Horse doesn't like being tied up? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #31 of 37 Old 06-16-2019, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 9,043
• Horses: 0
Understanding the way materials work and operate under stress is usually something only engineers concern themselves with.

When it comes to our precious animals though, especially strong ones like our horses, most people do want to understand the How and Why things work.

So consider a person jumping off a bridge for the thrill of it. This is done typically with a bungie system (bungie jumping) as using a regular rope would mean severe injuries or death when the person jumping hit the end of the rope and there was a sudden stop. The force (stress) on the body would be huge.

Please don't ask me for those figures because I certainly do not have those calculations memorized, as there are so many variables. (drop, length of rope, weight of person, etc.)

I would guess that 99.99% of people bungie jumping, would want a gentle bounce when they jump, and not a sudden stop as caused by a firm rope or even worse, the lack of any rope.

This theory then, also applies to horses. A firm rope is unforgiving, unless the hardware breaks. I personally have seen horses fall down after a rope and/or halter breaks. Just not something I want to risk with my horses.

Safety is the first rule for me, and a gentle "bounce" from a bungie rope is safer for me and my horse. The bonus being that the horse learns to step forward with gentle pressure. Win/win situation...

There are many, many horses safely using the Hi-tie trailer system, which was designed with the aid of engineers and experienced horse people. It is based on two main principles; 1) Tie the horse above the level of the head to reduce the horses' ability to brace, and 2) use a bungie cord to avoid pressure and allow the horse to move around.

Of course I didn't design the system, but I can understand how it operates.

@tinyliny thank you for asking questions and listening. I know I am always learning, and I appreciate others desire to learn. I am glad I can impart some knowledge to those who wish for it.
loosie and tinyliny like this.

Last edited by AnitaAnne; 06-16-2019 at 02:35 PM.
AnitaAnne is offline  
post #32 of 37 Old 06-16-2019, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 48,381
• Horses: 2
Well put. I can see that in the case of a horse that is apt to panic at the first feeling of being held tight, it is the first part of the equation, the application of the pressure, that is really the key to it's flipping out, so having that 'slow" grab is what makes the difference. I was too focused on the second part of the equation; the release of pressure. In training, usually we are so focused on the release of the pressure, and making sure it is fully felt, and well timed.

I remember taking lessons, years back, on ground manners and my trainer reminding me to NOT take up any slack the horse created by coming forward off of a tug on the line , in the case of leading a horse who lags behind, pulling on the leadline. She said that folks often do this; they bump or pull the horse to step faster (to come off that pressure), and as soon as they do, they take up all the slack, so the horse has lost his 'reward'. Horse soon learns there is no point in coming off the line, since the slack he creates will only by pulled forward again.
loosie, AnitaAnne and SteadyOn like this.
tinyliny is offline  
post #33 of 37 Old 06-16-2019, 07:33 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,401
• Horses: 0
Hey AA, not sure if I'm correct, but I think this could be the first time we've had a difference of opinion that I recall! :wow:

But calling tying up a horse with a different type of lead a "punishment" may lead her to not try something that might help her.
Yeah, I think it is much a case of terminology, calling it 'punishment' but I do think that understanding the behavioural concept behind stuff is helpful myself. To understand how 'a different type of lead' can help or not. And to understand 'punishment' in a behavioural sense is that it is any undesirable stimuli applied to a behaviour to make it less likely to happen in future. So yeah, strictly, that does include any pressure is punishment. And so, it's a matter only of degree - as I agree, that's something that IMO comes into just about everything dealing with horses, unless perhaps you're a 'purist' clicker trainer or such.

Why can I agree with you that a bungee can be a good, effective tool, but also believe it's too 'punishing' for some? A horse that's a bit nervous but not reactive, or a horse that is not nervous - he's just learned to break loose calmly for eg, could be just put in that situation, with a bungee or such and it's great, because it's not too much for them. But I just strongly feel, if it IS more than they can cope with, that they panic & react, I want to do all that I can to avoid putting them in that situation, until they're up to it - which depending on prior experiences, may be... slow. And for horses who are already 'hair trigger', also the lack of immediate release when they do quit pulling can also cause further confusion/panic.

I just really feel minimising punishment is important, as especially with a horse who is already ready to panic - or doing so - that only adds one more 'bad' association to the situation. So, degrees... they need to learn to come off pressure of course, but while one horse may be fine with a bungee(which yes, IMO too, may be better than a hard tie & is less... confronting 'pressure'). But to another that may be far too much pressure, they're still too 'trapped'. So you might start with the long rope thru a ring, whatever 'degree' they can cope with, while avoiding causing any real fear/reactivity.

