My horse will not stand still while tied, need some suggestions please.
My new horse (I have had him abut 3 weeks now) has calmed down a lot and is doing pretty good except when I tie him to groom him or tack up. I don't have a stall or cross ties so I tie him to a hitching post. he never pulls back but he dances from side to side and he will slam into me and keep going causing me to always have to jump out of his way. I have tried yelling at him and slapping him on the shoulder or barrel to try and get him to move away from me, even tried letting him run into the pointy end of a hoof pick but nothing works its like he doesn't even know or care that I am there. I am afraid if I carry a crop and really hit him hard he might just decide to throw a fit or panic and start pulling back and I will have created an even worse problem. I am thinking it is a question of respect because the previous owner said he was not like that with her and would usually ground tie. At this point in our relationship ground tying is not an option because he is always trying to run back to my other horse. Once saddled he listens well and I have no problem riding him out alone.
Just tie him up and let him stand until he settles down. Hitting or fighting an already reactive horse is a lost cause.
Once he has given up dancing around, groom and saddle him with a second lead-rope attached to his halter. Keep it in your hand. Say "Whoa!" and give the rope a jerk when he takes any unwanted step. He will learn to stand there and be quiet. Any time a horse takes a step toward you (particularly with his hind end), it should hurt and YOU should never have to step back away from him. A good swift jerk on the lead-rope should get his attention back on you.
Since you've only had him three weeks, I suspect, as you spend more time with him and he gets to understand and recognize the routine, he will settle. I find with a couple of my horses that the first few times at the start of "riding season" they will be restless but that soon disappears once they get back into the swing of things.
I might suggest that if he does get too rammy with you, perhaps you might want to untie him, do some ground work exercises (eg circles and yielding quarters to you, etc.) with a view to getting him to move his legs plus de-energize him abit then return him to the post - he may realize the error of his ways, be glad of the rest and stand quieter then.
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