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manhirwen 03-23-2009 02:17 PM

Broke halter while tied, now what?
Last night I had Wiski tied and I was brushing him. He was being a butt and pawing at the ground which I'm trying to figure out how to stop at the moment. He reached around to try to nip and me and I raised to swat his nose when he did it, instead he startled and backed up/pulled back so hard that he broke the tie ring on the halter!!! Luckily he wasn't so startled that he did anything but stand there looking at me when it was broke.

My question is, is he going to pull back from now on? Try to break free all the time? What do I do?

I could tie him with a rope halter if needed but I don't want him to break his neck if he pulled too hard. I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. Any sugestions, tips? Has anyone had this happen?

rosie9r 03-23-2009 03:26 PM

I had sort of the same thing happen to me, cept i was doing the glorious job of sheath cleaning when he raised a leg like he was going to kick me. so i said quit! and it startled him so he panicked and pulled back on the rail til his halter broke. He's never pulled back like that since, but there are some tricks you can do in case your boy makes it a habit.

The one that has worked the best for me is to get a tire innertube and wrap it around the hitchin post, then tie your lead rope to it..the innertube not the post. Then when they pull back, the rubber pulls them back and they give up.

He most likely wont make it a habit if you can nip it in the bud now. It probably didnt click that he can pull himself free with just that one time. Good luck!

MN Tigerstripes 03-23-2009 04:01 PM

Soda has this down. He has broken many halters/leads. We switched to a rope halter which helped for a little while. Then he freaked out & pulled back one day and ripped the hitching post to peices... he has a post and a 4 ft board flying around underneath him as he went absolutely nuts. Thought he was gonna kill himself. He finally stopped long enough for me to get it off. Since then he pulls back if he feels a lot of pressure on the halter. So I don't leave him unsupervised at all. I was grooming him one day & he got spooked, jumped back & started pulling. I grabbed the lead rope pulled and said whoa and he stopped. That probably isn't feasible for long term though! I think I'll be watching this thread closely!! :-)

manhirwen 03-23-2009 04:07 PM

I'll try to give him a bit more slack in the rope when he's tied so he doesn't feel so confined and maybe just tie him with the rope halter to see what he does... I'm going to have to keep my eye on him for a while though.

mls 03-23-2009 04:17 PM

When a horse starts pulling, I get to where I can push them forward. Once the pressure is off, they typically quit and dance and snort. Our cross and straight ties in the barn all have panic snaps and we teach to tie with a quick release knot. I also recommend good cotton lead ropes instead of nylon. Nylon when pulled hard enough will melt.

With training horses or new boarders that come in with a history of pulling, we loop so the horse thinks they are tied. We then do lots of work around them to get them used to motion and sound. We don't set them up to pull, we set them up to be comfortable and suceed.

Horses are fight or flight. If they feel trapped, they will fight the rope and try to get out of there. Yelling WHOA WHOA WHOA only lets them know you are panicking too. We say as a command - "Get up there". Most end up looking at us foolishly and snort a bit.

Horses also do not forget. They forgive, but they do not forget. When you go back into the situation YOU need to be calm. If you are nervous, they will pick that up.

manhirwen 03-23-2009 04:26 PM

I use a cotton rope lead to tie him except that the end won't go through the washing station tie loops. Getting behind a horse and pushing it forward sounds a bit dangerous to me. Could you please explain exactly what you mean? Do you actually get behind and push on him or is there another way you mean to push him forward?

So far I haven't panicked around a horse. Hopefully I can say that a few years down the line ;)

MN Tigerstripes 03-23-2009 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by mls (Post 275605)
we loop so the horse thinks they are tied.

What do you mean by loop? I stopped tying Soda in areas where I know he is more likely to get scared by something, so that he doesn't keep getting the idea reinforced that if he pulls hard enough he is going to get away. Unfortunately that has been reinforced WAY too many times already. :? ergh... frustration I never had these problems with my old horses :lol: He sure is lucky I love him so much!! LOL

Walkamile 03-23-2009 06:55 PM

Couple years ago, Walka decided to pull back from the trailer where he was tied. Broke the snap to the halter and than just stood there looking at me. Happened very fast and very intense.

Switched to a rope halter and bought a tie blocker. Has never offered to pull back since, however with the tie blocker I know if he does he will not get injured.

I take the tie blocker with me if I need to tie him on the trail, so far so good. The good thing about the tie blocker is as soon as they pull back there is no pressure to fight against.

MN Tigerstripes 03-23-2009 07:10 PM

Whats a tie-blocker? I feel like an idiot sometimes, not knowing what this stuff is, you wouldn't know I've been around horses my entire life from my questions!! LOL :-P

Sorry manhirwen for asking all these questions on your thread.... :-) I'm not always obnoxious, just most of the time....

Walkamile 03-23-2009 07:24 PM

Here's a site to check out, and forgive my dyslexia, it is called a blocker tie ring. :oops:

The Blocker Tie Ring is the Safer Way to Tie Your Horse @ Horse Tack Review

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