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Discussion on When is it time for the tying lesson to be over????

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Lori K. Shearer (Loris)
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 6:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

How do you know when to untie your horse when training to stand tied?
I have heard, "when they drop their head", When they cock a foot", "When they stand quietly". Well My horse pulls back and rears when being saddled and paces and paws while tied. I am trying to teach him to stand patiently. When do I know this is acheieved. Sure he will stand still for a few moments but then he goes back to moving and pawing. Please help!!!!!
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Teresa Alexander-Arab (Teresaa)
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 8:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

what you might try is to reward as soon as he is quiet (even for only 2 seconds). then gradually increase the time. That way he associates the release with the standing quiet.
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Holly Edwards (Hwood)
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 10:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Lori,
I agree with Teresa 100%. It is important to realize that it will take hundreds of releases before the horse is solid on standing tied if he has this pulling back problem. Most horses who pull have been rewarded by releases when their halters, leadropes or hitching rails break or when the person leading them lets go. If your horse has developed this habit over time, it will take time to teach him that he has a choice to stand tied.

I rarely tie a horse that pulls, but if you have to tie your horse, try to tie him above the height of his head, because it doesn't stimulate the fear of being caught the way a leadrope tied low can do. If you have a pen in which to tack up your horse, you can always just lay the rope around the back of a post while you are grooming or tacking up and then if the horse chooses to pull back, he doesn't feel as if he is caught, and you aren't reinforcing the idea that he can pull against pressure.

John Lyons has a great way of teaching a horse not to pull back, but it requires time and lots of lessons and lots of patience. Find a tall, smooth post that you can run the leadrope behind. (You can take turns standing to either the right or left of your horse.) It works like a pulley. You put steady pressure (no jerking) on the rope (just steady pressure, don't pull harder and harder) and wait until your horse comes toward the pull (toward the post) even a LITTLE. Watch very closely for any TINY sign that the horse is giving to the pull by stretching his nose forward or leaning his body forward. IMMEDIATELY release the pull on the rope and praise your horse when you see any THOUGHT of a give on the horse's part. Wait a few seconds and try again. Keep at it (it may take many days or weeks depending on how much time you can give to the training) until your horse always chooses to give toward the pull of the rope. If your horse chooses first to pull and then to give, he isn't really solid on the idea and that will clue you in that he isn't ready for graduation.
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Karen E. Haase (Karene)
Posted on Saturday, Jun 1, 2002 - 5:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


I bought some of those "bungee" cross-ties and a lead rope when training my colt to tie and lead and he seemed to work better on them than with the conventional products. He stayed much calmer. I think because of the give (versus suddenly coming up hard and short.) Also, he seemed to realize very quickly that he could release pressure himself by just lowering his head a little, moving a little forward...

Good Luck.

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