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Horse Flips Out Dangerously When Tied

This is a discussion on Horse Flips Out Dangerously When Tied within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Treating horse panic attack when tied
  • Horses tied youtube

 
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    06-06-2011, 11:03 AM
  #21
Foal
I'm no expert, but this is how we do it, and I think it might work nice for your high strung boy. I really think trying to fight him over it is not a good idea.

I would purchase a rope halter as suggested and tie him up somewhere short and safe where you can easily keep an eye on him, and leave him there for a good while. When you see him standing quietly for five minutes or so walk out to him, if he starts to get exited, walk away and ignore him for a few more minutes, when he calms down, return until he's quiet until you reach him and give him a little reward by leading him around a few times, then tie him right back up and continue, all darned day. Rinse and repeat until he learns being bad isn't going to get him anywhere, and being quiet makes the boredom go away.

Hope that helps. :)
     
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    06-06-2011, 02:28 PM
  #22
Yearling
While a lot of the advice on here is very good, I would never tie up a horse and let it "work it out." I HAVE seen horses die, yes die, from this. One of them was my dear friends horse. He reared, flipped over and broke his neck in the arena when tied. He died instantly.

Anyways, those ring things are nice, but they are not a fix all. (The ones that allow them slack when pulling) because it can really make the problem worse. They just keep pulling til all the slack is gone and then they freak out at the end of a long rope.

What I would suggest is taking the horse to a hitching post, wrap the rope around without tying it (so just loop it around, it should be easily removable in case he does freak, and it sould make a you shape around the pole), and make it loose, so there is no tension on his halter. Then ask the horse to back up, thus giving him pressure against the rope on his halter (all while still holding the rope in your hand as its wrapped around the pole). He should, then, realize that the pressure means come forward. He may need a little tug to get him to realize you want him to just take a step forward.

What this excersize does is teach the horse to release the pressure himself. You ask him to back up, thus putting him in a bind and putting on the pressure. He then learns its okay to step forward when the pressure comes and will calmly relieve the pressure off of his head by simply giving to the lead.

This can also be used if a horse is hard to lead. The main reason you do NOT want to tie him right now while doing this excersize is because if he does freak, you need to be able to let him go. Like I said I HAVE seen a horse die from being tied, and it is a very real fear to me. This excersize is safe when used correctly and is very effective in teaching to horse to relax when tied without needing someone to coach them along, reprimand them, or punish them. Plus it will give a good base to advanced leading, trailer tying and ground tying along with touching up his basic leading skills.
     
    06-06-2011, 03:22 PM
  #23
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
I'd suggest investing in a good rope halter, as well as an Aussie Tie Ring...there are probably videos on youtube explaining how to use the Tie Ring; but the basic concept is that when the horse pulls, he gets a little slack, relieving the flight response and clausterphobia associated with it (when the horse reaches the end of the lead).

To me, it sounds like this is already an ingrained habit, given that he continued until he busted halter.
I agree. The habit is already there. Also, use a tie ring. However,just using the tie ring or blocker ring won't fix the problem. You need to show the horse by training that it doesn't need to pull back. Check out Clinton Anderson and how to use the tie ring properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes    
I've tied him other times and he didn't flip... This time he was tied inside and I've never tied him inside the barn. (This I just realized.) Would that have something to do with it, or does this just sound like spoiled behavior? He's a very nervous horse and is prone to sudden explosions.


One solution I was thinking of was just tying him in a rope halter and letting him pull and rear until he realized he couldn't get away. If this was my horse, I could be all for that. But he isn't. I don't want to hurt him. If he flipped and killed himself, I would be have killed someone else's horse.
That's just it. He has been tied before but this, as you say, was his first time inside. Horses don't like being in enclosed spaces. Then his head is tied so he can't move and look as easily. A recipe for disaster.

Since he has broken free, he will keep trying until he breaks free again unless you can teach him that he doesn't need to. Check out the Aussie Tie Ring and how to use it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii    
While a lot of the advice on here is very good, I would never tie up a horse and let it "work it out." I HAVE seen horses die, yes die, from this. One of them was my dear friends horse. He reared, flipped over and broke his neck in the arena when tied. He died instantly.

Anyways, those ring things are nice, but they are not a fix all. (The ones that allow them slack when pulling) because it can really make the problem worse. They just keep pulling til all the slack is gone and then they freak out at the end of a long rope.

What I would suggest is taking the horse to a hitching post, wrap the rope around without tying it (so just loop it around, it should be easily removable in case he does freak, and it sould make a you shape around the pole), and make it loose, so there is no tension on his halter. Then ask the horse to back up, thus giving him pressure against the rope on his halter (all while still holding the rope in your hand as its wrapped around the pole). He should, then, realize that the pressure means come forward. He may need a little tug to get him to realize you want him to just take a step forward.

What this excersize does is teach the horse to release the pressure himself. You ask him to back up, thus putting him in a bind and putting on the pressure. He then learns its okay to step forward when the pressure comes and will calmly relieve the pressure off of his head by simply giving to the lead.

This can also be used if a horse is hard to lead. The main reason you do NOT want to tie him right now while doing this excersize is because if he does freak, you need to be able to let him go. Like I said I HAVE seen a horse die from being tied, and it is a very real fear to me. This excersize is safe when used correctly and is very effective in teaching to horse to relax when tied without needing someone to coach them along, reprimand them, or punish them. Plus it will give a good base to advanced leading, trailer tying and ground tying along with touching up his basic leading skills.
Yes, the Aussie Tie Rings are not a fix all. They need to be used to teach the horse not to pull. If you have a horse that pulls, you wouldn't want to used a rope with a knot at the end. You may need to use a longer rope too. If you're using a 14 to 16' lead rope, the horse usually stops pulling before the end of the lead rope.

