Oy vei - tying?
 
 

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Oy vei - tying?

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  • Horse got rope stuck on head and freaked out
  • Stifle sore from standing tied for hours

 
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    05-31-2010, 08:12 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Oy vei - tying?

Ironic that we just had a couple threads about this and out of nowhere, I discover my filly suddenly has a tying issue.

I've never experienced this and wondering if anyone else had - up until now, Jynx has been fine tying. On one occasion she tried to kick me (last year), I hollered and walloped her, she freaked and hauled back but one good slap on her butt made her jump back forward and that's pretty much the only issue we'd ever had.

Since we've come to Birds Hill, my tally is now at SIX times now (in 2 weeks) that she has hit the end of her line, fought like she was a wild Mustang and NOT gotten loose.

1st - Tied in the arena to a piece of baling twine through a metal loop, she ducked her head down, got the rope over her ears and freaked out. I wasn't there, Shay-la was and she stopped fighting and jumped forward before it broke.

2nd to 4th - All three of these were during her bath last week. The first one I hollered and walloped her on the butt to make her stop fighting, but the next two times I just let her fight it out since it's a MASSIVE post sunk a good ten feet down and there was ZERO chance of her breaking it. She almost sits, whips her head back and forth violently and then finally jumps forward.

5th - A few days ago, again in the arena. I don't even remember why now but same thing - hauls back, squeals, almost sits as she violently twists her head and then jumps back forward when I holler.

6th - Today - Eve spooked and made a racket and JYNX STARTED FIGHTING. Same as the last few - a few good hauls and violent head twists before she jumped forward and stood quietly.

Should I be DOING anything about this? Is she going to eventually realize it's futile? I'm terrified she's going to snap one of the arena bolts one of these days and learn she can get free. Has anyone ever had a horse fight THIS much without learning it was pointless?

I swear, I'm wondering if I shouldn't tie her to the bath post (the only 110% guaranteed no getting loose spot) and just delibrately spook her with tarps and crap until she learns it's pointless.

And on that note, does anyone have a knot that DOESN'T TIGHTEN? This quick release crap is GARBAGE. I've tried two knots, and both of them result in me prying it loose with a hoof pick. I think smrobs posted a link to a bowline knot?

Any advice would be great - I've never had an issue with a horse hauling back past the FIRST time before.
     
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    05-31-2010, 08:19 PM
  #2
Foal
I have sort of the same problem, though mine started from an incident with another horse last year and has slowly progressed. A winter off due to back pain (mine) prevented me from working with my mare so I'll be watching this thread

What I HAVE been doing with some success is not tying the lead, but looping it around the hitching post several times and working with her. Then when she pulls there's enough time to catch the lead and stop her from running away like she wants to do. Then I lower her head when I return her to the post to try to calm her down.

It's kind of working... blahhhh.
     
    05-31-2010, 08:25 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Let me tell you, I am a strong girl and when that little witch blows, I ain't going to have any skin left if I try to hang on! I don't think whatsoever that I could hold her during one of her fits - today when Eve spooked her, she actually slammed me against the wall first when she blew. Her little brain crashes, and she just forgets everything - it's a fullblown 110% frantic panic attack to get loose before she hears me hollering at her and then she JUMPS forward and stands there looking at me like nothing happened.

I'm pretty sure the only reason she hasn't broken free at this point is because she fears my "angry-voice" more then she does whatever she figures is out to get her. We've worked relentlessly on my brief growl meaning "You better take at least half a step forward if you don't wanna be sorry" so that's been helpful but I'd like to try to find the source of this.


     
    05-31-2010, 08:38 PM
  #4
Trained
I'd say just keep doing what you are doing...if she's just reacting from the other 'things' going on around her, the only way she's going to 'figure it out' is by just finding out that freaking out isn't going to get her anywhere, but being calm will. I would try the neck rope thing, and maybe affix an inner tube to the tie rail. As soon as she stops fighting, I would calmly untie her, and take her for a brief walk, then tie her back up and start over. Maybe one of those blocker tie rings would help? Not sure, I've never used them...Lol!!!

