The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm just beginning the training of my 3 yr old filly.
She's halter-broke (barely), but hasn't been taught how to stand tied.

If I tie her up, she becomes nervous as soon as she realizes it. She doesn't try to pull back and break out of it (yet), but while she's nervously pacing around as much as she can, she tugs the rope over and over again. She gets even more nervous if I walk away and leave her tied, or try to do anything with her while tied. (She stands calmly just fine when someone is holding her lead rope, just gets nervous when actually tied.)

Before I color the conversation with any of my ideas about this, I'll ask for your ideas on how to (gently!) teach her to stand calmly while tied.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,901 Posts
I would say just do what you're doing. Ignore her nervous behavior and go about like there's nothing wrong with her. Eventually she should calm down when she realizes you aren't going to kill her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
629 Posts
There are multiple problems going on here.

1) Your horse is insecure and lacks self-confidence.
2) She's been rewarded (probably unconsciously) for her poor behavior and thus it's been reinforced.
3) You do not teach a horse to tie, by tying.

Solutions

1) Work with her in a small enclosed area w/o the use of restraints of any kind.
2) Stop rewarding unwanted behavior. Ignore unwanted behavior, praise wanted behavior.
3) Work with her in a small enclosed area w/o the use of restraints of any kind. Groom her, pet her, pick up her feet...etc... When she moves, simply put her back where you want her, and then continue on. When she will stand where you put her, let you work with her AND you can walk away from her and STILL she stands, then you may put a halter and lead on and tie her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,082 Posts
Tie blocker rings or something similar. If they pull hard it slowly releases them so they do not feel trapped. If you wrap the rope twice it is harder f
or them to get loose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
There are many ways to teach a horse to tie, depending on their experience...it very much depends on the horse as to what you do to change what the horse is doing. If it's fear based, you'd approach it differently than if it's just boredom. Different again if it's abuse related or just a twiddle bug.

I think trust building exersizes will help with this, but first you have to figure out WHY she won't stand tied calmly. Have you tried tying her on another location? Outside maybe? Is is possible you're asking her to stand in front of a horse that doesn't like her (in a stall)? Think of your routine and see if there's anything that could be making her uneasy.

Once you've ruled out outside reasons, look at yourself. How are you moving around her? Edgy and careful, because she's so fidgetty? Or are you walking around as calm and cool as you would with any other horse? What emotion are YOU portraying to her? If you think you're doing the same old thing you always do and don't think you may be the cause of her upset, then you need to look at the horse.

How long have you had your filly? If not too long, then I'd maybe contact the previous owner and see how they "trained" her to tie. If no base work was put into her, then no wonder she's dancing around - nobody ever showed her how she was *supposed* to behave while tied. Sometimes, people can come up with some crazy methods and think they're genuinely teaching their horse something valuable.

All things to think about...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,613 Posts
I agree with Mercedes. You need to work with her where she'll stand without restraints before you can expect her to stand with restraints. I spent the first couple of months with my horse just working in the stall, as she wasn't truly halter trained, and hadn't had much handling, so all I was able to do was work her in the pen without restraints. When it came time to actually tie her up, she was just fine. She fidgets some still, just cause she gets bored very easily, but it is not a nervous thing, and if I tell her to stop she does. I also talked to a trainer at a rescue place that said the same thing. Work with the horse in the arena, or stall or whatever, don't tie them up, just work with them, grooming, picking up feet ect., until they understand that they need to be still. Then when the day comes that he actually does tie them up, its nothing new, nothing big, because the horse already learned that he was supposed to stand still.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Only start tying when you have finished a good training session and all your horse wants to do is stand and catch their breath. If they get to stand tied and catch their breath every time they will begin to love it because they know there are a lot of other things the could be having to do. I also like the Ted Blocker tie ring, it's a great tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
How long have you had your filly? If not too long, then I'd maybe contact the previous owner and see how they "trained" her to tie. If no base work was put into her, then no wonder she's dancing around - nobody ever showed her how she was *supposed* to behave while tied.
That's exactly it... She had never been tied at all before I got her, and she's only been halter-broke to a rudimentary level.

I'll definitely be doing more work with her before I try working on tying, so maybe that will help. Also, I like the idea of teaching her to stand still after getting her tired out, so she wants to. I may also try to find one of those tie blocks in a local store... I've heard great things about them, and by all means I don't want her to learn to pull back and break something. (Which in her current state, if something startled her while tied, that would probably happen.)

