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Every horse has a hole.

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1 Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:22 pm

uno

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Or black marble. That one glitch in an otherwise almost perfect animal. Call it what you will. But one of our horse people calls it 'the hole'. That ONE thing that will always be a problem.

We have found Wrecker's hole. Tying. He does not tie. (Wrecker is the off the track TB she brought home 2 years ago., He is a doll in every other way and has a natural aptitude for jumping, is tireless and fast as hell.)

First several times we trailered him, we just put him in the trailer loose. No problem.

The one time Horse Daughter did tie him, when she went in to unload he pulled back, hit that tie and FLIPPED OUT. He went down kicking and flailing inside the trailer, while she was in there with him. She pressed herself into a corner and hoped to stay out of the way of flailing legs. He got himself upright and there is no delicate way to say this, was beat for his trouble. DO NOT PULL BACK WHEN TIED!

He lives at a stable and she has discovered that this non-tying business is escalating. She took me out to watch one day and I have to say the whole event was quite horrifying.

She ties him up. There is nothing going on around him. No horses are being ridden, no food is being delivered, it's a quiet, clear day with a slight breeze to blow the bugs away. He is not threatened, scared or wired up.

Slowly, slowly he begins to back up. He feels the halter on his head, feels that he is tied. He comes forward again and stands there, looking around. Then he slowly backs up again and gives a little bit of a tug, just a little. Comes forward, looks around. Then he goes into full scale flip out! Whipping his head, kicking, his legs slip out from under him he falls to his knees, gets back up. Thrashes his head side to side violently, his whole body pulling against that rope.

I am freaking out, oh my Gordon, he's going to hurt himself, untie him, untie him! Horse Daughter is cool as a cucumber. She just stands there. I am having a stroke, what if he breaks his neck?! She says "if he's stupid enough to break his own neck over this, then he breaks his neck. He's not safe like this and he's better off dead than causing a wreck. He's going to figure it out sooner or later."

After about 3 flips outs, the rope broke and he went trotting off towards his pen. HD caught him and as she was leading him back he reared up and pulled out of her hand. Uh oh. I knew that would go badly for horse, and it did! THERE! WILL! BE! NO! YANKING! OUT! OF! MY! HAND! YOU! STUPID S.O.B! Whack, whack, run in circles.

He gets tied up again where it starts all over with small, tentative yanks on the rope before the big flip out. HD says, "I think he had someone trained to run over and untie him. I think Wrecker has learned that if he looks like he's about to flip out, he will be untied, because you will notice he does a few little 'fake' attempts first, before the big spazz out." And she's right. He does not look scared or worried, he is not showing pain. He just simply gets tired of standing there (and this takes under 3 minutes) and then decides he wants someone to untie him.

She was smart enough NOT to tie him to a rail, as he would have pulled a rail off and gone running off with a board full of nails tied to his head. Bad. She tied him to the huge post supporting the stable roof. But he has inflicted some damage when he finds he can't get loose, then rears up and leaps forward, smashing his hooves onto the rail fence in front of him. HD is concerned that if he leaps up and lands on the fence, he'll be high centred and then she'll have another level of trouble.

She feels he should come home from the stable and be tied to the bulldozer. He will not move that and cannot leap through it, over it or onto it.

If you are of the horse whispering variety of horse person, this story will have horrified you. HD feels that with young, new horses, you need a high level of patience and tolerance. But this horse is not young, he raced for 4 years, a LONG career for a racer. He should know by now about tying. This is, in her opinion, a temper tantrum, nothing more. And she exists to stamp out all temper tantrums. I have horse mom bragged before because she will ride other people's naughty horses and they all say the same thing. "Wow, my horse is so good for Horse Daughter, look how well he's listening!" That's because picking a battle of wills with Horse Daughter (if you are a horse) is a very, very, bad idea. And she lets horse know this. When HD encounters a bad horse the first thumping that she wants to hand out is usually to the owner, who has (in her opinion) allowed this behaviour to escalate by not stepping on it loud and clear the first time it happened.

Anyone have a horse who would not tie? What did you do about it?

2 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:03 pm

authenticfarm

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Oh, lordy.

Firstly, I approve of HD's methods. Good girl.

I worked one season at a huge dude ranch. Over 100 horses to saddle every day.

We had one entire corner of the arena (which is where all the horses were tied for tacking up every morning) dedicated to horses who pulled back. Probably around 20, 30 horses. No one really knew why they started pulling, but once they started, they went to the corner.