I don't like to do it that way, but if she is fine ground tied, and hasn't had an issue til now, letting her sort it out for herself may be the only thing you can do. Just make sure the area she is in has nothing she can get caught on, and always make sure she is tied high enough so that she can't get the lead rope caught on her legs, or over her head. I don't recommend trying to hang onto a lead rope of a horse that's in that flight mode, like she is; you could wind up getting more injured than she does.
     
    05-31-2010, 08:51 PM
  #5
Trained
Latte has done it I would say 8+ times. Though, due to some unfortunate circumstances, she did get loose once or twice in the beggining.

Whats working for us at the moment is tying her up high - Like higher than her wither. Also tying her short - Maybe 3/4 a metre rope at a max. She hasn't pulled back since i've found the tree where I can actually tie like this.

I guess I will only know with time wether she will test it. When they are tied high they can't get a purchase to really fight it.
     
    05-31-2010, 09:09 PM
  #6
Weanling
I would do what you suggested. Tie her up and either keep spooking her until she stops pulling or tie her and leave her there for a long time. Once she stands tied for a long time and is calm then I would let her go. Part of her problem may be that she is losing patience with standing. If she has only been tied for a certain amount of time and not left for a longer period of time she may figure that she is done so acts up. (May not be the reason but it is possible)

If you leave her for a long time (Like 1-3 hrs or so) and just let her fight it out over and over again then she will eventually learn not to pull as it doesn't get her anywhere. Make sure though that she is in a shaded area or that you give her water in a calmer moment.

Here is a link to how to make a bowline knot. It is a fantastic knot that is easy to untie. Even if it gets tight you can always losten it off by pulling the loop that goes around the rope heading to the horse. (in the diagram the loop in question is at the top around what is going towards the top of the page)

The Bowline
     
    05-31-2010, 10:45 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Thanks guys!

For the most part, she ties fantastic. She stands quietly, she's past her fidget stage, and heck, the day her stifle locked she'd been standing tied for a solid 30 minutes while we dealt with some chaos so I wasn't even near her. She cocked a leg and fell asleep! (Part of the reason I'm suspecting her stifle locked when Zierra bit her afterwards and made her spin away).

She doesn't blow over "nothing", it's always "something". So it's never random, which makes it easier. I'm confident I could leave her tied for 5+ hours and she wouldn't blow unless a bird pecked her hoof or someone threw a soccer ball at her head. But when she does blow, it's just so ugly and extreme. Also, as soon as she's done, she goes RIGHT back to quietly sleeping with a cocked leg. There's no shaking or nervousness, she just blows, fights like hell, and then promptly jumps forward, blinks at me and goes back to friggin sleep!

I think I'm just going to learn how to tie a better knot and let her be stupid. Eventually she's got to learn right? I'm just terrified she's going to break one of the stupid arena things (some horse broke TWO last week), and I have NOWHERE else to tie her except the bathing post which is a mud pit.

I think I might just try doing some gentle "tarp work" with her tied to the bathing post - let her hit the end doing something spooky, then remove the pressure and let her realize she's ok. Not delibrately terrify her or anything, but make her spook and then step back and let her figure it out.
     
    05-31-2010, 10:53 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj    
1st - Tied in the arena to a piece of baling twine through a metal loop, she ducked her head down, got the rope over her ears and freaked out. ......All three of these were during her bath last week. The first one I hollered and walloped her on the butt to make her stop fighting, but the next two times I just let her fight it out ....She almost sits, whips her head back and forth violently and then finally jumps forward.


Horses, being prey animals evolved to escape on fast legs, are naturally afraid of being trapped. Perhaps she actually did tie well in the previous environment, but horses don't generalise well, so she doesn't *know* it's OK here. But sounds like at least part of the problem is that she hasn't been desensitised to the pressure of the rope in different ways effectively, perhaps hasn't learned to yield well in different ways, and she is afraid & panics at your punishment. In short, I wouldn't be tying her solid until I'd got her over all that. It is dangerous to allow a horse to fight it out, even if they are tied to something unbreakable - they can do serious damage to their neck & spine, aside from the mental damage & further lack of trust in you & these situations it is harbouring.

She is fighting because she is panicking, not because she's trying to annoy you or some such, so punishing this is only making it worse - confirming to her she's in a dangerous situation. If she's not confident about the whole bathing routine, tying her up, forcing her into it & then punishing her for reacting badly has only further strengthened her attitude about bathing too.

