Mare won't stand tied!

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Mare won't stand tied!

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    03-15-2011, 10:05 PM
Mare won't stand tied!

I am looking for advice for my sister who has an 8 year old quarter horse. She has owned her for a year and has ridden her for 4 years. My sister is getting frustrated because she does not stand tied. Her mare will sit down, flip over etc. to try to get away from whatever she is tied to. Please help! I want her to camp with me and my horse this summer!!
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    03-15-2011, 10:50 PM
She needs to learn to give to pressure better. Get her really soft frexing both ways and remember not to pull her head around but to apply some pressure and let her find the relief. Then you can get her leading with slack in the line and backing the same way. Horses that pull back don't usually lead very well and horses that lead well don't usually pull back. I have also used a REALLY long lead rope wrapped a couple of times around a post or rail and then I trigger the pulling back and let some rope slide. If the horse pulls and doesn't hit the end of the rope and get hurt then they may start to use thier brain and figure out it's easier to stand.
    03-15-2011, 10:52 PM
If that mare is freaking out that much when she is tied it is not a good idea to keep her tied! It's very dangerous and she could injure herself in countless ways. You can't just tie a horse somewhere and expect them to stay. It's like sitting in a classroom all day and told that you cannot talk or move. No child wants that. And young horses especially have a hard time standing. I've seen horses just stand without being tied and falling asleep in the middle of a busy arena while others have lessons. Then, with my own horse, he just can't stop doing stuff. He's either eating dirt, the rope, the wall, or whatever he can get his paws on.
But with being tied it's not only this bordom, it's not being able to get away from something. If the horse spooks or just doesn't like being tied, it can't get away, thusly making something so simple into a bigger problem.
A better thing is to start working with a horse without tying them. Take the horse for a walk, then stop and stand there for a while. (You can be riding or on the ground, either way works.) Go from a few seconds to a minute to a few minutes. You'll still be right there, and the horse can still get away so it's not as bad as being tied. Once that is done and she can stand there reliably for a few minutes then start on the ground maybe when you are grooming, and keep the horse standing there while you groom her. If she tries to move then make her go back. Once she stands reliebly while you are holding the rope and grooming her you can drape the rope over something. If she tries to move then move her back. Then finally when she's better at that you can start tying her up. If she keeps freaking out than she needs more work. Or maybe she even has too much energy and doesn't have somewhere to put it. If she's gone on a long trail ride or just being lunged than maybe she'll be calmer, too.
Good luck. ^^
    03-15-2011, 11:04 PM
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt    
You can't just tie a horse somewhere and expect them to stay. It's like sitting in a classroom all day and told that you cannot talk or move. No child wants that. ^^
Why can't I tie a horse and expect them to stay? I can tie any of my horses and they will stand all day. I have tied some of them for several hour while I moved cows or rode other horses and I most certainly expected them to stay tied. It's more like being sat in a classroom and told to stay in the classroom. Horses are not children and they need to be trained to be tied so that they can stay safe.
    03-15-2011, 11:30 PM
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Why can't I tie a horse and expect them to stay? I can tie any of my horses and they will stand all day. I have tied some of them for several hour while I moved cows or rode other horses and I most certainly expected them to stay tied. It's more like being sat in a classroom and told to stay in the classroom. Horses are not children and they need to be trained to be tied so that they can stay safe.
I whole heartedly agree.

And since they want to do alot with this horse, she needs to learn how to tie, period...and she can, given the right techniques.

She sounds to me that she may have a high fight/flight response, so you may have to also do some desensitization exercises to help her learn to "think" through things rather than react. As kevinshorses also suggested, you may want to teach her how to give to pressure better...I also have found that alot of panicky tyers also don't lead, or give to pressure well. I will teach the horse to give, and lead better, and then teach him how to ground tie; this way when he gets fidgity, you can put him back where you want him, or put him to work, so he gets the idea that standing there is the easier option. From ground tying I will start looping the lead over a fence, but not tying...if he moves about, you will just do what you did when you were ground tying him...put him back where you want him, or move his feet aggressively, and then put him back. I will spend alot of time just doing those things, and eventually the horse winds up being tied without actually realizing he's been tied. Change his mind frame, change the horse's attitude and reactions.

