Rearing When Tied.
I just got my first horse a couple of weeks ago. She is a 19 year old buckskin dunn mare. She is a great horse but when she is tied she often rears back. It's beginning to be a big problem. Does anyone have any suggestions on what can be done?
She hasn't been taught to give to pressure. She rears back when she tugs on the rope, and doesn't do what is necessary, giving to pressure. If you can teach her to give to that pressure, she will stand tied.
You can do this by throwing a rope around a post or tree, with her on the other end. This will mimic her being tied, but you will easily be able to release her if needed. Ask her to just stand, and then tug on the rope. When she takes a step forward, she will release the pressure on her own. Do this over and over and over. Pressure and release.
They do have these rings you can buy that are safety tie rings, I have used them before. I am personally not a fan, because they can teach a horse to pull back, but it may help you in this case.
Blocker Tie Ring - Hardware/Fasteners from SmartPak Equine
Is this worth a try even if it seems like the reason she pulls back because she gets scared, pulls her head up and then panics because she realizes she can't go any where?
Yes. Horses must learn to give to pressure otherwise how else are we going to be able to manage them? We can't manhandle 1200 lbs!
Search the forum for "won't stand tied" or "pulls back when tied" etc. There are a few threads about it, and there are varying opinions on how to solve the problem, but everyone agrees that the horse must learn to be tied.
Also, is she actually rearing or is she setting back and tossing her head up? If she is rearing when tied, that is very dangerous. Be sure to tie her high, you don't want her legs to get caught in the lead.
yes - this is absolutely worth trying if you want to correct the issue and help your horse. if she is getting nervous and panics when tied, the above method will ABSOLUTELY work. reward and praise for release to pressure. when she keeps pulling back, DO NOT YELL AT HER, but rather calmly keep asking her to move towards you and release rather than pull back. when she does step forward, make a HUGE fuss over her and praise her so she learns the desire and SAFE response is to move forward to give in to pressure.
ignoring this issue, or not correcting it can not only become a nuisance to deal with, but can be incredibly unsafe. should your horse become scared or startled or even just feel pressure when tied and rear, there is an increasing chance she will eventually flip over. if she's not in a safety halter, that alone can cause major damage and injury. even if she is, and she flips over, she risks a myriad of major issues, ranging from broken withers, back, face/skull, nerve damage, and even biting off her tongue on impact (yes, i know a horse that did this).
please work with your horse on this issue, and if you are unsure, please employ the help of a professional as rearing is no small matter.
She's definitely rearing. When I got her I was just told not to tie her when I wormed her. But she's reared back several times in the last couple of weeks. Once she broke her lead and fell over on her back and another time she got her feet stuck in the fence near where she was tied.
I'll have to look for the other threads on the forum.
I'll work with her using pressure and release, but, once she's begun rearing I cant get the rope untied because she pulls back on it until it breaks.
Well, see she has figured out if she pulls long enough, hard enough, she'll get free. That's a problem. Read the other threads; if you can't find them, post back and I'll look for them.
Since she is rearing, no matter what technique you use to train her to be tied, you are going to have to be extremely diligent in ensuring there is nothing there (like fences) that she can get hung up on. You don't want to make the tying a terrifying thing, but the tie needs to be more stubborn and stronger than she is.
I'd also be very observant when working with her. Rearing may be her way of dealing with things that are scarey, or when she doesn't understand something, or disrespect, or pain. No matter which, you need to deal with the rearing as well as the tying. You don't want her to rear at any time when you are with her or on her. Dangerous stuff.
There is no correlation between a horse being tied and being handled. The reason is that when it's with a handler it knows it can escape that hidden enemy that wants to eat it. When tied the horse knows it is vulnerable to attack. What we may think as safe for a horse may be quite the opposite in his mind. See if your horse will stand when you drop the lead rope. Often when a horse knows it can flee, it will remain.
Does she react that way when she is tied for everything you do with her?
I think you can teach her to feel safe being tied if you start from scratch as if she is a filly just learning everything brand new. It sounds like she equates being tied with something negative, so she needs to be literally re-programmed to learn that it's ok. She has to trust you and know that you will help her relearn and not allow her to be harmed when tied. It may take months or years but if you begin from scratch and make the experience entirely positive, enjoyable and rewarding, she stands a chance of getting over it.
I would start by always having a second person hold her lead if possible when grooming, saddling, trimming, etc. If that isn't possible for whatever you're doing with her, then hold the lead yourself in your hand and make sure nothing you do when working with her involves her being tied.
Then, when you have your tying lessons, that is a completely separate and very reward experience which has nothing to do with anything else. Simply don't tie the rope but wrap it (not high up and give a good 2 feet of rope). Use a soft nylon halter, not a rope halter, and cotton lead rope. Keeping the rope wrapped around once but not tied so she can always choose to pull back, stay next to her and keep your hand on the lead rope and give her a treat and praise her for standing. If you can make this a daily lesson, just hang out and do this for a few minutes at first, then undo the rope and walk her around for a minute, lead her back to the area to "tie" and give her a treat and gobs of dramatic praise, then make your tying lessons a little longer each time. Stay next to her and to the rope. When she is calm and you think you can take a step back and she won't panic, take one step back. Baby steps. Eventually she'll equate the experience in her mind with a very positive and enjoyable experience. If you think of your 19 year old mare as a small filly inside that big body who needs your comfort and security with these lessons, that may help.
As she grows more comfortable and looks forward to her tying experience, in time I'm sure you can start incorporating it into more routine work - if she pulls back for any reason after she has learned to be comfortable and trust, I would respect whatever her reasons are and find out what is happening and look for a better solution.
Just some ideas which I hope are helpful.
Maybe you need to set up a "patience pole." I know that is a term Clinton Anderson uses, but we actually have been using a pole to teach a horse to stand tied for many, many years. It lets you tie high so their legs won't get tangled - we had one horse that was so bad we had to tie him to a tree branch way up over his head. He pitched a fit, of course, but the branch, though solid and stout, had enough give in it that it kept him from hurting himself. He wound up just running around in circles until he gave up.
The tie ring is also a good method to use, and can also be used in conjunction with the pole. We run a rope around the horse's belly and up through their halter ring, through the tie ring and stand back to watch the show while we hold the rope. The horse will pull back - we release the rope (or ease up on it) after they've given themselves a bit of a squeeze - it's an art - you don't want to let the belly rope squeeze tightly and panic them. It takes time, but they'll get the idea.
A last resort we used for hubby's gelding was a "be nice" halter. He would stand tied for hours, then suddenly blow up and rear back for no discernable reason, other than maybe being bored. The halter had knobs on the inside where it ran behind his ears - when he pulled back, it hurt. He didn't do it but once after we used that halter. And no, he didn't hurt himself - his lead rope was tied to an innertube. We wanted the "be nice" halter to get his attention, not cause an injury.
Most of all, while using ANY of these methods, the main thing to remember is DON'T LEAVE THE HORSE UNATTENDED WHILE TIED.
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