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Discussion on Quick-release trailer ties

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Jerre R
Member
Username: jerre

Post Number: 258
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 - 12:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Question: should the quick-release be on the horse or the trailer?

I've heard that having the quick-release end on the trailer gives you the option of release a little bit farther from the horse and also leaves a lead on the horse.

Thanks,
Jerre
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19620
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 - 6:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Jerre R,
Most quick releases snaps are not designed to go around anything thicker than a halter ring though they can be looped around and attached to the rope or strap itself.

Quick release snaps on a tie rope in any position may not be reachable when a horse is struggling and with enough pressure they will bind and be difficult to work. Always carry a sharp locking blade pocket knife when working around tied horses. A good piece of advice is to round off the sharp point of the main blade while maintaining a sharp edge. It makes it much safer to work with in emergency situations.
DrO
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Jerre R
Member
Username: jerre

Post Number: 259
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 - 11:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr. O. I always have good intentions of having a sharp pocket knife, but two things happen:

No pockets in breeches or,
I dull it cutting hay twine etc.

Thanks for the reminder.

Jerre
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Dennis Taylor
Member
Username: dtranch

Post Number: 572
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jerre .. the quick release is designed to be hooked to the trailer. If the horse gets into trouble, you can reach it from the window, or the front. Also, if the horse goes down and is thrashing in the trailer, it is too dangerous to get down to the horse's halter ring.

Ditto on the sharp knife Dr. O. It is a life saver .. even though I often find myself without it.

DT
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Wiley Gillmor
Member
Username: wgillmor

Post Number: 86
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We use these:

http://www.ultracite.com/index.htm.

One mare figured out that a quick hard jerk would get her free, but other than that they have been great. (At least we know they work.)

They are available at many online merchants. Do a Google search.
Wiley
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19628
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 - 7:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wiley, I went and looked at the site and I do not recommend break free ties. I have seen more horses seriously injured and people injured from horses that have "broken free" than I have from struggling against ties. Though there may be exceptions normally your best advice is if the horse is struggling to stand back and let the horse work it out.
DrO
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Wiley Gillmor
Member
Username: wgillmor

Post Number: 87
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,

I remember that you do not recommend break free ties and I'm not trying to reopen that argument. However, this was the context of cutting or releasing a trailer tie and I thought you might find they make more sense here.

Wiley
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 554
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 - 8:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Am not studying all of the pros and cons here - don't have the time, but will only say that I do not think one single approach applies to all horses. You need to know who you are dealing with before you make these decisions, which should not be universal. These are not robots we are dealing with, but individual personalities.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19638
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2007 - 1:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

All of that is well and good guys until the horse breaks free, runs out into the road, gets run over killing the horse and driver. We had such an incident in this area in the last two years. We strongly recommend horses learn to tie and that you consider every bit as important a lesson as learning to be haltered.
DrO
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Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: alden

Post Number: 465
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2007 - 2:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think the type of tie device inside a trailer and outside the trailer are two different things. Outside the trailer I agree with DrO, the horse should be taught to accept fixed restraint that they can not break, because even the best can be frightened and may pull.

Inside the trailer there can be circumstances beyond the horse's control so I think the tie should be designed to break. If the horse falls due to events outside it's control I'd like them to be free. In fact on rough off road driving (getting into some trails here requires 4x4 low) I will turn them loose in the stock trailer so they can better balance and change positions as they see fit.

I leave the lead ropes on the horse when trailering so I don't have to go hunting for ropes in an emergency. This also provides an easy way to make a breakable trailer tie. I use a web easy release tie but I snap the horse end over the barrel of the lead rope snap, they break easily if the horse falls. You can also snap to a loop of leather string through the halter. A well trained horse will respect the lightest leather string but the leather will break free easily in an emergency.

Good day,
Alden
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19639
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Nov 29, 2007 - 6:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Alden,
I am not sure I agree with the trailer differential. We do a lot of trailering both long hauls half way across the country (more frequently than I like) and during the warm seasons haul 5 or 6 horses every other week up and down our local mountains. This too includes some pretty rough dirt roads that requires 4x4 low to prevent the transmission from overheating and flowing over.

We too like to haul single or double horses we haul untied in an open box trailer with a divider. But when we haul more we tie to a wall with no dividers. I would be concerned that a break away tie would make falling more likely. The horses do use the tie to steady themselves but if while balancing against it it suddenly gives way the horse will lose his balance and without the help of the tie to keep his head up may end up under the other horses. A condition I have seen one time in a trailer full of untied horses and several times in a two horse trailer where the horse became untied and fell under the partition. In another case a friend of mind hauling two horses was struck somewhat obliquely by an oncoming car. The horse that remained tied in the trailer lived, the horse that broke his tie and came crashing out of the trailer broke two legs. I can hypothesize times when a breakaway might help but have not seen any such cases.
DrO
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Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: alden

Post Number: 468
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Dec 3, 2007 - 2:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmm, interesting DrO.

I use rope halters all the time, even trailering, so I tie with a break away. My horses must have learned to balance without the lead rope because I've never had one break loose while on the road.

As for an accidents involving horses I can only hypothesize because thankfully I've never been involved, or seen, a bad accident involving horse trailers. In a divided trailer I would expect the dividers would take most of the energy. In a open trailer the horses are free to move enough for the tied lead rope to come into play.

I'd expect to see sever neck injuries if the lead rope was what stopped the mass of a horse from coming out of a trailer during an accident. I have seen the resulting seat belt bruising on a person involved in a head on accident, before air bags. The person survived but the bruising was amazing and that was only the mass of a few hundred pounds coming to a sudden stop over a fairly large area of the seat belt.

Interesting topic, now I have more questions than answers :-). I don't suppose there's any decent research on horse trailer accidents.

Good day,
Alden
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19654
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Dec 3, 2007 - 5:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Unfortunately I have not seen any such research Alden and at the bottom you go with what makes you most comfortable and often in such circumstances all roads may lead to a bad end.
DrO
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