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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on getting Teddy feeling OK about being tied.

We had a really good session today, where I had him tied for about 25 minutes, and even after I untied him he just stood there for a while. He was mostly OK, with zero head tossing and only a little pawing.

However, not all of our sessions go so well.

Teddy's go-to when he's anxious is to toss his head. He's gotten so much better about it since I've had him, but that's still his mechanism when he gets really worried. If it gets to where he just can't handle it, he rears. Not rears and flips, but he goes up. So I get why I wouldn't want to hard tie him to something -- he is a classic candidate for pulling back. And I know what can happen from that.

But by tossing his head, he works my quick-release knot loose. I tie it to where it's like four quick-release knots all in a line, but he tosses and tosses and tosses, and eventually they all come out and he walks away. So I am teaching him that if he tosses his head enough, he can get out of the situation, which I also obviously don't want. Am I tying my knots wrong? Or is there something else I need to be doing?
 

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Search you tube for 'Bank Robber's knot'. That and "Horseman's hitch" (not sure about that name) are my favorite. If I understand your post, you are using a Daisy chain,,,are you putting a lock stictch into the last one? that might also stop the head tossing from undo-ing it. Head tossing wouldnt untie the Bank Robber's knot or the other I can't remember the name of ....and they are both quick release knots. I personally don't like to use cross ties , I much prefer quick release knots, or the blocker tie.
 

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After doing the first knot tug on the horse's end so that its nice and tight, daisy chain it once or twice and then lock the end by tucking it in the loop. Give another solid tug from horse's end to check that it "locks". It means two steps to untie. I don't know what you're tying to.. it's practically jail-worthy (not really but feels that way!) to tie to anything other than a loop of twine. If someone bodged up a knot and the horse panicked twine will snap but its enough that a fair effort would be needed from the horse. I would have no problem personally hard tying to twine - but it's not really hard tying in a sense. Loop of twine (around tree, post, ring) and then tie rope to the twine. Even haynets aren't allowed to be tied to a rung directly at two yards I go. Twine through rung then haynet to twine. If he only head shakes and doesn't tug and go mental I could see this working... if he is the sort to go mental it'll just teach him that he can snap away. You can sorta hard-tie this way or "lock" it at least knowing there was a secondary break away measure. Sometimes its better because it means you don't need to get close and personal to undo a knot if its a truly ugly situation (have witnessed only once thank goodness I don't have a horse that can't tie!). Learning other knots is good too but I never seem to remember them or get confused! >.<
 

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I would suggest a bungy rope, or old timey way tie to a tire inner tube.

I'm not exactly sure what all these knots are that have been discussed, I only know of one safety knot, and you can tuck the end through the loop. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it in words...

Also what kind of rope are you tying with? A cotton lead will be less likely to come loose easily.
 

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This website has a TON of useful knots to learn, including a section specifically for quick release knots, and for tying stock (hover your mouse over 'Knots By Activity' and it'll list a ton):

https://www.animatedknots.com/

And it has step by step instruction with pictures of how to do each knot. Also which situations would be better or worse for using the knot, and things to do to make the knot stronger, etc. Very informative site.

I would NEVER cross tie a horse that pulls back. That's a recipe for disaster. The Blocker tie ring is one thing a lot of folks use on a recalcitrant tyer-upper. The old tire bit works as well, or the rope run around the horse's barrel. For a horse that likes to pull back, I will not tie a knot at all at first. Just wrap the rope around the [horizontal, never vertical] thing I'm tying to. Wrap and wrap and wrap. Depending on whether the tie post is wood or metal or whatever, sometimes I go more wraps and sometimes less. With wood, generally two wraps will do it. Four or so on metal. This way, when the horse pulls back it acts as a retarding force but NOT a hard tie - with enough pressure, the horse will create more slack, and the more wraps the harder the horse has to pull. For added security, you can throw the excess rope over the section heading toward the horse's halter. Always give it a pull when you've wrapped it to test out the firmness of the hold - you want it to require a bit of force but not too much.

