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Socket95 08-03-2009 07:02 PM

Laying Down while Tied up!
Hi there guys. I was wondering if any of you had any possible suggestions to a very bad habit and potentially serious issue that my horse has.
Long story...

My horse Socket is 13 years old. She's been tied up pretty much all her life without any problems. When we brought her home from the barn for the winter of '08, we decided not to tie her up at all so as not to put stress on her or her baby (she was pregnant at the time). We realize now that that was a terrible mistake.

We brought her back to the barn in the spring for a tune-up. It turned out that every time she was tied up, she would sit down, with all her weight against the tie, and pull. She broke loose every time. However, she only did this once the saddle was on and the girth was tightened.

Then one day, I had her tied to the hitching post outside. I decided to tie her there because I knew she couldn't break the hitching post, and plus I had a heavy duty halter on her. I knew it would work. I tightened the girth, stepped back, and the next thing I knew, she threw herself to the ground. She didn't even actually pull, she just slammed herself into the ground. It's terrible because there was so much strain on her neck against the tie. Then we had to cut her loose so she could get up without breaking her neck. Since then, the same scenario has happened several times. However, she ONLY does this once the saddle is on and the girth is done up. And, she doesn't do it once I've worked her in the round pen first. It seems like she only does it when she's got an extra spark of energy. But I don't want to have to work her every time before I ride for the rest of her life, especially since I ride almost every day.

I've thought of buying a pull back halter, but then I realized my horse was already used to a tonne of pressure on the poll, because she wears a crib collar. Plus, with Socket's temper, the pull back halter would only make her pull harder.

I want to be able to tack her up by myself without someone standing there holding her every single time I tack up/ride. Many horses have died by breaking their necks from pulling so hard or sitting down while tied up. I don't know what to do.

Are there any suggestions?

LiveToJump 08-03-2009 07:08 PM

Is it possible for you to put her in a stall while you tack her up? That way you don't have to tie her, and she can't run away from you either.

RedRoan 08-03-2009 07:10 PM

Could this be a pain issue?

Socket95 08-03-2009 07:34 PM

I have no stall to put her in when she gets home from the barn. So sadly that's not an option. And no, I don't think it's a pain issue, because she doesn't do it if I've worked her first. And times when I haven't worked her, and just hopped right on, she rode just fine.

LiveToJump 08-03-2009 07:42 PM

If the saddle is fitting well, and you can't find any tension or soreness in her back, then maybe try saddling her up in the round pen. This way, she can't go very far from you, but you don't have to risk tying her. I would start with that, and see how that goes.

Or tie her, and just tie it very very loose, so even if she were to sit down, it would not pull on her.

When she sits, I might suggest using a dressage whip or lunge whip and tap her lightly on the hind up to encourage her to stand back up.

I've never had to deal with an issue quite like this, but that is how I would approach the situation.

Just be sure that nothing is hurting her or making her uncomfortable first.

wild_spot 08-03-2009 07:50 PM

Can you teach her to ground tie? My arab had a really bad experience when tied, and freaks ut if he feels stuck, so we taught him to ground tie and he never gets tied up anymore.

Vidaloco 08-03-2009 07:55 PM

We start everyone being tied with a Blocker Tie ring. They are amazing things at teaching a horse to stand tied. I'm a full believer that they can teach any horse to stand tied.
If its not a physical thing like a sleep issue. Than I'm betting it would help.
I have a 3 year old who has fallen asleep and fell down, but thats not a training issue.

Scoutrider 08-03-2009 08:35 PM

I agree with Vidaloco. As long as it isn't a heath/pain issue, give the Blocker tie ring a try.

I wasn't a believer at first, everything in me shrieked "GIMMICK! STAY AWAY!!" I actually got mine for trailering and tying to my trailer, a tiny, aluminum stock trailer that even my large ponies (Non-problem tie-ers, but I'm cautious, lol) could pull over if they got scared. They work wonders on problem horses, and are worth the peace of mind for quieter horses.

mom2pride 08-05-2009 12:22 AM

Teach her how to ground tie...end of story...

Or suck it up and do the ground sounds like she actually needs it to stretch her back muscles; If she's not doing this pulling when you are doing the ground work, then it does sound related...

Appyt 08-05-2009 12:56 AM

I have a gelding who has to be cinched very gently. He will laydown if I tighten it too fast or hard. I believe he is holding his breath to the extent he cannot move. Perhaps it's a nerve issue or some other physical problem. I do not tie this horse to saddle him. I do loop the lead around the post/rail several times so he doesn't think he's free, but he won't get into trouble if he falls. I also cannot back him directly after cinching up. I have to lead him foward first and walk him a lil bit, tighten a bit, walk again. With him I think it's the western cinch as he was trained HUS and prolly had more english work than western. Or maybe it's cuz he got pasture fat here and wasn't before. LOL Beats me, I just work with him.

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