Leaving a horse tied for hours?
What is the point of leaving a horse in training tied for hours? I know that the theory is that it teaches them patience, but it seems cruel to me. I am trying to be open minded as some of the trainers that I am considering for my horse use this practice and I know that I have heard some of the big name trainers say that they will leave a horse tacked up and tied for hours. Interested in opinions pro and con.
I have no problem with a horse being taught to tie for hours, it's very useful if you are a show without stalls to be able to tie your horse for most of the day.
I don't believe in tying for a punishment, or to let a horse 'think about' something it did wrong, not very productive, in my opinion.
I teach my guys to tie by starting for a short time, and gradually leaving longer and longer times. It's a lesson like any other.
If they are tied for a long time then I have them tied with a hay bag, and will offer water, it's not a punishment, so they shouldn't be deprived of anything.
My trainer and I each have a 4yr old. She was in-between facilities, so she sent her 4yr old to a well-known local trainer to be started. As part of his "starting" he tied her horse up for most of a day (hay and water was given multiple times). I bought my horse from a trainer who didn't believe in tying a horse up for any more time than absolutely necessary.
My trainer has a 4yr old that sleeps in the cross ties. I have a 4yr old that dances around in the cross ties, like the barn floor is made of lava. :roll: I cannot get more than 6" away from him without him going utterly berserk. Literally, if I forget something in the tack room, I've got to haul him with me because he *will* hurt himself if I leave and the tack room is all of 10ft away.
As soon as we have a safe place to tie him, guess whose about to spend some serious time learning to stand still!! :?
There's no harm in tying for hours as long as the situation is safe, obviously. As pointed out, there are many situations where having a horse that can tie for long periods of time is very useful. Shows, camping, events, even playdays.
I understand it will teach your horse patience and this is just my opinion but I dont believe you must make him stand for hours! Its a little over exaderation for me.
I also don't think there is anything cruel about tying for hours. It's amazing for teaching a horse patience.
Agree with Golden Horse that this shouldn't be for a form of punishment and you should never leave a horse for a long period of time without water.
I would recommend tying in a place where someone can keep an eye on the horse, especially if the horse is not used to being tied alone.
Being able to be tied up for hours can be useful for many situations! As long as the horse is offered food and water, it's not cruelty.
Picture being on a trail ride with a friend and something very traumatic happens and you are left immobile. Your friend must ride to get help and you are left there unable to move and function.
In order to hurry, your friend cannot take your horse with her (pony the horse).
Would you rather have a horse that will stand tied (maybe even ground tied) until help arrives, or one that wants to dance around on top of you when you are in physical pain?
I know this is a fictitious story, but it could happen (and probably has happened) to you or someone that may eventually own your horse.
I have seen horses nap in the pasture in the same area for hours. I don't see how them having a halter on and tied to a tree (or something similar) could be perceived as cruel or mean.
Personally, I don't think it's exactly nice becuase horses were made to move and roam when needed, but I don't think it's necessarily cruel.
If the horse has water and hay (and even if they don't, I think a couple of hours without hay/water isn't going to seriously hurt anything) and there is a purpose for being left tied (teaching patience because that's a skill the horse is lacking, not leaving them tied becuase they were "bad" or something) I think it has its place.
I think it could be easily misused though so you probably want to be careful of that. I'd say that 3 hours is probably the longest a horse should have to stand tied. I mean, that seems like it's long enough to get the idea of patience across/get the horse comfortable with standing tied and I can't really imagine a reason to need to have a horse tied for longer than that... But that's just my opinion.
If horses could be tied up for hours at a time back when cowboys got drunk in the bars I think they can handle it today. Just have water with it and it's not cruel. Once it's untied and back in its paddock everything will be fine and it will get over being tied up. I'd just keep an eye on it though, so it doesn't manage to do anything to hurt itself while being tied up. Being bored for a few hours isn't the end of the world :-P
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