When you get tangled, don't freak - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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When you get tangled, don't freak

I read on a post on a fb page that people were talking about teaching their horse to not freak if they were tied (like say to eat grass) and got themselves tangled in the rope from the slack in it. My question is, how do you teach your horse not to freak? Mine isn't scared of the rope or anything around her legs, but she got tangled once and she freaked.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 08:08 AM
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It's safer to just try to avoid situations that might cause your horse to get tangled.
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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I agree, but accidents do happen and if the situation were to occur I'd rather her be as calm as possible than to freak and cause more harm to herself.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 09:07 AM
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In addition to often not having a tree or other object to tie to, this is a good reason to train a horse to stand hobbled. I school horses in my care to stand while in hobbles regardless of their use.

Horses can get tangled in many things; not just barbed, smooth, or electric fence wires. Rope. Tree branches or roots on a trail. Lumber carelessly left by workers after a construction or remodel project.

If a horse is accustomed to having it's legs restrained it will remain calm and give the person time to safely (for person and horse) remove the obstacle.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HorseOfCourse View Post
It's safer to just try to avoid situations that might cause your horse to get tangled.
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While it may be best to avoid those situations, it is MUCH SAFER to teach your horse not to freak out if they DO get tangled in something...and at some point, they will get something around their legs!!

Start with a soft rope and just flip it up against her front legs slowly and softly. If she moves away or "dances" around, continue to softly swing the rope around touching her legs. Don't try to make her stand still, just move around with her and keep flipping the rope gently around her legs. If she allows it, stop and give her a rub, and then do it more. Work on all 4 legs, over her butt, swinging near her head, up under her tail dock.

Loop the rope around her legs and gently pull on the rope until she picks up the foot or leg the rope is around. Slowly extend the time each leg is held up with the rope until she will stand patiently as long as you hold the rope. Release her legs and feet gently, don't just drop them on the ground unexpectedly.

Just work slowly and gently and stop frequently and reward her with rubs when she stands still. It'll take time, but if you work slowly and calmly, she will soon learn to calmly accept it.

Live well, laugh often, love deeply...An' it harm none.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 12:17 PM
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Hobble training.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 12:43 PM
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My mom tied her new horse's lead WAYY too loose. Then a few minutes later he got his foot over the leadrope and was backing up. Well, his hoof was caught and he kept shaking his head and freaking out. SO I went up to him and just pet his shoulder, then his head when he calmed down and just talked super softly to him. Then as I untangle his leg with one of my hands, my other hand was at his nose, just touching it so he wouldn't freak while I untangled him. He did really good - as long as he was touching me he was perfectly fine.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 01:36 PM
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We talked about this at polo this a.m. One lady reminded us of a horse that got tangled in a halter that had slipped off the wheel cover of a trailer a couple years ago and suffered a bad injury. He never came back as a useable mount.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 02:23 PM
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I just recently had this experience. My 8 year old grandson was riding my mare around the pasture, when suddenly, she stopped. Matt looked all around, and then down, and slowly dismounted. He started toward is, and Mystery began kicking out with one leg. We got down there, and she had a big, thick, very thorny vine wrapped all around her leg. She was stopped stock still, til we got there. We were so proud of them both, they both did exactly what they should have done.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-03-2013, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the tips...and yes I believe it is a very necessary thing to teach because you never know what may happen
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