Training a Horse To Cross Ties
Alrighty, so my horse McGuinty was never put on cross ties (Previous owner did not believe in them). When I put McGuinty on cross ties he moves foreward, and sways back and forth . Anyone have any tricks to help me train him to stand still? Thanks guys :)
You can teach a horse to stay in much the same way you teach a dog. Give them a cue, step back. If they move, put them back, cue, step back, praise. Really easy.
If the horse may panic at two ties, I taught my filly to crosstie by tying to one tree/post, and then wrapping another tie to another post. When she panicked, I could either hold and let her panic or release her depending on what happened.
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I did this a number of years ago with a few yearlings. I found it easier to put them on the cross ties and start to brush them. If they got weird I would be right there to calm them. It was also fairly easy to correct them for being shady actors. The step to far forward, gently ask them to step back. They start to pull back just gently ask them to step forward and reward. I also found it good to have the lead rope just looped over their neck but still attached to the halter. It gave me an extra few feet if I was at their belly and they started to mis-behave.
I did not make a big deal of it and they never gave me trouble. Don't act like its a big deal just act like never occurred to you that they might do anything other than stand in the cross ties. They all get to the point where they are just placed on the cross ties and learn nothing bad happens. It was part of our daily routine and nothing exciting ever happened. That being said these horses never had the opportunity to misbehave on the cross ties. If your horse has poor cross tie behavior it can be difficult to fix.
I had an arabian that would flip herself and turn herself around in the cross ties. She would do it quickly, like go to the tack room to grab a missing blanket quick. That was scary because she would sometimes rear up and flip herself over that way. She never did it when you were near her, only if your back was turned. If your mare has an issue like that I would say short sessions, never ever leave her unattended. It also may be easier to start by tying her with one and then put the second on when she is comfortable standing in the cross tie area. I never was able to fix the arabians behavior because I could never catch her in the act. I would either encounter her getting up off the ground or find her facing the opposite direction then we started. I could not figure out what triggered the behavior.
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