I highly recommend a blocker tie ring for this horse as well, once she is able to tie; If your mare can learn that when she panics, she won't be "cornered" further by the lead, she will eventually settle down, and those panic attacks will come less and less. The ground tie training can take a while depending on the horse, so if you don't feel you have time for that, get the tie ring, and learn how to use it...there are usually videos with them. Use the tie ring everywhere you want to tie, since they are easily moved.
    03-16-2011, 10:43 AM
I also expect every horse I own to tie and stand still whether it's for 2 minutes or 2 hours. Also agree that she needs to learn to yield to pressure. How is her behavior otherwise? I ask because I bought my hubby a mare and she was a complete doll other than being tied. Very solid on the ground and under saddle, great at ground tying. I found out later that she was always ground tied and never tied to a fixed spot. They just rode at home and she was never expected or asked to stand tied and totally flipped out the first time she was hard tied. Never the less, she ties great now.

I'm usually a take it slow and easy kind of girl, but I am bit more old school about how to fix this issue. Not standing tied is a huge no-no for me as it falls on the dangerous offense list, for horse, owner and those around. It can be a bad deal. Once at a show I was judging, a younger inexperienced couple had a young stud who wouldn't tie at the trailer, he broke off and bred 4 mares before he was caught and loaded back into the trailer. They were politely asked to leave the show grounds, but incurred some big time vet bills for bite wounds and abortion shots for the mares he got to. It was a really bad deal. Nothing like your mare, just an example of why it is on my dangerous list. Tying as a problem rarely arises here, but when it does it's gets nipped in the bud and fast.

There are a couple ways I go about it. A sturdy post freestanding in an open area (I have a telephone pole in one of our pastures that was cut down and is 6 ft in the ground in concrete) Then go to the local tire repair shop and get an old tractor tire inner tube, if it has holes it doesn't matter just as long as it is still an entire ring. (If you ask for a holey one they will usually just give it to you free) Put the tube around your post, ours is tacked on the sides with very long fence staples, just to keep it from going up or down. Then tie your horse to the inner tube. If she pulls back she will be basically fighting a giant rubber band that will give to some extent but not to the point of breaking where she could learn she can fight hard enough to get away like she could busting a rope. She will learn it's much easier to give in to the pressure and relax.

I also have one set up in my indoor arena on an 8 ft section of wall that is covered in rubber matting. This is where we teach our weanlings or those that have a strike reaction so they won't hurt themselves in the process.

Hope you get her straightened out and get to enjoy some camping/trail riding with her this summer! I see you are a hoosier too, after show season we spends our weekends at Brown County :)
    03-16-2011, 10:52 AM
I agree with Kevin, Mom2 and FQHs.. I expect a horse to tie for as long as I need them tied. And do so quietly.
    03-16-2011, 12:07 PM
I am another one expects my horses to stand tied for however long is necessary. Here is a picture of a horse we had that my husband rode on trail rides. She stood tied on many, many occasions as did my own red mare when we went primitive camping.

One thing you and your sister might try at home , in saying that I mean don't try to train/teach this on a camping outing or even a trail ride. Firstly, have in/on hand a sharp rope cutting knife for just in case the horse gets into major trouble. Secondly, with a halter and lead on the horse take a long lariat-type rope, put the loop of rope around the horse's heart girth then run the loose end up through the halter between it and the mare's under jowls then between the horse's front legs and tie it and the lead rope with a quick release knot to a very sturdy post. What will or should happen is when the horse feels the rope noose tighten when she acts up she hopefully will spring forward to loosen the noose, thus teaching herself to release the pressure of the rope.

ETA: That is not me and my husband in the first picture. They are friends of our we went on horse camping trips often. That is our Dodge Charger, trailer and Grey horse, Dot.
    03-16-2011, 01:39 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I have never had a problem tying my horse so it's hard to related. I suggested to her to just loop the lead rope over the she is tied but not really. If that makes any sense. I agree that she needs to work on giving to pressure because that is the concept of tying. It's just strange because her mare is good on the ground with leading and backing, and she is farely soft in her mouth. I have been on her once and she is not "flighty", but every horse has the potential to be at any given time.
    03-16-2011, 02:55 PM
Start here.


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