For now though, I'm off to get her to accept being haltered without the use of treats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
910 Posts
I would say just do what you're doing. Ignore her nervous behavior and go about like there's nothing wrong with her. Eventually she should calm down when she realizes you aren't going to kill her.
I agree. When I teach my horses to tie. I will tie them to a tree, with 2 halters and leadropes. Then I will start brushing (brushing calms my horses). And just talking to them("easy" "whoa" "stand"). If they start getting antsy, I walk away a few feet till they calm down again. Then go back to brushing. If they set back. I let them set back. I stand there as calm as can be and tell them "easy" "whoa" "stand". And as soon as they come back to the tree... I go back to brushing. Typically a couple times doing this.. and not getting free. They realize its easier to stand, and with you stepping back and staying calm and trying to calm them. They will realize... nothing is coming for them after all. My horses will stand tied with a piece of yarn, (and yes i have done this).
I have seen a lot of horses tied with the tie rings.. and it just teaches them they can get looser by pulling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
My trainer and I introduced my horse to tying in her box stall, using a circle-ring mounted to the wall and a lunge line. This way, we safely adjusted the length as she grew more comfortable with the restricted movement of her head. at first she stood there, then when she was ready we asked her to move around to feel the pressure on her head. Everything went so well for us using this method, I had visions of rearing and flipping over but it was never like that. I did the same thing with the crossties, we started out with two lunge lines, moved to one cross-tie, attached by a quick release knot and one lunge line, then both cross-ties with bale twine attached so she had some slack. The first time we used regular crossties she did back up and snap one, but after she snapped it she just stood there with a look on her face like, "Gee, I'd like not to do that again." We've never have had a problem since. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
If you're riding her then get her good and tired so she wants to stand then maybe let her eat a little grain out of a bucket while she's standing there. BEFORE she gets really bothered untie her and do something else. Then you can tie her up again untill she gets bothered. Eventually you can leave her tied up as long as you want. i have seen the blocker tie ring used and I like it alot. It doesn't teach a horse that it can get away it teachs them not to panic if something bothers them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I would work on teaching her to release to the pressure the halter puts on her poll. I would put downward pressure on the lead, as soon as she drops her head even slightly, release and reward. Continue until you can get her to drop her head to the ground. If at any point her head goes up when you apply pressure, keep the pressure the same and release as soon as her head starts to go down.

Then I would add distractions. Ask her to put her head down and do something little to cause her to raise her head. Let her bump into the pressure and maintain it until she brings the head down. Release and praise. Continue until you can give her a 'scare' and she will hit the pressure and release to it every time.

Walk her around and ask her to keep her head low. I like to hold the rope short and then grab my pocket or belt loop. You have now tied her to a mobile post. Every time she raises her head and meets the pressure she should release to it.

I like to loop the rope without securing it with a newbie tie student and always tie them higher then their poll. If the horse is tied low they can use their entire body. If the horse gets upset I will first ask them to give at the trailer. If they do not respond and relax, we go work on the head down among other exercises and then come back to the hitch.

A lot of the fear will go away as soon as the horse learns to give to the pressure. Then this exercise teaches them the hitch is a nice place to rest. I will never tie a spooky, nervous horse, fast. Once a horse learns they can break away when afraid, you have a lot of work on your hands as well as the potential for injury.

There are other advanced exercises for tying a horse, but this is a good start and may be all she needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
There are other advanced exercises for tying a horse, but this is a good start and may be all she needs.
Could you share them with us, please. :) I'd be really curious to hear those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It may not be as difficult as I was worried it would be.
I had to tie her up today, but it turned out okay.
She'll stand tied very nicely now if I'm standing next to her, so I did that, and progressively got further away and away for longer, going back to her each time she tried to follow, couldn't, and got upset.

She still didn't like it when I walked away and left her tied: she would try (over and over) to walk away, but then go back to standing nicely when the rope tugged at her, and she would paw the ground sometimes...
But, she didn't pull on the rope hard, and her panic level never got above some low-level nervousness... So, I think she did extremely well considering it's only the second time in her life she's been tied!

Tomorrow I'll be working on ground manners anyway, so I think I'll add in what ReiningTrainer said, with lowering her head to teach her to give into downward pressure. If she learns that well, I won't have to worry as much about what would happen if she was startled while tied.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top