Tying and Crosstie misbehavior - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By GamingGrrl
  • 2 Post By Saddlebag
  • 1 Post By Delfina
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Tying and Crosstie misbehavior

Ok, so dumb question - but new problem I seem to not be dealing with the right way, since it is continuing. I know the problems requires immediate correction and comes from a lack of respect.
My horse has recently not been tying well. He moves all around while tied. If I put him in the cross ties, since he can't go in any direction other than up - he has begun going Up. The cross tie behavior comes from the fact that he is nervous being in his stall (he is free roam pasture horse with no door on his stall to come and go as he pleases).
The tying while tacking problem comes from him being rude. I can tell what what I have been doing, but since that has not been working, please just tell me how you would handle this situation. I have no problem popping him with the crop. My riding instructor gets frustrated with me becuase, some people horse dicipline comes so natural to, to me it does NOT.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 06:32 PM
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For the tying issue at least, I would suggest finding something sturdy to tie him to and letting him work it out himself. My horse used to be terrible at tying but I would leave him tied for a few hours (in a safe environment, tied securely) and head off to clean the paddock, ect. Within a few sessions of this he was standing still and standing quietly.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 06:45 PM
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When your horse is stalled, tied or cross-tied he's feeling trapped. We know that he is safe from predators but he doesn't know that. In the open he relies on a fast sprint to run from the enemy. Stalling him, or tying him takes that away from him. It has nothing to do with respect but is fear motivated. If you have a round pen or paddock teach him to remain on one spot. No halter or lead. Fill a pocket with treats. Stand in front of him a little to one side and about 4' from his head. Hold one hand up like a stop sign and say "stand". Remain standing still and if he does for about 10 seconds pop a treat in his mouth. Again the stop signal and command and nowplace your left hand on his neck and slide it along his body and if he hasn't moved, turn away and walk to the first position and treat him. Again with the signal and command and walk all the way around him. Be sure to keep on hand on him. If he moves, go back and start again. He'll catch on if you are patient. You will gradually move away from him and circle, treating each time you get to his head. Before long you'll be able to make a circle 30' out. You are teaching him that when he's patient a reward will follow. Do the entire exercise the next day with his halter on and the lead rope over his neck in front of the withers. Then with the lead rope hanging to the ground. If you normally groom and saddle in the barn aisle, don't tie him but do as you did out side. Let his rope drop or drape it over his neck. Groom him as you normally do and give him a treat for standing still, if he does. My horses are never tied because I learned a long time ago that when they have the option to leave, they will stay. Now your horse knows he can escape a predator and will be more relaxed.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Great! I will try both! Thank you.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CopperPony View Post
My horse has recently not been tying well. He moves all around while tied.
Not a dumb question at all. Why do you say you know it comes from 'lack of respect' & being 'rude' & what does that mean to you? You say 'recently'. Does this mean he's always been good about standing tied before, or perhaps he's never learned? Why does he need to be x-tied? Have you had him long? If so, what's changed? What's happened/been happening lately? Management/feeding/environment changes? Working out why he's doing this will help you decide how best to handle it.

The cross tie behavior comes from the fact that he is nervous being in his stall
So lack of respect means lack of trust? How have you gone about trying to desensitise him to the stable? Remember, you need to prove the stable is a Nice Place to be. Horses learn by association, so if you try to force the issue too much for them, their association will be with more anxiety, further confirming their fear. So ensuring you work towards the goal gradually & positively enough to keep the lessons at a low stress level will help him gain confidence in what you're asking.

Reminds me of my spider phobia, that I've been working to get better with... I can now comfortably put my face near the glass of a tarrantula case(with very thick glass!), but I'm pretty sure I'd regress a lot if someone shoved a huntsman(probably even a small house spider) in my face!

So... it sounds like The Problem can be broken down into 4 parts you can work on, which I think separating them first will make it easier for him to learn. Teaching him to be confident & comfortable in the stall, teaching him to be confident & relaxed when tied and teaching him to be comfortable with tacking up(is he possibly trying to tell you something hurts??) & to stand still & not fidget when you ask.

As all of these 'parts' sound to have at least an element of fear behind them, so teaching them separately before combining will be far less likely to overface him & cause him to blow a fuse or shut down - which will also stop him thinking & learning. So, working in an area he's perfectly comfortable in - such as his paddock, you could teach him to stand still when asked, such as Saddlebag describes, and get him comfortable being saddled. So long as there's a good rail or appropriate tree branch handy, you can teach him to tie there too. Working separately - & gradually - on getting him comfortable in different surrounds, including his stable should also build his trust & confidence in you generally, so other stuff becomes easier too.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, the cross tie incident was definatly a fear/panic induced reaction. He has been taught to cross tie and tie and has done so without problem for a long time (out in the open). The front tie problem seems to have been slowly building up over time - I should have nipped it before it actually became a problem. I have always tied him to a post out in the open in the past. He doesn't mind it, He just gets bored/ready to go and has a problem just staying still - slowly building to now he just moves all around on me (but not bumping in to me - he knows thats a no no). I had wanted to be able to tack up in his stall, but I may just do what he is comfortable with and keep doing it out in the open, and deal with his new tying issues out there instead of adding the fear thing to it. He doesn't mind being in his stall - as long as he is not confined, and he can get out when he wants to. Thanks for your opinions. Like I said, I don't always know when to punish, when to be patient, when to let it go - with horses. I tend to be on the soft side, and that gets me in trouble, but I don't like to punish when it is not a mis-behavior. Being a parent comes so easy, I always know what to do - Horesy behavior remains a constant mystery to me - even though I have had horses always. Thanks!!!!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 08:27 PM
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I stuck my horse in the crossties and went about cleaning stalls. The second he started dancing or pawing, I flung a rubber curry at him. Never actually hit him with it (I can't throw worth beans) but rubber curries flying past his head convinced him that dancing around and pawing was a really BAD idea.

He tried dancing in place so I sent a curry sliding under the middle of him, let me tell you.... horse can tap dance! Boy did he stop dancing around in place too!
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-12-2013, 09:07 PM
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This is the blocker tie ring. They're good for that. You can also just take your lead and wrap it around a post and have the same concept going on. This process does take the fear and claustrophobia out of it for most horses.
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