ground tying

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ground tying

This is a discussion on ground tying within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    11-16-2008, 10:50 PM
ground tying

So I was wandering how would I teach my horses to ground tie?
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    11-16-2008, 11:22 PM
Is that to have them stand still when the rope is on the ground?

I just place the horse where it should stand, using a ropehalter and a somewhat heavy, long rope (so that the horse easily feel the weight when the rope is lifted vs on the ground). Then I walk away, backing so that I can see him and perhaps keep him from moving if I use my body language in time.
If he moves, I put him back immediatly.
And keeps doing that untill he learns.
    11-17-2008, 06:25 AM
Yeah bascially what Zab said It basically a process of putting your horse back everytime they move and praising them when they stand.
    11-17-2008, 11:27 AM
It is a long process. Basically just teaching them to "stay put". Zab's explanation is what I have always done...I say that but neither of my current horses know how to stay put.

It's definitely worth the training time.
    11-17-2008, 11:30 AM
You can choose to leave the rope on the ground, or toss it over the horse's neck. Whatever way you prefer, do it consistantly. At the same time, tell the horse a firm Whoa. Then walk away. I prefer not to back away from the horse as I find that it draws the horse with you. Turn your back and move away from the horse. You'll have to be very keen about watching your horse as you move away. Don't look directly at him - which could also draw him towards you. Use the shadows to tell if he's moving, listen for his feet moving on the ground, look out of the corner of your eye, etc. Any time he takes a step, you need to immediately turn around and charge toward him - do whatever it is that you do to get him to move his feet but without touching him or grabbing the lead rope. I stomp my feet, wave my arms, etc. while moving towards the horse, and I continue doing that until he moves his feet backwards. He should end up back in the same spot that he started from. Again, without touching him or the lead, I will stop my body language and tell him to Whoa, then walk away again. Keep repeating until the horse learns to stand without moving his feet. I would not ask him to stand for extended periods of time when you are first teaching this, just a minute or two at a time.

This skill comes in handy in so many ways. One time, I had a horse in training that I told to stand ground tied and I went over to help someone else with their horse, which turned into a long process, but that training horse stood quietly still where I put her and I nearly forgot about the poor thing! She was unattended for about half an hour! She got lots of praises that day. Another time, I was on a trail ride with a small group and one of the ladies needed to get off of her horse for some reason (can't remember why). I had trained her horse so he knew how to ground tie, but I don't think she ever asked him to do it. After she dismounted, she left her horse standing in the middle of the trail and walked over to another rider. It took probably 5 minutes before she got back to her horse - but he never moved his feet once during the time he was left unattended. I told her it's a good thing he knows how to ground tie otherwise she could have been chasing him down the trail all the way back to the trailers!

The first part of this video shows what I would expect from a horse that is ground tied.

One thing to consider before you teach your horse is his maturity level. Usually horses about 3 years old and older are ready to learn this skill. I have a yearling at home that is not ready for ground tying, but most other horses I've worked with are ready for it when they are 2 1/2 years to 3 years old. It should be really easy to teach this to an older horse.
    11-17-2008, 12:29 PM
I agree with what Zab had to say. Remember to always put them back where they moved from though. It is definitely worth the effort.
    11-17-2008, 12:58 PM
Good post by Gottaride. The only thing I would add is that for the first few times, do it in an enclosed area or round pen and not on grass. Initially you don't want anything to distract him.
    11-17-2008, 02:19 PM
Green Broke
Ya I think that if I were to try this with my 2 1/2 year old, im pretty sure if I charged at him he would ignore me and go about something else, or he would run away with that long heavy lead rope....then I would prob be scared he would break his neck. Maybe when he's older.
    11-17-2008, 02:53 PM
Originally Posted by free_sprtd    
Ya I think that if I were to try this with my 2 1/2 year old, im pretty sure if I charged at him he would ignore me and go about something else, or he would run away with that long heavy lead rope....then I would prob be scared he would break his neck. Maybe when he's older.
I'm guessing that your horse has other issues to be dealt with prior to ground tying training if this is the case. My comment about making sure your horse is ready to learn this skill relates to the maturity level and specifically the attention span of the horse. Babies just can't be expected to stand unattended without wandering. You build their attention span by doing other things, like expecting them to stand quietly without fuss while you are holding the lead rope or while being tied traditionally.
    11-17-2008, 03:59 PM
Green Broke
Ya I know we have a lot of training to actually getting overwhelmed. Just trying to take it one step at a time. Just thought I would chime in on this topic. Thunder needs refining on his ground manners and im stuck. He doesn't have a lot of "issues" persay, because he's not a "bad" horse.....I just haven't had the right training schedule or ability.

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