IMO it's far better to get her comfortable & *confident* with stuff rather than just trying to force them into it. I'd be desensitising her *gradually* to things, using 'approach & retreat' tactics instead. If you go so far as causing her to react & panic, take this as a sign you've gone too far, back off & progress more gradually. As she has already learned these things(& you) are scary now, I'd expect to have to go extra slowly & considerately to begin with at least, in order to gain her trust in you & the situations. You can teach 'old dogs' but it takes longer & more consideration to 'disprove' previous 'training' first.


Quote:
Should I be DOING anything about this? Is she going to eventually realize it's futile? I'm terrified she's going to snap one of the arena bolts one of these days and learn she can get free. Has anyone ever had a horse fight THIS much without learning it was pointless?


Like I mentioned, it is natural, instinctive for them & certainly not something they will always 'just' learn without being taught. It's not pointless to her, it's survival. What is amazing IMO is that an animal like a horse can learn to do this so apparently easily in most instances, given the right approach.

Quote:
I swear, I'm wondering if I shouldn't tie her to the bath post (the only 110% guaranteed no getting loose spot) and just delibrately spook her with tarps and crap until she learns it's pointless.
'Sink or swim' type training *might* work, without doing any physical damage to her. If it works, it is through 'breaking her spirit' - teaching her that she's in a hopeless situation. If you take this line, it will further confirm her attitude towards you, rub off in other areas. It is often the case that you have to keep reinforcing this lesson regularly to her, or else she is in danger of getting 'hopeful' again & therefore attempting to escape the situation. Frequently tho, attempting 'sink or swim', aka 'breaking the spirit' tactics, depending on the horse's personality & strength of character, not to mention the skill of the trainer, will lead to an 'untrainable' 'rogue' horse.

I personally don't like the idea of this(as you've no doubt gathered already). I am into horses because I love the animals, and respect them for what they are. As such, I think learning what they are(as in behaviourally, mentally) and being considerate of this, learning to teach them in a respectful manner is the way to go, as well, I believe as being the most effective method. I want my horses to learn to be a friend and partner, not slave.

I too recommend a method such as Boulder suggests.
The whole point is to set up the situation so that you *don't* push/trap her into full blown panic & *don't* fight with her, so skin on your hands & strength doesn't come into it. Just about any horse is strong enough to win a battle of strength with just about any human, so set it up so there's no need of battles.

If you don't have an appropriate strong, round rail, there are gadgets such as the 'Blocker Tie Ring' and 'The Clip' that you can use to the same effect(I always use these & would never tie firm to a trailer BTW). The Blocker site has a good description of how & why this works too.
Using a long lead & a couple of wraps(more to create more 'firmness', as her training progresses) around the rail will *safely* 'tie' her but without preventing her from moving her feet & creating some slack. Very basically, you hold the loose end of the rope while you're training/desensitising her & *allow* it to slide when she feels the need to reef backwards. But she is not trapped, can back away, and when she calms, you just reel her in & repeat the process until she stands confidently without pulling.
     
    06-03-2010, 05:12 PM
  #9
Foal
I wrote a pretty long post on this for another thread about tying to an inner tube. My mare will/would pull and pull like you describe, but when she leapt forward she could also get wrapped in the rope (bad), or go over the hitching rail (very bad). At one point she actually had the rope cinched over her nose and around both front feet (very, very bad).

Tie high.
Tie short (less than arm length).
Use a neck or body rope (prior thread on making a neck rope)

Rather than do the "hard tie and scare her till she quiets" you might want to consider hobbles or a front leg strap. It will keep her standing still until she had time to think.
     
    06-03-2010, 06:11 PM
  #10
Trained
Canyon Cowboy, I just want to say Wow! What a spotty face! Would love to see the rest of your horse

Oh yeah, and I too agree the inner tube can be helpful. I wouldn't use it without some of the prior preparation I mentioned, and I don't think it prepares a horse well for actually being tied firm - I know of a lot of horses who 'always have to' be tied to inner tubes, cos they 'can't tie firm'. But I think it's a good safety precaution for tying horses before you're sure they're ready for being tied conventionally.
     

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