MAJOR tying problem. Please help
There are a lot of threads on this subject, I know. I have read over them but still haven't found an answer to this problem with Drifter.
Weirdly, for the most part he will stand perfect while tied all day long. He steps back, his rope halter pulls on his poll, he walks forward like he is supposed to.
But every once in a while, he will pull back HARD. Like losing all sense of self-preservation, blind panic hard. I once had him do this at a show, and since his rope halter never broke, he ended up pulling just enough slack out to be able to flip himself upside down still tied to the trailer. The halter ended up wrapped around his mouth and upper face and I had to cut him loose with a pocket knife. We worked a LOT on releasing to poll pressure after that, and I havent had a lot of trouble with him. No freak outs since that day (happened the end of Juneish) until just this afternoon.
We went on a short ride, everything was fine. I had finished picking his hooves and was about to untie him to turn it out when he decided to just lose his mind. He was tied to the fence (solid, it didnt break) in what I would describe as a "walk in stall" area. Each section has iron bars to divide it from the next section. While still remaining tied to the fence he managed to flip himself over the stall divider and break it. It was probably about a 2 minute thing, but it felt like an eternity. I thought he has broken his neck. He ended up half under the fence to the pasture and calmed down enough for me to once again have to cut him loose. The rope halter did not break. It did however give him a nasty rope burn next to his eye :/
He broke tack CONSTANTLY with his previous owner. He would pull back while she was leading him and run backwards, breaking his reins etc. I watched him pull back so hard on her one time that he fell to the ground before getting up and taking off. He also always broke the nylon halters she used on him which is the reason I started using rope halters on him. He has not once broken a bridle with me, and has never tried to pull off and take off running while being led somewhere. But being able to get away with it with her .. would that contribute to the massive tying problem now? I have worked with him forever on tying, and he has come a long way. But I dont like these freak outs. Even though I use a quick release knot I cant even get close enough to do un do it for fear of my own safety. My friend who was with me today couldnt believe how he acted. She said she had never seen anything like it.
Like I said, usually he ties fine but things will just set him off. I did not notice anything today that should have caused him to do that. No wind, no bucking horses, nothing. i have tried setting him up to pull back with a tie ring .
Here is a picture of the area where it happened. he was tied to the fence post. The gate learning against the fence is the divdider he flipped himself over. Its a miracle he didnt break his neck or worse. He violently threw himself to the ground a few times as well before he flipped over the divider. And thank God his rope halter slipped and got tangled around his face or he would have hung himself I am sure :cry:
Oops sorry for the double post but too much time has gone by for me to edit, but the part where I said I have tried setting him up to pull back with a tie ring.. nothing worked. He would spook and give to the pressure immediately just like I had worked with him on.
His freakouts just weird me out. He gets this half crazed look in his eye (eyes rolling, whites of his eyes showing, etc), and usually is making a high pitched whinnying the entire time (almost like a scream if that makes sense). He also gets extremely lathered up which I am assuming would be from his adrenaline. Could there be some medical issue going on? Or is it like a training relapse? He has come a long way, he used to be that reactive about everything ALL of the time. But I have done hobble training and such with him and now he is much more likely to stop and think things through. He steps on his lead rope? No big deal. He just backs off of it.
My main thing is he is gonna kill himself one day, and kill someone who is unlucky enough to be near him at the time and cant get out of the way fast enough. And that is definitely NOT okay
I have to get my kids to bed.......but I will come back and post:-)
I had a horse that had the same problem. We found out that he had a brain problem. I guess the nerves would send a wrong wave and it would set him off. There was no real treatment for it, we just used a piece of string to tie him the fence. We never tied him to anything that would not brake. We also found out later on that he had hit the back of his head in the trailer when he was younger and it may have caused it.
I also had a horse that would pull back just for fun, he learned that if he pulled hard he could get away. He learned this from his first owner. It was a pain to brake. What we did was tie him to a tire that was chained to a strong post. If he pulled back he would just pull the tire with him that gave. It was a mess to watch him try to brake it. Never did, we did this a few times. He soon gave up and he never did try it again. There could many reasons why he pulls back. Horses dont like being tied, some never do get over all the way. If you rule out pain, and any other health issues that may start it. I would have a trainer come out and help you. This sounds like it could get bad. A trainer may be able to help you sort out the problem. I have worked with lots of horses with pull back problems, but without a video its hard to say.
I'm wondering, do you happen to be out of his sight when this happens?
Subbing. My mare ties fine 99.99% of the time, but every now and then she has a freak out.
Thanks Freemare. I have actually tried the tire and tree thing. I left him tied and watched him from a window for 5 hours while I worked on homework for college. And he would pull, but not freak out. It was like *step back* .. "oh I'm tied" *step forward again*
I wish I could get a video but I never know when it is going to happen, which is probably the freakiest thing and the part that bothers me the most. And as horrible as it may sound, the whole time he freaks I just make sure that myself and all others are out of the way. If hes going to kill himself, hes going to kill himself .. but he's not going to take me with him. Just yesterday he was tied for 2 hours while I helped a friend catch a horse that had gotten out. He didnt freak out once. I am just stumped. If you dont mind me asking, how did you diagnose the improper brain wave thing with your horse? I have also been looking for trainers. Ones I agree with are not plentiful here in my area. The last couple I spoke to (who are supposed to be well known "trainers" around here) told me to twitch him. Im still not sure what exactly that was supposed to help...
The other trainer i spoke to recently quoted parelli at me and said that since Drifter was a LBE (huh? still not sure about what that is exactly..she said something to do with his personality) his pull back problem would be hard to solve. She recommended me getting the 7 games DVD. The person he would often bolt away from was a parrelli person. And that doesnt exactly inspire confidence in that training method for me
Japhy- the trailer incident in June I was out of his sight. But today I was in the middle of untying him, and therefore right next to him. I had just gotten ready to pull the knot loose when he flipped his bucket and I had to get out of the way.
Breezy- You see how that horse stops and chills in between rears? Drifter doesnt stop. And he doesnt rear. He just throws himself to the ground, jumps up, pulls to the right, throws himself to the ground, pulls to the left, throws himself to the ground. And is making a high pitched whiinnying sound the entire time. He usually does stop until hes tangled up enough somehow to restrict his air way. And you can see it in his eyes and he calms down. He sort of "comes back to himself" if that makes sense. Why he freaks out, its like he has no recognition of where he is or anything. Its just blind panic all in his face. Sometimes the rope doesnt even get taught while he throws himself around..so I dont even know if he is neccessarily "pulling back" ?
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