New to horses? Please read! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Minnesota
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Post New to horses? Please read!

I am new myself to actually owning a horse. I've been riding nearly my whole life and came across this wonderful horse that my cousin was giving away and ended up getting her, along with her sister. This thread isn't going to be much about wanting to know something, but to inform you on something that could happen to you.

It started off by taking my girl out of the pasture and tying her to a hitching post to eat the long grass while I braided her hair. I gave her a little bit too much slack (as you will soon realize when reading the rest) so she could get a wider range to eat. But when one of my peacock called and jumped off it's perch she spooked and I backed away. She walked towards me and stepped over the lead rope and backed up causing it to wrap her leg up. She instantly panicked. She ended up pulling out the old rotted hitching post and running through the people walking door into the barn trying to get to her stall, jamming herself between the tractor and a medal rack. Falling when the hitching post hit the door because it didn't fit through it. I was lucky enough that this horse trusted me and allowed me to hold her in place while someone cut the rope and unwrapped her leg.

It was the most terrifying thing and I nearly hyperventilated. But after having a vet come out I was told it was just a major case of rope burn and I have been giving it medicine and she is making a full recovery and still the happy girl she was a minute before. I started researching this and I found that this has happened to many, MANY people that I would care to mention. So it gave me the idea to share my story in the hopes that someone will learn from this. So I please ask that you only give enough slack in the rope for your horse to put their head down. I was lucky enough that the post gave. If it didn't I might not have her anymore.

I hope you read this and I hope you store it in your mind in case you ever think of giving your horse more slack. You never know if this will happen to you!
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Last edited by jewelerin74; 07-18-2013 at 01:40 PM. Reason: run-on sentences
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 02:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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If you are going to let them graze, you should either hobble them or teach them to ground tie. When tying them up, you should use a hay bag or manger.

Accidents do happen. I think so more with new owners due to lack of knowledge. We had an instance when we were new to horses. My wife tied her horse up but didn't leave an excess amount of slack in the rope. It was too much though. Her horse got the rope wrapped around his neck, panicked, and pulled back. He almost choked himself. The knot where he was tied became too tight to be undone. The only thing that saved him was the romovable throat latch on his halter.

Another thing you can do is teach your horse not to panick when their leg gets caught up with something like a rope or fence wire. I've seen where the horse can even be lead around with a rope attached to their hoof.
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post #3 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 03:30 PM
Green Broke
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First thing is. You never let a horse have a long enough rope to get it's head down when it is tied. EVER.

I've known of horses that ended up with snapped necks, broken legs because someone left a rope tied too long. They get rope around leg, can't get head up, freak out and fall over. Good way to end up having to call the knacker man.

And also known of horses that pulled board, gate or whatever they were tied to loose with such force it hit them in head and killed them, as in the police horse tied to a iron grate.

I don't know where you got the idea that is what you should tie it like, but you are wrong.

And secondly, horse is learning that it is running show when it is allowed to eat while you are grooming or tacking up.

Stop this completely. Horse only needs enough room to stand comfortably, which is about 2 feet, give or take.
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alberta
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How scary! I'm glad she will be ok, that really could have ended much worse!

There's really no reason you should ever need to tie a horse long enough to reach the ground. If you are high-lining out on a trail somewhere, there is that, but that is a totally different thing. If a horse needs to eat while tied, you can hang a bucket or a hay bag, or hold the lead rope as they eat off the ground. That's one of those things where things can be fine for a while but then go wrong SO quickly, as you've now seen.

That's another thing you will learn as you go, you kind of have to look at everything you are doing with your horse, and take it all in and imagine what might go wrong, and then prevent it. It comes with experience though. Things like making sure the stall door or trailer door is swung wide open, not just partway. A horse may panic if it goes to go through something and catches their hip or if it swings back into them as they're walking by. Tying them long or too low or not using a quick release knot is the same. Someone might do it once and end up with a dead horse, others may do it for years before they ever have a problem.

It takes a while to really get to know horses and what and what not to do around them. My non horsey boyfriend came with me to a show once, and we had the drop down windows on the slant load trailer open and were offering the horses water before we left to head home. My mare had her head out her window and was slobbering water all over the place after taking a sip and my boyfriend thought it would be funny to put his hand in the bucket and flick the water drops on her face, and not being a horse person, he didn't see anything wrong with this. I managed to walk around the trailer just as he did it, and my mare threw her head up in surprise, absolutely nailing her face on the top of the trailer window. Thank god she just lost a bit of hair and wasn't cut, but man did I see RED, and my boyfriend sure got an earful about it! But having not really been around horses much, he just wasn't aware of how sensitive and how quick they can react to small things, but it just takes time to learn things like that.

Sh*t happens for sure, especially with horses, but as long as you are learning from the mistakes and keep trying and moving forward, that is the best anyone can do. Everyone makes mistakes, whether they'd like to admit it or not

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!

Last edited by albertaeventer; 07-19-2013 at 03:16 PM.
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post #5 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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"give them enough rope to hang their self" there is more then one meaning to the phrase. :) Good lesson I am glad you were able to learn it and not have a permit problem.
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 03:37 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Georgia
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See I was going to suggest the opposite, find a safe place like a round pen and leave the halter and lead on the horse and let it figure out that it is ok to step on it. All my horse have learned that if their heads won't come up, step back off the rope. My horse has learned that if he is tangled, he has to wait for me to come get him.
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post #7 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 04:25 PM
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Location: Michigan
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We let my horse out in a round pen dragging his lead so he can step on it, and learn its no big deal.

Glad she's okay :)
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post #8 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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1) Always tie your horses "short".

2) Always do ground work with your horses to desensitize them to things like ropes around their legs so they learn not to panic when things go awry.

Glad you are your horse are okay. Hard lesson learned.

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post #9 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 06:11 PM
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We let horse walk around with a bit of baler twine on the headcollar (halter) that they can tread on and trail rope around their legs so they get used to the feel of it but I still wouldn't tie a horse with anything so long it could reach the ground, get it wrapped around its neck or legs because in general horses are stupid and will let you down when you least expect them too
There is no need for a horse to be able to wander around when its tied no matter how well trained it is so keep ropes short and ignore anyone who says otherwise!!!
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post #10 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 06:32 PM
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Thankful to hear your situation did not turn out worst than it did. That something that I think a lot of horse owners and riders forget. A horse is a hot blooded animal who is always on guard and a bad situation can change SO QUICKLY and turn into a disaster. Horse safety precautions should be kept at all times, no matter how trainer the horse in question is.
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horse & rider , horse advice , horse safety , too much slack , tying up a horse

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