With a terrible tyer-upper, I will wrap for a softer pull, that requires less force, at first. As the horse gets better about tying I'll add more and more wraps to require more and more force to create slack. But some people go straight for the firm pull - more wraps. One benefit I can see for this with your horse - head tossing will not affect the wraps in any way, unless you've not got enough of them in there.

-- Kai
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@mslady254 and @Kalraii did put the lock stitch at the end of my "daisy chain" (didn't know that was what it is called!) once,. But then I didn't see how that was any difference than just hard tying, so I didn't do it again. I see now that if I needed to, I could extract the last bit and then pull the other knots out, but on the off chance Teddy had panicked I'm not sure I'd be able to get in there to do it. I thought the point of the daisy chain was so that if the horse panicked he could pull it out himself. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding.

Looking at the thing @rambo99 posted, I realized I have trailer ties that have a similar latch. I could possible use those. I have two, so I could connect them to each other and then to his halter. But then I still have the same question of what I would do if he were panicking and I needed to undo them.
@Kaifyre I remember I tried wrapping before, but it was a sort of half-hearted attempt (I think I wrapped it twice around a metal hitching post) and he undid it pretty quickly. The good thing in all of these cases is that while he did manage to undo the tying, I was right there, so I just tied him up again -- it's not like he actually freed himself and just walked off.

Teddy is so sweet, but I didn't realize how lucky I had gotten with the other two until I got him. Pony can be a little jumpy, and Moonshine is grumpy, but they will trailer, tie, be good for the vet, etc. Walk right into a strange building, no problem. Teddy is getting better -- he hasn't reared for the vet at all lately. But when he got him last teeth filled this last time, I asked the vet and he said he definitely needed a LOT of sedation for a horse his size, AND he kept having to re-sedate him.

I appreciate all of the responses. One more thing I think I might try is tying him with his buddies also tied nearby. I think that if I can build enough positive experiences being tied, then eventually it won't be an issue for him. This is how we worked around a lot of his other anxiety issues.

Thanks!
 
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I missed this " If it gets to where he just can't handle it, he rears. Not rears and flips, but he goes up. So I get why I wouldn't want to hard tie him to something -- he is a classic candidate for pulling back. " before. I was responding to the head tossing that resulted in untie-ing the Daisy Chain. From the horse's view point, and in practicality, the Daisy Chain, and the other knots that I mentioned are hard ties, but with a quick release. I honestly don't know how he got the Daisy Chain undone, esp. since you had a locking stitch in the end. Usually it would come apart from the horse pulling with the rope in his mouth, or stepping on it WITHOUT a lock stitch in.

I've not dealt with one that sets back hard, so I'll defer to those with experience with that. I've seen videos of what Kaifryre is saying,,,,it keeps them from panicing but they usually don't get completely free, so get better and better with being tied.

I don't reccommend a bungie, don't know about a tire. I've seen a bungie come undone on the non-horse end and bungie hard into the human (it would have been the horse, but the human was in the way. OUCH.

A patience pole is great to help horses learn to stand tied, if you could make one of those.
 
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The clip I posted isn't a so called trailer tie.

You put your own lead rope on it. Can adjust it so rope either pulls through easy giving release. Or adjust it so horse has to pull back with force before rope pulls through clip giving slack.

Rope can not pull completely through so horse can not get away.

I use this to tie my hard core ,pull back break what he's tied to horse. He's pulled back twice, got release and stopped pulling.

I have the tension on it fairly tight. So he has to pull pretty darn hard to,pull slack in rope.

I use this in my trailer also ,not regular trailer ties. I can adjust how short lead is or how long lead is. I give him about a foot of rope maybe a tad more.

When saddling I don't want him to be able to reach around to bite.

