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justsambam08 01-24-2010 11:06 AM

Alright, my gelding likes to untie himself when he's single tied. I use the standard slip knot, so he just stands there and yanks his head up and down and back and forth until the knot comes undone. How do I get him to stop this? He doesn't seem to do it while I'm around, he just does it when I disappear into the tack room for a minute to grab his saddle or something, when I'm too far away to do anything but yell at him. I would cross tie him, but he's learned to just yank those out of the wall (they aren't very securely in there, I'm thinking of using the other barns sturdy cross ties)

I've heard of just tying the extra rope in a standard knot, but on the off chance that he spooks or something, I do want to be able to release him pretty quickly....not have to stand there and pull four feet of rope through a loop.

So, any suggestions? He's walked off before, all he does is go out to the grassy patch right in front of the barn, so I'm not really afraid of him running away. Its just super annoying.

Wallaby 01-24-2010 11:27 AM

You're using an emergency release knot? I was kinda confused by "standard skip knot" and they I looked it up and it totally did not appear to be quick release... Haha *non-blond having a blond moment*

If you're using a quick release knot, do you stick the end of the lead rope through the loopy bit?

Lacey doesn't have an issue getting knots undone but I've never met a horse, that could untie themselves, that was able to get that undone.

Here's kind of a picture in case you don't know what I mean...

Look in the top left corner: (just the loop part, ignore the way she's tied, she always pulls the knot down to the ground and then gets worried when she can't put her head up so I tie her like that)

Honeysuga 01-24-2010 11:37 AM

1. Never disappear to the tack room, don't give him the opportunity to do it. Make a checklist of everything you need when you are grooming and tacking and get it out before you pull him from his stall or the pasture. Then make sure to correct him when you catch him doing it.

Even if you just had to slip off to the tack room, watch him for a few minutes where he can't see you and if he starts the behavior, give him a verbal reprimand(or just make some sort of noise to catch his attention, so he focuses on you instead of undoing the rope) since you wont be close enough to physically stop him.

2. Or you could use a rope attached to the post and his halter with emergency release snaps, that way he can't wriggle it loose, but if he panics you can release him quickly. Just leave his lead rope on and lightly loop it around the post too, to where you can quickly get a hold of it should he panic.

3. Or you could use one of those tie rings like Clinton A. makes, maybe not one of those over priced ones, but something similar. That way when he wriggles his head, the rope slides slowly through and you can simply grab the end and move him back up and tell him woah.

EveningShadows 01-24-2010 11:39 AM

Although it sounds as if he's doing it just to be cheeky, I'd suggest some patience post work. Your horse does not respect being tied. This is not something I like to tolerate. Any horse that paws, tries to untie themselves, or otherwise does not stand nicely when tied get a session on a patience post.

I had a thick tree stump to use - the actual tree fell down like 5 years ago in a storm, but left a 7 foot tall trunk which I now use as my patience post. I tie a lead nice and high, in a normal knot that will not come undone, and clip them to it. I stand nearby with a knife incase they get themselves into trouble...but my opinion on this is very different from most - I'd rather have my horse hurt their neck once and learn to stand tied that have them test everything they're ever tied to. I do not need my horse getting loose at an endurance, you're the horse and you stand tied when I tie you up. There's no option to that.

If your horse won't stand tied, then the proper training was not put into them, rather they were tied and people *hoped* that they would stay and to me, that's bullsh!t. It's not about whether your horse will just go out the door to eat grass...the potential is there for them to get on the road and cause an accident. It's not just the horse's safety in jeopardy here...other riders, cars, need to train him to stand tied and to do that, I'd find yourself a patience post.

justsambam08 01-24-2010 12:51 PM

I think our knots are the same wallaby, minus your extra steps to keep her from pulling it down, lol. You can pull either end of the knot, and it pops right off?

We do have a "patience post" in the middle of our front yard, but the problem is its in a grassy spot....he'll stand completely untied and unmoved as long as theres grass under him. He also stands very well when tied to fence slats. But lets just say if it were in the middle of nowhere and he tied perfectly fine, then what would I do?

Also a little bit of background....he's an 11 y/o OTTB, on the track for eight years, which might make sense as to why he may not really respect being tied....they hold their horses for most things, and he is sooo much better when I'm holding his lead rope in one hand, and doing something to him with the other.

However, in the wood barns cross ties, the ones that acre actually secured to the wall, he's a complete statue. He just figured out in the concrete barn (where he stays) that the cross tie anchors are loose, and so if he stretches down far enough, they pop right out. I think he's just learned what he can get away with and where.

smrobs 01-24-2010 01:14 PM

I personally don't use a slip knot of any kind on a young horse, or a horse who has a habit of "untying themselves". I would probably tie him solid to the place you normally tie him where he gets loose. No grass, no buddies, just him and the fence or the post. Go into the tack room or somewhere else that he can't see you and just watch him for as long as it takes. When he stands quietly for a few minutes without shaking his head or chewing on the lead, then go untie him and go about your business. I have found that this usually also works on horses who pull back and break tack to get loose.

Of course, stay ready with a knife in case of an emergency but just let him figure it out on his own.

justsambam08 01-24-2010 01:20 PM

Well he's not young, lol...he's fairly middle aged as far as horses go I think. He's never tried to break tack on me, or at least never tired very hard. When he was at his old house, we did use a solid tie to tack him up, but thats because she didn't have any rings to tie him to...he seemed perfectly alright by that, so maybe I'll just solid tie him.

Honeysuga 01-24-2010 01:35 PM

If the tie rings already pop out, tying him solid will not do a bit of good... Unless you meant that you were not going to tie him to the rings anymore, in which case I misunderstood you.

kevinshorses 01-24-2010 02:29 PM

I have a horse that chews on the lead rope. he doesn't usually get loose but he has ruined a few lead ropes so I put about a two and a half foot peice of plastic pipe over the lead rope then tied it. He cant reach the knot to chew on it. If you are tying your horse so that yanking on either end will undo the knot you are not really tying him. I wouldn't tie a horse that I couldn't tie solid.

justsambam08 01-24-2010 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by Honeysuga (Post 531466)
If the tie rings already pop out, tying him solid will not do a bit of good... Unless you meant that you were not going to tie him to the rings anymore, in which case I misunderstood you.

lol yes, the loose cross ties are in the concrete barn, where Ice's stall is. The solid cross ties are in the wood barn, on the other side of the property. They are also longer, so his head has a little bit more freedom, and have panic snaps. Today I went out and single tied him up as usual, and walked in and out of the tack room a few times (i grabbed the wrong size splint boots for his fronts) and he seemed fine to just stand there. I think he might try to untie himself when he has a lot of pent up energy or he's bored, I saw him do it more when it was colder out and he was being turned out less, then now when he's getting consistent turn out and work as well. But the plastic pipe is an interesting though, for rope chewers.

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