Horse Flips Out Dangerously When Tied
There is a pony I've been riding for a friend. And he's insane.
He's a four-year-old, green broke (as in, has been ridden about six times --- three of those times by me), Arab cross.
I finished a nice little ride on him today. Afterwards, I tied him in the wash rack to be rinsed off, which I had done two other times before with no ill effects. He started to get inpatient, so I allowed him to weave and complain, hoping he would learn he couldn't get anywhere. Well, then he reared up. o.0 He flipped to the side and scrambled around on the ground for a moment. He was up before I could pull the quick release (I was about 20 feet away).
I was like, "Hail Mary...What do I do?" Not having a clue what to do in situations like this, I watched him closely and let him be.
And he did it again.
And again. That's three times.
By the second time I was scared into paralysis. I didn't know if I should move him or beat him or what... The third time he broke his halter and walked away from the wash rack, calm as anything. I caught him quickly again.
I was once again at a loss. Do I tie him back up in a different halter? What kind of halter? Should I just put him out?
I ended up turning him out a few minutes after, just because I didn't know what to do. :oops: And I couldn't find another well-fitting halter.
The whole experience was nothing short was traumatizing. I'm aware I probably handled it wrong, but I plead ignorance. I have no experience with this particular vice.
Thats really hard because you dont want your friends horse to learn bad habits, but you dont want him to injure himself either. My horse doesnt tie well. Sometimes hes fine, other times he will yank until the cross ties break. I i simply loop the rope around his neck or hold it while grooming and bathing.
I wish i had more advice, though from my experience everyone i spoke to said "drive him forward". when he pulls back, wack him on the but until you moves forward. It is a nasty vice, good luck.
Also, I tied Cooper to a big thick tree in a nylon halter. I left him there in the heat to yank but he never pulled. I have heard this works wonders. Stand close by but dont untie him unless he is in danger.
I'm suppose to be finishing him... I want to teach him right. He'll be a nice boy someday if I have anything to say about it. But **** do I want to shoot the little cuss! *cough* He's a generally frustrating personality.
I'd suggest investing in a good rope halter, as well as an Aussie Tie Ring...there are probably videos on youtube explaining how to use the Tie Ring; but the basic concept is that when the horse pulls, he gets a little slack, relieving the flight response and clausterphobia associated with it (when the horse reaches the end of the lead).
To me, it sounds like this is already an ingrained habit, given that he continued until he busted halter.
I've tied him other times and he didn't flip... This time he was tied inside and I've never tied him inside the barn. (This I just realized.) Would that have something to do with it, or does this just sound like spoiled behavior? He's a very nervous horse and is prone to sudden explosions.
One solution I was thinking of was just tying him in a rope halter and letting him pull and rear until he realized he couldn't get away. If this was my horse, I could be all for that. But he isn't. I don't want to hurt him. If he flipped and killed himself, I would be have killed someone else's horse.
Any more suggerstions? I have to deal with this horse on a daily basis and don't want to go back tomarrow unarmed and still not knowing what to do.
The biggest problem I see is that you let him get away with the weaving/complaining in the first place. Had you corrected it he may not have even gone into a rear, and the habit may have never been formed. I understand you had no idea he would flip over though, that was uncalled for.
I would say watch him closely next time you tie him. The moment he starts acting up, yell or discipline him in some way. When he calms down you may want to give him a treat or praise him. Just let him know that is not okay, under any circumstances. As they say, make the right thing (standing) easy and enjoyable, while the incorrect thing (acting up) difficult.
You do need a rope halter with the lead rope braided into the lead loop so there is no metal snap that can break. I once had another horseperson tell me that when a horse acts up like that to give the horse a swift kick with one of your legs to it's underside. I was in fact handling one of her own horses when she told me to do it, because the horse was acting up. It worked. Another thing I've done is if the horse wants to act up while tied is to yell and wave your arms. What it does is tells the horse if it's going to behave that way your going to make it work harder to continue it's temper fit. You could also use an inner tube from a vehicle tire attached to a solid object like a tree and tie off the lead rope to it.
Eventhough I'm not the most experienced horseman, I would refrain from
1. yelling at him. Horses won't understand you. They won't understand what you are doing. He might be startled but that's it.
2. Give him a candy when he's standing still. Standing still and resting is enough reward for a horse. Giving candy (to me that is only) is cheating.
Now what I've learned might sound a little foolish to you but... it works with younglings. I don't know what the effect with a 4 year old is but I wouldn't expect it to be much different.
Tie him up with a e.g. rope halter. Tie him up on a solid pole with a solid rope. Tie him up tight. Not as tight so he couldn't move, but he shouldn't be able to roam around.
He may freak, but that's ok. There may be a risk of him harming himself, but that's a low risk I guess, I've never seen a horse hurting itself before. Also, the risk when leaving this thing as it is, is higher.
The horse will only freak because it's a situation it doesn't know.
It got it's way the last time when it freaked so it'll think it'll work again.
DO NOT hurt the horse in any way. Seriously, don't hurt the horse. It will only connect the pain with the situation of being tied up.
If you read Mike Kevil's book 'starting colts'... it's pretty much what I just said. Not saying everything out of the book's great... but that part is good.
If you go to 'good' ranches, that aren't all about championships and stuff like that, you will see many horses tied up... to learn to be patient.
as it's an arab mix... I guess you know arabs are very intelligent and get bored quickly. That's why this horse may act differently to other races. I haven't worked with Arabs as of yet, but hopefully I will soon.
At least, that's my experience.
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