horse pulls A LOT while tied. . .
We bought a nice, gentle, sane mustang mare for my husband to ride, about a week ago. Turns out she pulls back when she gets tired of being tied, unfortunately. . . .
After she broke three ropes I tied her with two seperate ropes and halters, after which she flung herself down, lay there for a minute, got back up, and then flung herself back down again, and just lay there with her neck stretched all out. At that point, I cut the ropes, she got up, I tied her again, and she more or less stood still until I untied her.
I've been tying her every day, and she has done some violent thrashing around, but not ended up laid out again so far. . .
I've searched old threads, but haven't seen the issue of what to do if the horse flings itself down and does not get up addressed.
Honestly - If it could still breathe, I would just leave it there until it stood up and stood for a little while, then untie and let it go.
Agreed, as harsh as it sounds, sometimes the only way is to let her fight it out. Most of the time, even when they get down, they are perfectly capable of getting up on their own when it gets really uncomfortable. My mustang gelding had never been handled when I brought him home. After just a bit of messing with him, he got tied to the trailer and left there. I brought him food and water but he stayed tied. One day, somehow or another, he got some of the rope loose and ended up cast against the trailer with the rope wrapped around his back leg just above the hock. He got to stay that way for a little while before I went to cut the rope and let him up. He ended up with nothing more than a little scar around his leg and perfect tying manners.
Now you could start teaching her to ground tie, and working back up to solid tying, but with one that violent, I think she may just have to figure it out for herself again.
You could use a neck rope, and tie your lead to it, and run the lead under her chinstrap on the halter, and tie her with that. Make sure what ever you tie her to is strong enough to withstand her freakouts, and try to use a rope halter, and solid lead rope...hardward is easy to break, and because she has an affinity for breaking that stuff, it's best not to until she figures out this tying thing again. I like to use a high line too, but that can be a pain, if you don't have an eave (solid) in a barn, that you can tie to. You just tie a good solid rope to a heavy inner tube that is looped around the eave, and tie her to that. You should always tie atleast at mid shoulder level, so she really can't fall over, just back up.
Another solution would be to teach her to hobble. That way you don't really need to tie, all the time.
And you could try the blocker tie ring, but some horses seem to figure out if they keep going back, they can eventually untie themselves with that too.
There are many ways of teaching a horse to solidly tie, but those above are the ones I personally will use.
But the reality of it is, that you may not always have access to hobbles, or an area that you would be allowed to use them so retraining her to accept being tied until YOU say so, is the best option. I know alot of trainers who will simply tie a horse to a solid, safe area, and leave them there for hours...if they goof around, they can't get hurt, but they aren't getting away either, nor is anyone going to 'rescue' them just because they want to be off the lead. It does work, and if anything teaches the horse an extreme amount of patience.
Yes, often what happens is a previous owner is afraid to hurt the horse, so they use break-away halters or nylon ones to prevent this from happning if the horse pulls back. But really, all this does is teach the horse that if it pulls back it will get off. Thus, with some horses it often becomes a problem.
The only way to break them of this habit is to use a good rope halter (nothing with clips, which will break) and let her fight it out. Eventually, she will learn that she can't get off & that it's much easier to just stand patiently.
As said before, you could also try teaching her to ground-tie.
I agree with Mom2pride. If your using a leather or nylon halter throw them out and get a good rope halter. They figure it out pretty quickly with one of those. The nylon or leather ones are way too "nice" for a horse that pulls back.
I also agree with getting her to ground tie along with solid tying.
It was a freak accident but I would NOT tie a known puller solid with a rope halter. Rather, as mom2pride already mentioned, use a neck collar.
You can use ready made ones, a cinch/girth of the right length, or a hessian sack. The rope goes from the neck collar, through the ring of the halter (I use a snug nylon halter) and to the tie point. It distributes pressure over a bigger area and avoids injury or choking, but it will NOT break. it also prevents the horse from turning it's head away from the tie point.
Latte in her hessian neck collar:
My trainer is currently working with a rescue arab that had this issue bad... What seemed to work for her was tying him with a blocker tie ring and a really really really LONG lunge line. That way when he pulled he never really got the satisfaction of pulling loose or getting any resistance to pull against. She would tie him, wait for him to pull (he usually only went about 5 or so feet) then quietly pulled him back in. Every 5-10 min she would check on him and if he was standing patiently where she left him she would rub him and relieve him by walking him or some other reward. Basically he learned that it was pleasant to stand there and wait. Each time she would go longer. She did this for a few hours every day. He still gets impatient sometimes but now he only pulls about once every couple of weeks if that..
The "fight it out" scenario really scares me because I saw a horse once break both front legs because the owner left it tied with equipment that wouldn't break away to teach it to stand tied. Just not worth it to me.
What type of skeletal issues can that device cause?
^ Much less than a rope halter with the horses entire weight on it, trust me.
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