Tying solid to an object? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 12:37 PM
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The problem with tying horses unbreakably to an unbreakable object is that their necks can break. A horse pulling back is usually using flight instinct rather than reason and may do itself real harm if nothing gives. Some alternative methods to train them to tie without attempting to break away I've heard about:

1) In a yard, tie the horse to a piece of baling twine (variation: as well as a longer rope). The horse breaks the baling twine (and encounters the rope, if using - depends on situation). Now you replace the single twine with a double twine tie, repeat. Each time add another twine. The idea is that it teaches the horse that the discomfort to its head when pulling away is self-inflicted, something it usually doesn't understand, thinking instead, "I tried to get away and that darn rope bit me again. I don't like that rope, and it's making me nervous. I need to get away. " According to this theory, eventually the horse should "get it" and stop. The theory is based on the observation that horses learn best when calm and when things are broken into steps for them.

2) In a yard, tie a horse to a rubber tyre. It can drag the tyre around for a bit but is less likely to hurt itself and should desist eventually. If your horse is really nervous, this may not be a suitable method. I've never tried this myself.

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post #12 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
The problem with tying horses unbreakably to an unbreakable object is that their necks can break.
That is why it is important not to tie with just the halter, but use a neck collar or barrel tie.


Quote:
1) In a yard, tie the horse to a piece of baling twine (variation: as well as a longer rope). The horse breaks the baling twine (and encounters the rope, if using - depends on situation). Now you replace the single twine with a double twine tie, repeat. Each time add another twine. The idea is that it teaches the horse that the discomfort to its head when pulling away is self-inflicted, something it usually doesn't understand, thinking instead, "I tried to get away and that darn rope bit me again. I don't like that rope, and it's making me nervous. I need to get away. " According to this theory, eventually the horse should "get it" and stop. The theory is based on the observation that horses learn best when calm and when things are broken into steps for them.
This sounds completely backwards to me. It teaches the horse repeatedly that if it doesn't get away the first time to just pull harder and eventually it will work. This would be a way that a horse might actually hurt itself. Much safer to teach the horse the FIRST time that it can't get away.

Quote:
2) In a yard, tie a horse to a rubber tyre. It can drag the tyre around for a bit but is less likely to hurt itself and should desist eventually. If your horse is really nervous, this may not be a suitable method. I've never tried this myself.
A horse can easily pull most tires. You'd need a very large tractor tire to be effective at all and even then, 1. it's still teaching the horse that it can pull and get results 2. it can get tangled up in the tire and 3. it can get tangled up in the lead. Sounds very dangerous to me.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 04:26 PM
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I wouldn't use a quick release system like those release snaps or baling twine. Instead use something that will give but still keep the horse restrained like the blocker tie ring. I can't give advice about solid tying vs. not, but I've seen horses pull down massive hitching posts. I would only ever tie a horse for that reason to a solid tree. Also, you can use a lead rope without a clip. Either buy one already without it, or cut the snap off a newer flexible lead rope. Tie a knot at the end and then tie that knot onto the rope halter.

Happy trails!
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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I know she is a bit buddy sour and I've worked on this for a long time and she just hasn't improved on the tying up part. I can put her in a different paddock and she runs up and down a bit, then goes off to graze and is fine, I can take her away from him and she is fine, but if I take mitch away from her it creates a small problem(not much, she just runs the fence a few times and quits)
I can take either horse completely away in the horse float with no problems, it's just the tying up part that has me annoyed as I just can't get her to stay tied on something that she knows is breakable.

The other option to tie her up that I have is the outside of our cowshed... Steel welded poles, hollow but filled with concrete, anchored into a large concrete base. On the outside of this is a paddock that I can put her in and tie her up to the steelwork, I just need to find a rope that won't break, and a halter that won't break, and by the sounds of things I should loop a rope around her neck also?
I'm imagining a soft but strong rope around her neck, that goes through the bottom ring of the halter and to the tie up spot?

I honestly think that she breaks off because she is bored doing nothing and would rather be doing something "more interesting" and knowing that she can get off and get to Mitch and I is far more interesting than standing tied up like a good child. She loves to work, and she learns very quickly which can be very bad in cases like this where she learns that she can just pull back and break off.
During every ground work session, and every ride she strives to learn new things, she loves it, but standing tied up is just too little for her to do I guess, she gets bored.

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 05:55 PM
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I have to agree with PaintHorseMares. Your time is better spent working on the buddy sour problem. I would NOT tie to the horizontal between the two uprights. It won't hold a determined horse.
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HollyBubbles View Post
I know she is a bit buddy sour and I've worked on this for a long time and she just hasn't improved on the tying up part. I can put her in a different paddock and she runs up and down a bit, then goes off to graze and is fine, I can take her away from him and she is fine, but if I take mitch away from her it creates a small problem(not much, she just runs the fence a few times and quits)
I can take either horse completely away in the horse float with no problems, it's just the tying up part that has me annoyed as I just can't get her to stay tied on something that she knows is breakable.
Yup, she's got it all figured out. You're on the right track. Buddy sour or not, she knows she can break free.

