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horseluver2435 08-15-2011 11:42 PM

Setting back when tied
My horse has set back 3 times in the past few days.

She is a 6 year old, QH x TB mare. We have had slight issues with setting back in the past, usually within cause though, something would spook her and she would set back, frightened, she would struggle for a few moments then, once I got to her, move forward.

A couple days ago, I had tied her to a hitching post to bathe her, went to turn on the hose (she was not spooked by the hose, it was far from her when turned on) and when I returned, hose in hand, my horse was long gone.

She snapped both the lead rope & the metal clip on the throat latch of her (nylon) halter. I found her happily snacking on some hay.

Well, I made her hitch back up and take her bath with a spare halter. She did fine.

Today, during our barn (lesson barn) day camp, she was used as a demonstration for horse anatomy. She was hitched in the indoor arena to a metal ring, plain lead rope, brand new nylon halter.

Two little girls ran in, and she spooked, set back, panicked for a few moments, then, when I reached her, came forward and relaxed again. She 'fractured' the metal ring and it fell to the ground right as she stepped forward, I was very glad it happened while I was there, otherwise young children could have been hurt if she ran off.

(The girls learned very quickly that when we list the rules [ex. NO running around horses, EVER] we mean them.)

I walked her around to calm her, got the lead rope loose (had tightened around the ring) and rehitched her to a different metal ring. She was fine for the rest of the day.

After riding that day, I took her to a hitching post to tie & bathe. This time she set back for no reason I could see, while I was right next to her face, (the hose was on, and spraying her, but just at her legs/barrel) and pulled the ring right out of the post. I made her stand, while I held the lead rope, for the remainder of the bath.

I'm really at my wits end.

I feel like, with the halter & lead breaking, the first time, has taught her it's ok to set back so she can get free. You tell me if I'm right.

I need to know how to fix this. I'll be speaking with my trainer, obviously, but I'd like to hear others experiences, etc.

I know one recommended practice is tying to a high, thick tree branch & letting them 'fight it out', but whether this is safe or not...? Also, I doubt I would be able to accomplish this, as we do not have any suitable trees on the property.

I also do not wish to spend money on name brand training halters that may or may not work. I hope you all understand that.

Ask away if I've left anything out.
For grooming & tacking up I use crossties. It's only for bathing or when we are in the indoor that I hitch.

Please, support, suggestions, anything. I'm really frustrated that she's fallen into this habit, but more over I'm disappointed that I have no clue how to solve this one.

tinyliny 08-16-2011 03:23 AM

I do not know how to deal with this from personal experience, but a lot of people swear by a tying gizmo called a "Blocker ring", which is used to give some resistance to the leadrope, but will also have some give if the hrose panics.
Do a search here, 'cause there are tons of threads on this topic.

Horse won't stay tied up
Horse pulls back when tied,

ioconner 08-16-2011 04:41 AM

I also second the Blocker Tie ring. Clinton Anderson slaps his name on it and sells it as the "Aussie Tie Ring." You can buy the actual Blocker Tie Ring from for cheaper if you wish. I like it bc it was different levels that you can adjust the horse to, and it can be moved and used inside/outside trailers and such.

I also swear by a high picket line. My farrier suggested it to me several years ago, and I always teach new/young horses to stand tied that way. I just have a cotton rope strung between two trees and tie on to that. If the horse pulls and falls down, it can hop right back up. (I had a horse scar her face pretty badly from falling, getting stuck, and scraping her face on a tree. Very scary for me at the time since I was only 14.) They can still move around. You don't have to use trees either, just something that is high enough and has space in between for a horse.

I actually separate one mare to feed and tie her onto the picket line. I give her enough slack to get her head down, but it's perfect as she can't step over her lead line. She can still move around, but can't go anywhere.

Another thing I have found is that the nylon halters are easier for a horse to learn to pull against and break. If you buy a rope halter with the knot pressure points, your horse may learn to move off that pressure and not pull against it.

Hope this helps, and good luck!:-)

Doe 08-16-2011 07:34 AM

I never tie a horse but if you have to blocker tie rings are good.

If it is that the horse has learned escape is possible then you need to break that pattern but in a safe way.

One way (flooding) is to take a long line (say 20 foot+) and loop it around a gate post or rail 2 or 3 times. This will act as a brake (the more times you wrap it the harder it is to pull.)

You hold the other end, and of course one end is connected to the halter.

Now get the horse to move away - spook or whatever. The horse can pull all it likes, and it will be able to move back some distance, but it still ends up tied. Then you pull them forward again and repeat. Its safer than risking a broken neck by tieing fixed and leaving.

The downside is obviously the horse is bracing so watch for muscle stiffness etc, but if needs be........

Faustinblack 08-21-2011 12:23 AM

My horse pulled out a whole pipe line before because he freaked out. The only thing I can safely tie him too is the big tree in the pasture from a cable tied over a high branch. He has no problems with that, but god forbid if he's tied at nose level. He just fights it until he either breaks the halter or wears himself out. Is the blocker tie ring worth the money?
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ioconner 08-21-2011 12:32 AM

I liked it....I also like a high picket line. There is a CA video that shows how the ring works and training a horse to it.
Here is where I bought mine from
Blocker Tie Ring II (Equine - Supplies Tack - Halters Leads - Trailer Cross Ties)

LovesMyDunnBoy 08-21-2011 02:06 AM

My mare breaks everything, she's broke two halters, two leadrope snaps, one leadrope snapped in half! And she's bent the metal tie ring multiple directions lol. Oh and broke my long line (way the only thing I had to tie with at the time) >.< Needless to say, she doesn't get tied too often. I like holding her because she doesn't spook when she feels pressure. But when I DO tie, I use a string halter because she can't break it as easy. I knew a stout 14 hand paint mare who was tied to a cedar post (horizontal) about five inches in diameter,she set back and snapped it nearly in half. Like it was barley held together lol. And it was new wood, not old weathered or anything.
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bubba13 08-21-2011 02:15 AM

The Blocker Tie Ring is absolutely worth the money. Stop tying your horse solid, and certainly don't let her fight it out....not safe. She may already have damaged her neck with all the pulling.

kim_angel 08-21-2011 12:50 PM

I have a bunch of these tie rings. I swear by them. I have two on every hitching post and I used them inside and outside my trailer when going trail riding.

They are worth the money for sure.

Skyseternalangel 08-21-2011 09:36 PM

730 Attachment(s)
My boy used to wreck all halters, rip down fences, whatever you would tie him to. I got him a rope halter and now he respects pressure by looking for the release, instead of trying to destroy the source of pressure.

Never using nylon again!

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