Brief history of the horse. Firefly is about 3 (give or take a month or two) and Arab of Egyption and Polish breeding. Her breeder was overwhelmed with too many horses and this one got forgotten. Late last July she was tricked into a stall using cattle panels to get her away from the broodmare band where she had lived her whole life - untouched by human hands. The breeder spent two weeks with her stalled to halter break her and turned her back out with the mare band.
Two weeks later, she convinces me that the filly NEEDS a family and bullies me into taking her home. While she loaded nicely into the two horse trailer, being tied in the trailer was the FIRST time she had ever been tied. We then drove down I-5 in Seattle rush hour traffic for four hours to get home. She left dents on the sides of the trailer. She did ok as long as I didn't go faster than 40mph - so we cruised closer to 35mph for almost 150 miles. That was a LONG drive.
Due to my schedule, she got basically ignored for the next six months. I would take her out, tie her to half a cross tie near my gelding while I was saddleing up and then pony her out on trail, but that was the total of everythign she got until late Jan when we started actually having time to do anything with her.
Now, I don't like cross ties, they terrrify me. I have known someone who died when they were grooming a broke to death horse in cross ties when he paniced. She was found about six hours later... quite dead. Yeah, I don't use cross ties and won't use them.
In the barn, there are three cross tie stations and I have had a tendancy to just hook her to one side as we work on taming and the start of training. This was a bad mistake and she has learned that the stretchy cross tie that is several feet long gives her lots of room to be a brat - including bucking and rearing if I walk away. That HAS to stop NOW. I know it is my fault, but it still has to stop.
So the day before yesterday when I was trying to brush out her tail - for the first time I might mention, she started being a butt in the barn. So I took her outside where there is a steel hitching bar. It took me three tries to get her short tied as she kept tossing herself backwards with her head up. GRRRRR. So I got her nicely short tied and walked off while the royal freakout happened behind me.
Three times I went back, tightened up her line (MY hores ground ties so I don't actually tie very often and am out of practice), and walked away as she fought backwards against the rope.
I left her there for about two hours while my horse was played with by both my daughter and I. She was quite well behaved when she got to go back to her paddock.
I figure that everytime we go out, she is going to spend at least an hour, two or three preferably, tied to the rail for at least the next couple months. Then, when she is standing quietly, she gets some light training - suitable for her age and ability - mostly liberity work in the round pen.
Now, this is the old 'cowboy' way that I was taught on how to deal with a horse who doesn't want to stand nicely tied. It is one of the few 'cowboy' methods I use in my training. Anyonw have any other suggestions that might work? Everyone at the stable is like "yup, she needs to just spend time on the hitching rail".