I think horses remember stuff on a far more... primal level. Emotions are strongly attached. So when a horse has terrifying experiences, that's what 'hits' them when confronted with the same experience. The more they get to 'practice' this association, the stronger it becomes. Whereas keeping things low stress, progressing only as the horse is ready for, they're 'practicing' being calm & not afraid & confirming that everything is actually alright. And the more practice of that, will overtake the previous fear experiences. Eventually... depending how well ingrained they are.

IMO "tying" the horse to one of those rings that allow the rope to just slip though is just teaching the horse how to break free. Not something I want to teach my horse!
If you were just to put the rope through the tie ring(or round a rail, tree branch, abseilers figure 8, whatever) and leave them to their own devices, yes, that is likely to be what they will learn. But if it is used correctly as a *training tool*, the horse learns nothing of the sort, because they do not break free. You remain on the end of the rope, to reel them back in. As they're able to move their feet *as much as they see fit, without too much(whatever that is, for that horse at that stage) pressure/punishment*, they learn it's all OK & there's no reason to panic, but they also cannot just escape - that doesn't work.
loosie is online now  
post #34 of 37 Old 06-16-2019, 09:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
Posts: 4,105
• Horses: 3
It doesn't teach them to break free. It teaches them they CAN'T break free, and they learn that without panic and without slamming back on a rope with no give and injuring themselves. They can move all they want and they're still 'tied.'

It's training tool. You don't tie them to it and leave. You stay nearby and help them through it. They move, you reel them back in when they stop backing up. You teach them to move left and right without pulling. You never, ever leave a horse tied with one and leave. You are part of the training process. Done right, it DOES work, and it works well.
loosie likes this.
SilverMaple is offline  
post #35 of 37 Old 06-16-2019, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 9,043
• Horses: 0
We will have to agree to disagree. I used to be in engineering, and strength of materials, breaking strength of hardware, and nearly 50 years of observing/interacting with rank horses all factor into my training methods. I'm not interested in forcing my methods on anyone. @tinyliny asked about "why" bungies work, and I answered. If you don't ever want to use one, whatever works for you is what you need to do. For me, safety comes first.

Was at one stable for a while, and they insisted on using hay strings to go between the snap and the cross tie. Absolutely annoying to deal with constant broken hay strings and the horses only stood there as long as you also stood there.

Back to the OP original problem, my RMHA gelding is very similar. I cannot tie him for very long to the outside of the trailer, and he has to have room to move around, and a full hay bag. Otherwise, he will dig a hole in the ground!

Tie him to a tree and he'll stand quietly, even without hay. The horse has to SEE everything

This then is the main reason I was completely turned off by the NATRC rides. They want to decide how I should contain my own horse, namely tie the horse to a trailer all night so all the horses are "treated the same". Hogwash. Horses aren't the same, why should we treat them the same?

Anyway, I think we have beat this subject to death, and as usual, the subject matter has totally gone off on a tangent.

One tiny piece of advice; don't expect anyone at the other end to hold you up with a tie-blocker if you decide to jump off a bridge....I don't plan on jumping, but if I did I would want a really strong bungie securely bolted at triple the break strength keeping me from splatting

G'night to all y'all :ZZZ:
loosie likes this.
AnitaAnne is offline  
post #36 of 37 Old 06-17-2019, 02:22 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,401
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
We will have to agree to disagree. ...I'm not interested in forcing my methods on anyone.
Hear hear! :CLAP: Many roads lead to Rome & all... That's what's so great about a world wide forum - we can all consider the vast array of different opinions & knowledge & experience... in order to choose what we think best for us.

Anyway, I think we have beat this subject to death, and as usual, the subject matter has totally gone off on a tangent.
Yeah I think we've about covered it, but I thought we'd managed NOT to go off on a tangent... for a change!

One tiny piece of advice; don't expect anyone at the other end to hold you up with a tie-blocker if you decide to jump off a bridge....I don't plan on jumping, but if I did I would want a really strong bungie securely bolted at triple the break strength keeping me from splatting
AnitaAnne likes this.
loosie is online now  
post #37 of 37 Old 06-17-2019, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 484
• Horses: 0
Interesting thoughts and ideas concerning this matter. I'll put my two cents worth. The only time I tie my horses so then can't escape is when we are at a place where other people also have their horses tied. Doesn't happen often. At home, my horses are never tied. I merely loop the lead rope over whatever I'm tying them to. They know that if they pull back, they can break free. Yet, it has been a long time since one of them did that. And on those occasion when something like a good size limb suddenly crashing to the ground has scared them, they break free, run 30 feet and stop. What I have observed is that when a horse is scared by whatever and it tries to break free and can't, that's when things turn dangerous. Mine seem to have learned that if something really threatening comes their way, they can break free. So why worry?
loosie likes this.
charrorider is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome