Methods of tying up your horse

scrat

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Having read a few posts lately on problems with horses being tied up, I just wondered what your thoughts are. How do you train a foal / youngster to tie up and learn to accept this and stand quietly. Do you tie them to a ring on a wall or solid post as some horse people do or always use twine that will break? Do you think that breaking twine teaches them that they can get away? If they pull against a ring that wont give do they accept that as a life long lesson? Years ago many were kept in stalls and tied up all night using a "chog" (or other regional name) and they were'nt going anywere. I guess it also depends on the strength of the stable / building you tie them too as IMO some are far from strong enough and a horse pulling back would probable demolish it or pull a piece of it away. I realise that there have been horrific accidents with horses panicing, unable to get away and falling over so is it better that they escape? I'm not criticising anyones methods as I can see a benefit to both, just interested in your thoughts.
 

FfionWinnie

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I always tie to a solid object and I never have any issue with them panicking or trying to break away. If they are trained properly they won't try to break. In my eyes this carries on through everything we do with them. Once they learn their own strength, they will use it against you. Better they don't.
 

Shay

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Even the best trained horse can panic. These are flight animals. If you tie to a fixed object they can break their necks. (although the headcollar or the structure might well break first!) All of mine are well trained and all stand tied - although one was a bit of a challenge to start with. None the less all tie either to split bailer twine (unsplit it is too tough to break these days) to an equi ping or similar or, in extremis, to an Idolo soft tie - which we used with great effect to re-train one who had learned to break twine out of disobedience - although he probably learned that the first time in panic as he had a lot of other issues too.
 

M&M&G

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In my experience bailing twine doesnt always break. After having had my horse slip whilst tied up with the rope caught round her neck (cause of panic in the first place) and the slip knot had been pulled too tight to undo, I always tie using a rope the has a quick release clip. I broke a rib trying to release her and thought she was going to break her neck :(
Fortunately we are bith now fine but dont want to be in that position again
 

Nudibranch

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I've had a few babies over the years and always used the long rope/hold one end at first. Has always worked; they quickly learn to stand quietly and none has ever gone on to be a breaker. I have had two who learnt to undo their quick release knots, but thats easily solved by making extra loops and dropping the loose end through!
I have always used baler twine but make a little knick so it will snap easily. If I had a problem tier, I'd go back to the loose end method. You can put a turn on it if they pull straight away. Pressure and release taught properly is unbeatable imo.
 

Iwantakitten

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Even the best trained horse can panic. These are flight animals. If you tie to a fixed object they can break their necks. (although the headcollar or the structure might well break first!) All of mine are well trained and all stand tied - although one was a bit of a challenge to start with. None the less all tie either to split bailer twine (unsplit it is too tough to break these days) to an equi ping or similar or, in extremis, to an Idolo soft tie - which we used with great effect to re-train one who had learned to break twine out of disobedience - although he probably learned that the first time in panic as he had a lot of other issues too.

I agree Shay, Dizz will happily stand tied all day if asked, especially if he has a haynet. But one time he was spooked by the neighbours dog running onto the yard and panicked, pulling back and breaking the split twine he has tied to before galloping across the yard. I got him caught and took him back over, while he was nervous about it he stood (untied) for a minute of two before I put him in his stable. He has tied up fine there ever since. It was just a one off flight reaction to a situation.
 

Illusion100

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Nothing is foolproof as even the calmest horse can freak out unexpectedly but teaching them to move forward into pressure is good for them to learn, then *hopefully* if they have a wobble they won't fight the pressure and instead take a step or two forward and settle themselves.

Personally, I won't tie a foal or a weanling to a fixed point, just because they are so fragile and the likelihood of damage if they did have a panic attack is much increased.

If I use bailer twine, the thickness is halved before using it and tend only to use it only with a smooth lead rope when teaching to tie and the usual twisted lead ropes or a lungeline are ran through the metal ring, so friction or ropes sticking if they go back isn't an issue. Until I'm confident they understand to move forward into a taut rope a long rope is used which I hold while doing what needs done. If they back, the rope is made taut until they move forward to where they originally where, then pressure released and carry on, repeat until horse understands it's easier just to stand still. This way there is leaway for them to panic and back a distance but they never 'get away' from being 'tied up'.

Then they are tied loosely to twine, so if a wobble occurs, the rope can quickly be undone and pressure can be applied/released. Then they are tied properly to twine, then tied properly to twine and left for gradually increasing moments of time (as in standing a bit away from them to increase their confidence of not having the handler right next to them).

The longest I like to leave a tied horse unsupervised is the amount of time it would take to pop to the tackroom to get something I'd forgotten as it's amazing the trouble they can get themselves into as soon as you turn your back and if they are tied while I'm mucking out etc, they are always close by where I can see them.

It is also ideal to have the tie ring as high as possible when teaching them so if they fight/panic/rear, getting themselves into a leg tangle with the rope is less likely and if you are holding the rope via the twine/ring make sure it is not dangling near the ground for the same reason.

How quickly you can move through the stages depends on the horse/environment etc but at least 3 reps (at least!) for each stage.

Yes, some horses once they've learned to snap the twine become serial offenders, others not. Tying them to something solid they can't get away from is too risky imo, a very good way to at least cause muscular strain/tear/pain never mind slipping over/broken vertebrae and confidence issues.
 

Dry Rot

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Does nobody carry a pen knife these days? I would rather leave my house without my door keys than without a sharp pocket knife. It only takes a second to use one as I have had to do in an emergency when a pony got it's head collar snagged on a solid object.

I am with FF, as usual. Start teaching them that they are not stronger than we are by using a rope halter properly and tieing up to a turning post with a long slippery yachting rope turned two or three times round the post so it can be stopped or allowed to slip with one hand on the end.

I imagine a horse would indeed break it's neck if allowed some slack in the line and to gain some speed before being brought to an abrupt stop. But that's not the way to teach them to tie or to yield to pressure.
 

Nudibranch

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I have a Swiss Army knife in a pocket at all times including when riding. Invaluable. Not a replacement for teaching them pressure and release though!
 

FfionWinnie

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I was opening a horse gate the other day. Somehow the handle got caught up the inside of the cheek pieces.

Because my horse is trained she stood stock still completely unconcerned until I was able to detangle her.

I really feel the people who cite the horse may break its neck or cause other damage or disaster have no concept of a well trained horse.

My horses are trained to yield to pressure. They understand pressure and they know they cannot break free/release pressure by pulling, therefore they do not at any time put any pressure on the rope whatsoever, under any circumstance.

None of that training was achieved by dangerous or cruel methods and without exception they all learned within a few days to stand quietly when tied whatever the situation. It's a life saver.
 
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