they start rearing or neighing. As soon as they calm down, they get a treat and are allowed to go back into the pasture.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 10:11 PM
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I'd leave her tied all day.

If I get a horse with a tying problem, I tie it.

If you have trees with thick sturdy branches throw. Long rope up there and tie the horse to it.
Make the rope long/low enough that the horse can hold its head normal. And leave.

If no tree just tie high so if if rears it can't get a leg in the rope.
Tie it, till it chills.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Janna View Post
I'd leave her tied all day.

If I get a horse with a tying problem, I tie it.

If you have trees with thick sturdy branches throw. Long rope up there and tie the horse to it.
Make the rope long/low enough that the horse can hold its head normal. And leave.

If no tree just tie high so if if rears it can't get a leg in the rope.
Tie it, till it chills.

My gelding will stand tied to the trailer ALL day at a show and not so much as fidget. He goes to sleep. My filly likes to pull back if she gets a fright but usually stands quietly... I'm going to be working on the pulling back issue when I can, just don't have the facilities to do that at present.

Also... tie solid, NOT to twine, especially if you're going to leave them tied for a long time. If they pull back and get free they can learn to ALWAYS pull back. Rope halters are best because they don't break easy, eliminate all metal points [they are weaknesses] meaning get a lead with a removable clip and remove it.

With a horse that refuses to stand still when tied you want to reinforce that it CANNOT get free so it might as well not fight it.

I have tied to fence strainer posts in the past especially with my filly when she was going through her phase of pulling back every time she was restrained in any way. These posts are a foot thick minimum and dug down between 5 and 6 feet so they're not going anywhere... certainly not with the strength of one horse. Rotten ones won't hold, so a tree is better if you have one, but if you don't, a big thick wooden post will do.

Whatever it is you tie to must not EVER be able to break under the force of a horse pulling, leaning or pushing on it!

Another option if you have two big solid trees and a long strong rope is to string up the rope between the two trees and tie your horse to that - it has to be above horse head height so they can't get caught up on it - and again, eliminate all metal. The rope will give some if the horse panics, but it's not going anywhere if you pick a strong enough rope, and your horse is highly unlikely to injure itself.

If you tie above horse head height you eliminate most of your horse's leverage and therefore most of its strength.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-07-2012, 11:13 AM
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My horse did the same thing. He didn't have any patience and would rear. My trainer told me that I should have worked him hard first, then you tie them to let them think about what they just learned. He said I shouldn't just pull him out of the field and tie him up with all this energy I'm setting him up for failure and I should start with smaller steps, then progress. This was just a few months ago. And now I can bring him in and tie him up fine :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-07-2012, 11:59 AM
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I am all for tying the horse with a neck rope (bowline knot) run thru the halter ring, single wrap around a tree to a second post and tied with a easy slip knot. Leave the horse tied but be where you can keep an eye on things.

Once in awhile you will get a horse that will escalate the violent behavior when tied to the point of panic and that horse will hurt itself. Be careful.
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-07-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I will try tying her up until she calms down then.

Yesterday, I tried to pay more attention to what she was doing. It seems like she starts by dancing just a little bit, but the more worked up she gets, the more she dances. Then she hits the end of the lead, tosses her head, starts pawing then rears. I started correcting (a loud clap to get her attention has always worked best) her once she started tossing her head and pawing, and it only took a couple times before she figured out I wasn't going to let her get away with it. But I definitely think she needs to learn how to be patient when tied again.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-07-2012, 06:13 PM
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A friends trainer tied the horse to teach it to stand tied. It`s dead now, broke it`s neck at the poll.
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