Your exercise with the hitching post is pretty much what you need to do with the Tie Ring, except the tie ring is holding the rope instead of the hitching post and you. As long as there isn't a knot at the end of the rope, the horse would be able to pull the rope through the tie ring.

I don't agree with those that say to use an innertube to tie the horse. The innertube doesn't give a quick enough release to teach the horse not to pull. I also wouldn't tie the horse up to let them figure it out on their own. If they have broke free before, they will keep trying until something breaks again.

One of our mares does pull back at times. When we got her, we were told that she can't be tied because she has pulled back since she was two and now she is 16, a long time to engrain the habit in. Within the less than a year that we have had her, she rarely pulls back anymore. We've figured out that she pulls back because of panic attacks. She can be tied for hours if we needed her to be, but when the panic sets in there comes the pull back. We use a calm voice to help her by telling her to "whoa" and "settle down" and rubbing her down to get her to relax again, usually before the full panic sets in. The other thing we do, in case we can't get her settled down in time, we run her lead rope through a quick release tie down. Similar to the Aussie tie ring, the rope will slip through the quick release until she quits pulling or the rope will pull through completely.
     
    06-07-2011, 09:55 AM
  #24
Yearling
When I bought my QH mare I learned in a short time that she had a set-back while tied problem. The first time she did it I had a flat nylon halter with a lead rope with a big bull snap on the halter side. I bought another lead rope with a bull snap and 10 feet of 3/4 inch nylon rope. I made a large non-slip loop of the nylon rope and put that over her head and put the tail of that rope down through her jowl and chin groove and tied it off just slightly longer than the halter lead rope. After she was caught by the second restraint she never set-back again. I did however continue to double tie her for several months. Wasn't long and she learned that being tied wasn't so bad after all. We did many overnight camping horse vacations and the training paid off, hugely.

ETA: Not long after I bought knotted rope halters for all our horses with braided in lead ropes to the halter loops/
     
    06-07-2011, 12:02 PM
  #25
Banned
I don't think he reared in the crossties from fear, because he did it 2 more times after that. I think he started acting up because he was impatient and just did not want to stand there so he threw a hissy fit and reared and threw himself down.
What I would do with a horse like that is put a rope halter on him and tie him to a big tree and leave him. Give him just enough slack so that he can move his head but short enough that he couldn't get a foot over the rope. He'll start to get annoyed and impatient and probably start fidgeting and moving around but don't yell at him or try to stop him. Just leave him alone and untie him when he's standing there quietly and relaxed.
You might consider using a control halter, the type with a strap that goes behind his ears and you attach the lead to that strap. When he pulls back pressure is put on his poll and makes it uncomfortable. It works great with horses who like to back up until the rope is real tight. It only takes one try with the control halter before they realize they can't do that.
     
    06-07-2011, 12:23 PM
  #26
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
While I agree with the premise, I have two problems with tying completely fast with a rope halter:
- many people do not fit or tie a rope halter properly; when a horse sets back, the rope slips down and can restrict breathing
- rope halters are so thin, I do worry about poll and vertebral injuries
Myself - I'm a worrywart - I would likely invest in a Blocker Ring or inner tube that has some give to it. Some horses pull back because they know they can get free; others do it because they feel completely trapped.
Posted via Mobile Device

I agree with the above. There is another long thread on this topic somewhere on this forum's cypber storage. I have never had to deal with this, but if I do, I shall try the blocker ring.
     
    06-07-2011, 12:43 PM
  #27
Showing
You need to look at it from the horse's point of view. He's outside where all the predators hide, waiting for an opportune time to attack his hindquarters. Once a horse has this thought he will commit suicide in order to escape. What I like to do is wrap the rope a couple of times around a stout post and hold on to the loose end. I will then do some brushing. If he starts to pull back I will move his hindquarters around because as long as his hind legs are moving sideways he can't brace against the rope. As soon as he stands quietly for a few moments I'll offer a treat and begin brushing again. Should he pull back you have some control or can let the rope go. Don't use a rope halter for this. Horses that struggle against a rope halter damage a lot of nerves and you don't want that. Keep your tie lessons to about 10 min and maybe practise 3 or 4 x daily. Repitition is what teaches so do this for at least 3 days in a row, then gradually extend the time.
     
    06-07-2011, 01:21 PM
  #28
Showing
I've cut a horse loose whose handler didn't tie the halter properly and it started strangling him as it slipped down his nose- if I hadn't been there with a knife, there's no saying how it could have ended. I had to cut the leadrope from the spot he was tied as it had gotten so tight the slipknot would not release even a millimeter.
To each their own - but I personally would not tie fast with a rope halter - and I know how to tie properly ;)
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    06-07-2011, 05:21 PM
  #29
Weanling
My mare acted the same way when I first got her. She would rear flip around and not stop till she got loose. The way I fixed it with her is I put on a full nylon halter and a strong rope with a good snap on it that she couldn't break. Instead of tying her I looped the lead around the post about 3 times. Enough that if she did pull back it would give her just enough slack to move back a step or two then quite, and I could grab the extra that was hanging and stop her from going too far. I discovered that as long as she was able to take this one step or two back she was fine then and would settle immediately. To teach her with the crossties I made them extra loose at first and had someone also standing at her head with a lead rop connected to her. If she freaked out they would tell her easy and she could do her step back and be fine. Then put her back in place and continue. After about a month of both of these techniques I was able to tie my mare with a very loose quick realease and put on crossties without extra help with ease. Some horses can get claustophobic and freak even more when they feel they can't get away. That is why I gave the room to do a step or two, no more than that and she would immediately settle down. My mare was a full bred young very green 7 year old Arab. This is what worked for me. Maybe will help you.
     

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