Quote:
The other option to tie her up that I have is the outside of our cowshed... Steel welded poles, hollow but filled with concrete, anchored into a large concrete base. On the outside of this is a paddock that I can put her in and tie her up to the steelwork,
That sounds much better.

Quote:
I just need to find a rope that won't break, and a halter that won't break, and by the sounds of things I should loop a rope around her neck also?
I'm imagining a soft but strong rope around her neck, that goes through the bottom ring of the halter and to the tie up spot?
You've got it. Make sure you have a strong halter. The buckles/snaps can break so it's gotta be good. Nylon is best as leather can break and rope is very narrow; doesn't spread the weight like a good nylon halter does. My mare did break the snaps on one of my halters, but I happened to be right there and she didn't realize she was free before I had tension on again. After that I looked at snaps more closely. Brass looks pretty but is crap. Stainless is the best, but hard to find.

I have a regular Greenhawk braided leadrope that held my 1100 -1200 lb mare. For the neck strap I used a piece of 3" wide nylon strap from transport truck tie-downs. I sewed loops in the end myself with nylon thread. I sewed a box, then an "x" in the middle and then did it again. Then put a "+" in the middle too. Only as strong as the weakest link...

The lead rope might be one time use. That much pull and **** near any knot doesn't come undone anymore! So have a few on hand.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-14-2014, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorthernMama View Post
Yup, she's got it all figured out. You're on the right track. Buddy sour or not, she knows she can break free.


That sounds much better.


You've got it. Make sure you have a strong halter. The buckles/snaps can break so it's gotta be good. Nylon is best as leather can break and rope is very narrow; doesn't spread the weight like a good nylon halter does. My mare did break the snaps on one of my halters, but I happened to be right there and she didn't realize she was free before I had tension on again. After that I looked at snaps more closely. Brass looks pretty but is crap. Stainless is the best, but hard to find.

I have a regular Greenhawk braided leadrope that held my 1100 -1200 lb mare. For the neck strap I used a piece of 3" wide nylon strap from transport truck tie-downs. I sewed loops in the end myself with nylon thread. I sewed a box, then an "x" in the middle and then did it again. Then put a "+" in the middle too. Only as strong as the weakest link...

The lead rope might be one time use. That much pull and **** near any knot doesn't come undone anymore! So have a few on hand.
Yeah, she won't try and get back to him if there is a human holding her lead, but if she is tied either on her own or with a human there but not holding her, she's off.

Awesome I'll do that when I have a whole day free, I have a feeling this may take a while.

All of my Halters actually have Stainless Steel buckles, and none have those quick snaps under the jaw, so I'm good there.. We have plenty of the trucking tie downs so I'll claim one of those. I don't have nylon thread though so i'll take it in to the local saddler and get her to sew it for me with her heavy duty sewing machines.

Dad has a rope he uses for the cows and bulls to tie them up for vet work, it has a loop at one end and is long and extremely strong, and it comes from the local farm supplies shop so I'll get a couple of my own.

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-16-2014, 02:14 AM
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This sounds completely backwards to me. It teaches the horse repeatedly that if it doesn't get away the first time to just pull harder and eventually it will work. This would be a way that a horse might actually hurt itself. Much safer to teach the horse the FIRST time that it can't get away.
This method came from an Australian horseman called Tom Roberts who spent his lifetime curing "problem horses", and this method worked very well for a number of horses that came to him with the "won't tie up" problem. I haven't explained the method as well as he has in his "Horse Control" series, and the thinking seems counterintuitive at first, but I think he "gets" how horses process, and I've had a lot of good experiences with his training tips for curly situations. I know several people who tried this method themselves and had it work for them. I guess it depends on why your horse won't stay tied.

The tyre idea came from Robbie Murray, who pioneered horse "gentling" rather than "breaking" methods in Australia in the 1970s. She doesn't seem to have had any rodeos as a result of using her tying method, but she doesn't do this stone cold either, she does it at a certain stage of her training process.

I'm not a fan of tying horses unbreakably. My horses tie fine as we speak by the way. I also have a mare who was difficult to tie for years - in her case because her first experience of halter handling (before I bought her) was someone tying her unbreakably to an unbreakable object as a yearling, and flapping at her with an oilskin until she was in a lather, to teach her, "When you're tied up you can't get away." Thankfully she didn't break her neck, but she was headshy around people she didn't trust for her whole life after that, and nervous about being tied. For her, tying her with more play in the lead than with the average horse made her happier after her early traumatic experience. I just wish she'd had her halter and tying training with a gentle method, because it would have saved a lot of hassle down the track.

However, if you truly have a horse who has learnt the cause-and-effect of tying up and is really deliberately breaking away, this is a different scenario to what went wrong for my mare. It's just that I think a lot of people assume that horses always know what they are doing when they break backwards and are doing it deliberately to get free, when this is not always so - and when this is not so, then injury, drama and bad conditioning may result from force-tying a horse.

My father educates a lot of young horses and never force-ties them in their education - he also uses a gradual method, and has only had one horse in the 30-plus he has worked with who has truly tried it on in this department.

Anyway, just offering a different perspective!

SueC is time travelling.

Last edited by SueC; 03-16-2014 at 02:20 AM.
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