Issue while tying:

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Issue while tying:

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    07-31-2011, 02:25 PM
Issue while tying:

I've been working with my yearling and the more time I spend with him, the more I notice his funny little quirks. One quirk in particular is very worrisome to me and I've been working on it for a few days, just trying to fix it before it turns into a full blown habit.

Levee leads and gives to pressure well. When he's tied, he has a tendency to back up, but as soon as he feels the pull on his halter, he'll walk himself forward a bit. However, he is developing this habit of bobbing his head and as a result, he manages to get the lead line over his head and then he has a mild panic attack when he can't lift his head. The 'panic attack' doesn't include him trying to throw his head up, but just dancing side to side and attempting to turn around. Not a bad spook, but it has the possibility to escalate and I want to nip it in the bud.

As a result, I always feel nervous about tying him. I spent a lot of hours over the last few days, trying to work this issue out of him, because it's such an undesirable, dangerous one. This is what I've tried:

- Tying him up shorter. Instead of giving him 2 feet of rope to play with, I gave him less. He still managed to get the rope over his head and flipped out even more because it tightened up faster. Because he pulled the rope so tight, it made pulling the quick release loose very difficult and I ended up unclipping him to release the extreme pressure on his head before he became frightened and unruly.

- Looping the rope over the fence to give him the idea of tying and me just standing there, gently holding the end. This worked for a bit, until he figured out he could just slide the rope around and give himself more rope to play with. So I looped it around the fence a few times to make it more secure.

- Using a fence pole at eye level versus shoulder level. This worked the best, but he was constantly anxious and couldn't relax. As such, he spent the time dancing around and trying to untie himself. Not good.

- Tying him with a quick release and standing within reach, giving him a pop on the shoulder and a sharp "no!" whenever he started to bob his head or dance around. I don't like this method at all because it seems to do more harm than good. He stands, but it's not because he's learning the concept. He gets grumpy and then the entire lesson is shot because he's focused on that instead of the task.

- Exercising him before the lesson. He's a young guy and he has lots of energy, so I figured some walking and trotting around the big round pen would alleviate that and help him focus. Nope.

Would it be beneficial to teach him to ground tie first and then reintroduce tying to a post? Would cross-ties be a good middle step? Personally, I prefer cross ties to tying, but I know it's important to teach a horse to tie. I've heard of using an inner tube, but the methods described confuse me a little bit and I don't want to do it wrong. I've never encountered a horse with this particular issue before and I'm just a little unsure how to deal with it. Please keep in mind that this is a horse who doesn't mind ropes around his head. He LIKES things on his face and is happier than a pig in, well, sh--, with towels draped over his ears.

Any pointers for me?
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    07-31-2011, 02:53 PM
Try tying him down which means tie the rope lower than his head, with very little rope. Then walk away leave him tied for about an hour and let him think about it. Tying him down...if he goes down he will get back up and he won't hurt himself.

The rubber tube is a method I rarely use. But you can. Take a bike inner tube, don't cut the tube...but loop one end through his halter...the tie the other end with a bungie cord to the post....reef on it yourself first to make sure it is secure and tie him up and walk away.

The best lessons horses can learn is ones they teach themselves...they will only hurt or scare themselves once and they will never do it again.

Good luck....
    07-31-2011, 02:58 PM
Blocker Tie Ring. Buy one. There are different levels of hold, so since he does well with standing tied he shouldn't figure out how to get free, yet if he does panic it will safely give and release him.

Try tying him down which means tie the rope lower than his head, with very little rope. Then walk away leave him tied for about an hour and let him think about it. Tying him down...if he goes down he will get back up and he won't hurt himself.
This is a good way to cause damage to the neck. Pulling back, while always potentially injuring-inducing, is even worse when you don't "tie to the eye." It puts extra strain on the neck and such, and can have catastrophic results.
    07-31-2011, 03:11 PM
I definitely don't want to tie him down.

Those blocker tie rings... are there alternate ways to attach them, or so they have to be attached to a wooden post? Reason I ask, I don't own the place where I board my horse and the majority of the posts I use are metal. There is wood inside the barn, but I don't know if my BO would let me install something. I've been googling these Blocker rings and so far, the only pictures I can find are of them attached to wood. Is there a way to secure it temporarily, so I can move it around? Probably a silly question, heh.
    07-31-2011, 03:14 PM
They come with a clip, so any place you can use a climber's clip

(this sort of thing)

Should work. I suppose you could just wrap some chain around a metal post and clip to that.
    07-31-2011, 03:17 PM
Oh! I think that'll work really, really well! I'm going to get one of these and try it out. Thank you!
    07-31-2011, 03:20 PM

Never a silly question...I think your questions are valid.

Bubba ..respectfully...I have never had any injuries in 30 yrs and have used that technique on probably 1000 works for me and very effectively without harm to the horse. I choose a very old unique training method, that I have become comfortable with. I do tend to get alot of mismanaged horses and do not believe in high handed techniques or alot of aides. I want the horse to learn at their pace.

But I am a firm believer with horses there is 500+ different ways to train a horse...find one that is most comfortable to you and most effective for your horses.....any suggestions are just that suggestions only you know what youare most comfortable

Good luck with him
    07-31-2011, 03:25 PM
I really appreciate all the suggestions. This forum has been a huge help and I love reading all the different opinions. :)

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