Here's a picture of clip with rope on it. Not where it normally is for tying, it was to dark in that part of barn.
 

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I use a bowline knot with a quick release.
It will not tighten down if a horse pulls back and it doesn't loosen if the horse is throwing a fit, tossing its head pulling on the slack. I'll stick the tail through the loop on occasion but I don't feel the need to use a daisy chain unless the lead is long and need to keep it out of the way.

I'm not saying the bowline is better than any other just I found it to be safe after riding and owning horses that pulled back and I have been using it for so long it is what I'm comfortable with.
My only word of caution with tying the bowline is to keep your fingers out of the "rabbit hole" while tying for safety.
 

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Rambo's clip looks like a tie blocker with a built on clip?
@ACinATX is Pony just being rude and impatient or is he truly worried or claustrophobic?
I think those things need to be addressed differently although admittedly I used to think they were solved by the same method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@COWCHICK77 this is Teddy, not Pony, and I believe he is worried and claustrophic, yes. He gets this worried look in his face when he's tied. It's the same face he used to make when put in a stall or brought into the arena. And you can see his body just tense up. He's always been a worrier and he's always been claustrophobic. He's also a type who buries his anxiety until it finally explodes. He's never pulled back that I know of, but it seems like he's the type to panic and do it.

Pony on the other hand, you tie him and he's like "Oh, that means nothing's gonna happen now" and he just dozes off. Pony can be a butt, but at least I don't have to worry about anxiety with him.
 
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I would definitely not advocate x-tying a puller/panicker - more dangerous.

I too use 'The Clip'(first gadget pictured by someone) and also 'Blocker Tie Ring' type things(after buying one, had a couple old snaffles that I cut to make more) and abseiler's 'figure 8's', which work the same as a 'Tie Ring'. I use them in the trailer or anywhere (or on any horse) that it's not safe to tie solid. You can loop the tail of the rope around itself to make for more 'strength'. If a horse has learned to flip his head or pull back in order to get loose(ie not in fear/reaction), then these things, even when loose rope around a few times for added strength, may not cut it to keep a 'left brained puller' from escaping.

So... when the horse is trained to do so & situation/equipment is safe to do so, I do tie firm & use a quick release 'chain' with, as suggested, the tail 'locking' the chain. Why I think it's important to have a couple of chains before the 'lock' is that this should prevent the whole thing becoming too tight to undo if the horse pulls back.

@mslady254 and @Kalraii did put the lock stitch at the end of my "daisy chain" (didn't know that was what it is called!) once,. But then I didn't see how that was any difference than just hard tying, so I didn't do it again. ... I thought the point of the daisy chain was so that if the horse panicked he could pull it out himself.
No, it IS hard tying, and the horse shouldn't be able to get himself loose - that's the point. But it is a knot that *should* enable you to get in there & quickly release it, without having to cut it. If you reckon he's not up to safely being hard tied yet, just loop a long rope around a rail a few times, or use a 'tie ring' of some description.

I think that if I can build enough positive experiences being tied, then eventually it won't be an issue for him. This is how we worked around a lot of his other anxiety issues.
Yep, that always helps. Esp if there's anxiety involved, I'd want to minimise punishment. BUT IMO he also needs some form of punishment/unpleasant consequence for pulling back/head flipping, IF you can do so in such a manner that it won't cause exacerbate the anxiety.
 

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This website has a TON of useful knots to learn, including a section specifically for quick release knots, and for tying stock (hover your mouse over 'Knots By Activity' and it'll list a ton):

https://www.animatedknots.com/
Thank you for that link! Having a bit of a... knot fettish(I do knotwork & decorative leatherwork), I do know many knots, but that site looks like I could waste hours learning a lot more!
 

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@COWCHICK77 this is Teddy, not Pony, and I believe he is worried and claustrophic, yes. He gets this worried look in his face when he's tied. It's the same face he used to make when put in a stall or brought into the arena. And you can see his body just tense up. He's always been a worrier and he's always been claustrophobic. He's also a type who buries his anxiety until it finally explodes. He's never pulled back that I know of, but it seems like he's the type to panic and do it.

