tips on teaching horse to tie? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-04-2009, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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tips on teaching horse to tie?

My TWH, Major, is a jumpy kind of horse. He is getting better, but while tied up he gets really scared. Every noise he hears he jumps and pulls back hard on the lead rope. Anytime I have him tied I stay right next to him to make sure he doesnt break his halter or lead rope and go running off. It has gotten extremely tight though. When he does jump, I pet him on the head and talk softly to him and take his halter and get him to take a step forward. He will blow then settle down till he hears another noise. Is there any tips that will help him be more calm while tied or is it just one of those things hes gonna have to have a lot of?
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 03:41 AM
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The above video is a a quick sample of what you can do with your horse to get him over his spookiness when being tied. It's a before and after (with loads of reps of approach and retreat in between....these mostly didn't cause the horse to pull back. he'd start to then I'd leave before he did and he'd just get better and better til you see the end result.)

I used a Blocker Tie Ring, 22 ft lead line, halter and a hoola hoop (it makes a rattling noise and just looks weird), some good shoes to go back and forth with.

The point is, this horse pulled back pretty hard at first and after a lot of repetitive approach and retreat with several "scary objects" he no longer pulls back no matter how hard I "try" to test him.

In the video clip, you'll see him pull back hard (to show that he did indeed pull back).....and then the end clip of my approaching him with the same scary thing but he doesn't pull back at all.

It took 3 days of 1 hour each day to get him to be relaxed about everything overall. LOTS of approach and I'd retreat before he pulled back (the details not in the video).....I did one side really well, then the other side was a piece of cake. The video only shows one side, there's a full version that shows the end result with both sides and two more scary objects....one of those aluminum UFOs flying over his head, running into his body and actually brushing past his ears....and not once did he pull back.....

The blocker tie ring works very well for pull back horses to give them a relief from "claustrophobia" from being tied and they don't break anything....you simply pull the lead back through the ring and repeat approach and retreat til he no longer feels the need to pull back. It doesn't teach the horse to pull back even tho it does give him a relief, it simply allows the horse to think his way through his fears and eventually he decides not to react and instead to think things over.

Once the horse learns not to pull back, you can keep using the ring or not. It's just a training tool.

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 04-05-2009 at 03:47 AM.
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 07:09 AM
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The Tie Blocker is a great device and I would also recommend it.

One thing I would not do that you mention, is to pet your horse when he jumps back or gets frighten. You are inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. Petting him at that moment is telling him that it's alright to be afraid. Wait until he settles down then pet him for the proper behavior. In this case you want to enforce the good behavior and ignore the wrong one.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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ty for the advice and video calamityjane. The horse in the video seemed to completly turn around with that method! Id love to see Major behave like that tied. Im going today to get the blocker tie ring!
ty for the advice iride. I never thought about me petting him reenforcing the behavior. I do it to comfort him, but I can certainly see how that might be teaching him that its ok to behave like that. Actually, anytime I try and comfort him I pet him on the forehead...ive probably been reinforcing the wrong behavior in other areas of training too, without knowing it. It does seem to put him at ease though...even with the farrier as long as I stand there and pet him on the forehead and talk to him he will stand perfectly still. When the farrier is there and im just standing there holding the lead rope, he wants to go sideways and snort and blow.
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 11:36 AM
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Petting him to comfort him is pretty common, Sandy. It is better to scold him for the bad behavior then pet him when he responds properly. I stand at my horse's head while being shod as well but correct him for bad behavior then praise him when he settles down and behaves.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 12:07 PM
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We have used blocker tie rings for many years. We have them for training the baby's we keep a set in the horse trailer for tying when we're camping, and we love them. I had an OTTB that we cured of pulling back in about an hour with the blocker tie.
I personally like going "booga booga booga" when you run up trying to get them to pull back


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France

Last edited by Vidaloco; 04-05-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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post #7 of 37 Old 04-05-2009, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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lol vida...I will try that. ty for the tip. iride now that im aware of it I will try and pet him at appropriate times....ty for the tip.
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-06-2009, 02:51 PM
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Teach him to ground tie. Honestly I have never understood why this isn't the first thing a horse is taught. You should be able to "park" your horse and go to the house for a cup of coffee and come back and they're in the same place. LOL.

I've got some pictures at home of my guy at a clinic with 11 other horses all working around him. I'm on the other side of the arena talking to a lady. He stood 'parked" for about 20 mins not moving a muscle. (such a good boy). It's doable at any age!!
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post #9 of 37 Old 04-06-2009, 03:00 PM
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I agree mom, I started teaching my youngins to ground tie a month or so ago. When I say whoa and drop the lead in front of her she thinks she is playing statue. She keeps her feet in the same place its really kinda cute


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
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post #10 of 37 Old 04-06-2009, 04:06 PM
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I've been working with Bo all winter with ground tying and he just isn't getting the idea. I've taught him to bow, to stand when mounting, to come to a whistle, but he can't seem to grasp the concept of ground tying (lol).

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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