It was a dangerous place to be. Chances were good that if one horse went off, they'd all go off. It was a miracle that no one got hurt. The horses were packed in tight, with just enough room to squish in beside and slap a saddle on. When they started pulling, there was nowhere to go - if you were lucky, there would be a hole big enough to get out of there, otherwise you just huddled to the wall and hoped for the best.

Anyway ... despite being tied multiple times a day, I never saw a horse leave the bad horse corner. I am not sure there is a cure. Mind, none of us had time to try to fix them all.

And often, it was the best horses who were over there - the ones who weren't total plugs, who were suitable for more advanced riders or new employees.

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3 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:18 pm

SerJay

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My paint went from being fine being tied to one day deciding enough and snapped the leadline clip. Well after learning he could break the clip good luck tying he'd stand completely fine until I'd take a couple of steps then give a good snap or more and even the biggest clip would break!! Well went through 4 leadlines so asked my (natural horsemanship) farrier and he gave me the idea to try a rope halter and lead. Well, figured it was worth a try as his halter was ruined and I'd gone through enough leads.

He worked and worked and worked at breaking that rope halter and lead but could not do it. I tied him and waited for him to be an idiot and try to break it. He couldn't and once he realized he couldn't break it and I wasn't coming near him until he calmed down and quit being an idiot. I just stood, then sat and finally had myself a coffee and read my book until he stopped. I then went out for the 3 or 4 days and tied him randomly somewhere else while had lots of time to waste and waited for him to try and fail to break his lead. The last time I tied him beside hubby who was building so hammering and all kinds of scarey things but he didn't flinch and hardly struggled. No more broken leads or halters and I can use the regular ones now not just the rope halter. He just needed to realize that breaking lead wasn't an option and nope I wasn't going to save him from being an idiot Laughing 

4 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:11 pm

uno

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We have noticed that horses, at certain ages, get an idea. An idea that they don't have to listen. For us this happens anywhere from 3 - 5 years of age. A good horse one day becomes obstinate and opinionated. Like a teenager.

With older horses who come with problems, Horse Daughter has had good luck working out some of the kinks. So an older horse gets better and it's all very gratifying. But then a very promising youngster, coming along beautifully, suddenly decides to become mentally incompetent. Leg aids that it used to know, it suddenly doesn't know anymore. Things that never used to scare it are suddenly life threatening. Stop and go have become confused in the horse's mind and why stand still for mounting, like you have for the past 2 years, when you can suddenly jiggle and wiggle all over the place?

In a young horse HD considers this a 'phase' and takes a firm but tolerant approach. But once you're 6 or 7 and pull this, the hammer comes down!

HD is now thinking that she is going to stand behind TB and when he decides to flip out, she's going to shoot him in the butt with a paintball gun. I don't know if this will be effective, but her reasoning is if he wants to freak out, let's give him a good reason to freak out. I doubt it will come to this, but he may get a lunge whip across his backside a few times.

I just sit there with my finger poised to dial either 911 or the vet and chant, please be good, please be good, please be good.

5 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:13 pm

uno

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OFF TOPIC Serjay, I pmed you. Did it arrive?

6 pulling on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:09 pm

chickenhoarder

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Can't say I'm a horse trainer, but I was told once to try a inner tube{truck size} between the tie down anchor and the lead rope/ halter. Strong enough to take the pulling and strong enough to pull him back. Then see who gives in first, you watching or the pulling horse. Never done this or seen it done, so good luck with what ever you try.

7 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:20 pm

lanaire-ranching

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short story....
My Mister's paint was lent to a friend that was going through grief with her parents who wouldnt let her have HER horse (an adult friend to boot. thinking NOW of course, there was more to the story)

things went south when I got sick, and she was one of the ones that basically refused to have anything to do with me because I wasnt of any use to her anymore. so went and got the horse. tried to load her, her boyfriend came around the corner, and that horse reared up and actually broke a rope halter lead. I have never in my life seen one of those break. ever. got him away from her, and she loaded with me (I could barely walk and was using a cane) just fine.
she does flip out a little now when tied up and something or someone comes up behind her that she cant quite see properly (she is also blue eyed in both eyes, and I think that is part of the issue, but that is another story)

I just hope I dont have a flip out case on my hands now... nothing more dangerous or frustrating when you cant tie up a horse to tack it....