Pony on the other hand, you tie him and he's like "Oh, that means nothing's gonna happen now" and he just dozes off. Pony can be a butt, but at least I don't have to worry about anxiety with him.
My apologies, I have been stalking your saddle fitting threads too and must have confused them :)

I found the anxiety/claustrophobia issue much more difficult to deal with than just rudeness and impatience. I agree with @loosie reprimanding makes it (anxiety) worse.
So for me, getting creative to make tying a good experience takes effort especially for a horse that is not food motivated. I'm finding even some food motivated horses can not be appeased with a bucket of feed for a short amount of time. The mind isn't there, it is every where else but there where they are tied. Which one of the things I have been told, and some of the best advice, horse training is about getting in their heads.
I'm trying to figure it out myself how to get it worked out even though I'm one to accept a "hole" in a horse and try to work around it. :)
 

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@loosie From one knot fetishist to another, glad I could be of service. ; )

That site is SUPER useful though. Learned how to splice several different ways, finally make a bowline that actually works, and other fun stuff. 10/10 would highly recommend.

-- Kai
 

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I have a 11 year old gelding that has been "rewarded" for tossing his head to loosen the rope so he's developed into a puller. I started him with the Blocker Tie Ring but it didn't help since he was in control of how much slack he could make for himself. I have since started using the Bank Robbers Knot tied to a nylon bailing twine around a 6X6 post. This has worked well to settle him to standing, mostly. He still gets anxious and paws the ground when someone leaves the barn with another horse but he has almost stopped tossing his head since he isn't rewarded with more slack.

I usually tie him up to just stand out of the way while I clean his stall. This process can take the best part of an hour, depending how soiled the bedding is and how energetic I am in cleaning. I keep a close watch on him to be sure he is safe and behaving.

This week, after I had finished cleaning his stall, I was standing near him when something startled him and he decided he needed to pull back, HARD. I stepped back but remained with him and after a second he settled down. I eased the pressure from the rope halter and gently massaged his head, neck and poll for about thirty seconds. I still don't know what set him off and he hasn't pulled back again. I can't remember if he ever pulled back before this episode and I know he hasn't done it since.

I have employed the Blocker Tie Ring in the trailer but I won't be using it again in the arena/tacking area. I think that such a ring rewards the horse for pulling by providing slack. Just my opinion but I won't use it again except in the trailer.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. Let's ride.
 

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^i think something like a blocker tie ring, or if you have round rails( or appropriate branch) to loop the long rope around, is great for training, great help in teaching a horse they don't need to stress, tie safely & confidently. But yeah, if they're pulling back deliberately & calmly, knowing it works, this method is not great.

So I do use that 'slide' method, but for ensuring the horse will stand & accept being tied confidently. First with a couple of wraps, then gradually firmer. And with me on the end of the rope, ensuring the horse doesn't get loose & is reeled back in when he does pull back, so the behaviour doesn't work for him enough to be a reward. Once he's good at standing with me in control, with it wrapped in such a way to be reasonably firm(twice around blocker ring & then tail of rope wrapped around horses end of rope is pretty firm), and with things going on around him, then I will start walking away - not far enough I can't quickly get back to the horse.

Some horses will stress when left, so might be a case you have to teach them, by coming & going for not long, that that's alright. Then imo, for most horses, they will stay 'tied' fine from then. Some smarty pants horses though, like my yellow one, & sounds like yours @Elessar, will see the opportunity and as soon as you're out of sight, start sneaky pulling! Should be wrapped firm enough by then to be pretty difficult & uncomfortable to pull on, so most will give it up. But if they've learned that to persist pays off... This is where, assuming the horse isn't afraid, I'd consider it time to tie firm.
 
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