won't stand while being tied - The Horse Forum
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  • 2 Post By Seeker6
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  • 3 Post By Acadianartist
  • 4 Post By Seeker6
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-29-2020, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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won't stand while being tied

I have a 3 1/2 yr old Friesian/cross that will not stand tied if he can't see me. He will try to get his head under the rope, paw the ground rear etc. He's fine as long as I am close. Same situation when I put him in the stall untied. I do tie him high with a blocker but he will pull until the rope loosens and he can get his head under...
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-29-2020, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Landline View Post
he will pull until the rope loosens and he can get his head under...
If he gets release when he pulls or you "save" him he gets his head under the lead rope, you are teaching him that he does not have to stand alone.

Is it him not knowing that it is OK to be alone or him knowing that he can "misbehave" when he is alone because you are not there to correct him?

Does he know how to give to pressure?
Hard tie him high, above his withers, to a tree or some other solid object in a rope halter. Tie him with enough length so that he can move around a little but not so much that he could hurt himself. Tie a hay net and/or a well-trained horse nearby. He'll learn that pulling puts pressure and get him nowhere. When he stands, there will be no pressure, and he gets to eat hay. That is a win-win in the horse world.

ETA:
What is he like when you are not around?
What is his living situation like?
Horses are social creatures. If he has no friends and/or you rarely visit him, he may be lonely and that could be contributing to his "separation anxiety" (if it is not just training cause but also an emotional cause) from you.
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Last edited by Seeker6; 06-29-2020 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Lonely horsie?
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-29-2020, 06:42 PM
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I personally don't know many horses who will tolerate standing tied alone and unattended. But I also never have much occasion to do that with them. I know of one horse who was an absolute saint, super easygoing, but flipped himself in the cross ties and hurt himself when the person getting him ready left him alone there too long while grabbing tack. So I don't think this is an unusual problem to have.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-30-2020, 06:22 AM
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I'm no expert by any means, but I do a lot of research to ensure everything I do with my horses is done safely. My understanding is that you should never tie solid in a rope halter. Should he get caught, get a leg over the rope (even if you don't give slack, some will rear and kick out with their front leg), you have no way of getting that halter off. If you are going to tie solid and leave him to teach him "patience", use a breakaway halter.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of tying a horse and leaving him unattended. If you have to do this, spend some time teaching it first. Clicker training would be one way. Wait for the horse to stand quietly as you stand just out of sight for very brief periods. When he is quiet, you click, reappear, and treat. Don't do this when you're in a hurry, schedule tie-training sessions when you're not likely to get frustrated because it is taking too long. If the problem is that you are out of sight, you need to work on this, specifically. Leave him briefly at first, then longer and longer. My Rusty was not happy about being tied solid at first, especially when I went to get his saddle out of the tack room, but now it's just a normal thing and he stands very still. It just took time and patience. But I understand your horse might not be quite so easy get out of this habit.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-30-2020, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I'm no expert by any means, but I do a lot of research to ensure everything I do with my horses is done safely. My understanding is that you should never tie solid in a rope halter. Should he get caught, get a leg over the rope (even if you don't give slack, some will rear and kick out with their front leg), you have no way of getting that halter off. If you are going to tie solid and leave him to teach him "patience", use a breakaway halter.
Different strokes for different folks.

I hard-tie my horse and nothing bad has happened, but I have also worked with horses tied with breakaway strings/halters that learned they could breakaway. They would not stand at all - alone or with company. With pullers, it is a hard habit to break.

I've always boarded near busy roads, with high speeds (suburban life). I absolutely cannot have a horse pull, spook, etc. and learn that they can break away. Very dangerous to both horse and drivers. You have to calculate the risks.

JMHO.

I do not like to leave horses tied unattended, but if I forgot something in the tack room or take a quick bathroom break, I don't want the horse to flip out. I also don't want the horse to flip out when it alone in a stall. Although I pasture board, I have needed to keep my horse in a stall before during an emergency. Horse needs to learn that it is OK to be alone sometimes.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-30-2020, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. He'll stand the entire I time I'm with him grooming or doing his feet, as soon as I move out of sight he'll start to panic. Same thing in the stall.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-03-2020, 01:27 AM
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I start teaching horses to tie with the help of a 'Tie Ring' or round rail or otherwise equipment that allows them to 'drift' on a long rope, so they learn there's no need to panic when tied, but while I do this gradually, I do teach them, to the point where they're safe & calm to tie solidly.

I'd suggest you ensure he is OK being tied solid before you go further. Then I use Acadian's tactic of rewarding 'baby steps' in getting them used to being left(I too don't like to leave a horse tied alone, but in the real world, sometimes...). When you start 'leaving' him, I'd go back to the 'Blocker', but wrap it in such a way that while it will loosen if he really panics, it will be hard work, so he's not likely to do it 'just because' - he is effectively hard tied. Then desensitise him to standing alone gradually enough that he isn't likely to get really upset or panic.
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