8 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:40 pm

smokyriver

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The tire tube works on a young horse, but one who has figured out that halter pulling will turn them loose does not usually learn with the tire tube

Hubby's gelding was a halter puller. I took him, tied him to a steel anchor and when he would pull back I would give him a crack with a stock whip. That worked for a little while, until he realized that I was the one biting him, then he would wait until I was out of reach!!  So I took a rope halter, got some light chain and wrapped it around the nose and of his halter. I then took some heavier chain and the hooks that thread together and attached that to the halter with each end of the noseband attached to the chain. I then wrapped it on the post and attached it with a clip and walked away. He threw his fit and within a couple seconds stopped pulling. He tried this for about a week before he figured out it hurt him more to pull then to just stand nicely!!  His halter now has a rawhide noseband and will only throw a fit if a dog runs under his nose!

I can't tie him for the farrier though! He will flip out if tied when the farrier is working on his feet. Stands like an angel if he is groin tied or held

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9 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:56 pm

coopslave

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Sorry, haven't read everyone's, but will be back later to read thoroughly.

We have what we call a 'Tree of Knowledge' at every place we have been. It is a big, burly tree that is off on its own on level ground and horses that don't like to be tied, get tied there. And left there. They are fed and watered there and they learn to chill out and be cool there. As long as it takes to learn to be cool. The Tree of Knowledge also works for screaming crazies that want to be with buddies. Chill and be cool. Very Happy

10 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:06 pm

uno

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When working with young horses, Horse Daughter has looped a line around their chest, up through the halter. Just a very light line. This is to make them think, not to keep them in place. When the horse pulls back, this line tightens around the chest. If the horse steps forward, the line goes slack. THe aim is to teach the horse to give to pressure.

I have heard of the inner tube trick too.

My approach is to use the least amount of force required. Just enough to get the message across. BUt since I'm not the horse trainer, my approach doesn't count for much.

I just hope the big dummy catches on soon because watching him flip out upsets me very much.

I guess this hasn't really come to light before now since HD rarely ties a horse up. Her regular rides stand outside the tack shed. She bustles in and out, braids her hair, texts 25 people with mindless messages, the horse just stands there. She gets a blanket and throws it on, gets a saddle and throws it on. Bangs around in the shed trying to figure out what bridle to use. The horse stands there. The dog runs by, I mow, trucks pull in and out. The horse stands there. We must have brain damaged horses. But they have learned, if you stand here like a statue, you will eventually get a goody. If you leave, you will get a whuppin. Pick one.

This is why I have never worried much about Horse Daughter on a date. She lays whuppins on much bigger animals than the one that drove in the yard to pick her up. Heaven help him if he puts a foot out of line!

11 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:48 pm

smokyriver

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I don't like to use force, and I hated doing the chain on the halter, but boy did it work!! Lol. I wish we could ask those horses why they so what they do sometimes!! It would be nice to know what was actually going through their minds!! A lot of horses off the tracks have very seldom been tied by a single line. They are usually cross tied to tack up!! Is there anyplace she could try cross tying him to see if that helps? Also, sometimes the way some of the racehorses are "taught" to tolerate a saddle is by snubbing them to a post, saddling them up right and leaving them, which not only doesn't teach them much, but leaves a real bitter taste in their mouths with tying. I had a though red mare off the track that would stand tied like an angel until you tried to saddle her and them she just blew up. She slammed me into the stall the one day because I had never had her tied, but was saddling 5 horses that day and she just so happened to be horse number 2 in line so was tied. I thought she broke my ribs. I could
Saddle her untied and never an issue. That is when I questioned a couple friends and that is where I learned about how some race horses are "trained". Unfortunately it is sometimes almost impossible to bring them around from that start to training!!

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12 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:36 pm

Hillbilly

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Good choice smokey. We too had one that did not want to be tied. pulled a telephone pole for a post loose once. almost took out my wifes eye once for a trailed tying. chain around the nose works wonders. hmmm, I pull, it hurts like hell.

13 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:36 pm

Hillbilly

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"trailer tying"

14 Re: Every horse has a hole. on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:56 pm

uno

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Horse Daughter has resorted to stud chain a few times but NEVER tied to a solid object. She has used a stud chain on lead held in her hands with a horse that would bolt and pull. Sure got that horse's attention. But posed no real threat of damaging the horse.

HD might move up to tying with a stud chain (which can be arranged in several different configurations, from some pressure to intense pressure) but it would be attached to something that would definitely give way, break, BEFORE the horse damaged any of his facial bones.

And yes, while this may teach a horse that if he pulls hard enough, even the chain will break...by the time the horse's mind is that 'gone', I advocate putting the horse down OR simply finding ways to never have to tie him.

But since making this post, horse has done something to his leg and it's swelled up like a sausage, so no more tying until we know he's sound. Gordon, with horses it's always something!

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