Help please

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Jenna Scott, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Jenna Scott

    Jenna Scott Registered

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    I have a 10 or so year old QH cross mare, and I've had some problems with her in the past. my uncle gave her to me as my first riding horse. I didn't have the proper facility of equipment and she sat in the field for while with me trying to get close to her. I now have her in a place where i can catch her but I keep facing more problems that we are gradually working through. We are doing much better with catching, she has some head shyness, and some lunging issues but the problem that I would like some help and advice with is.
    She will pull back when I tie her to a stable surface. She will eventually stand still but only after she pulls on the halter. She has tightened my lead rope so much that I thought cutting it was the only way to untie her. She has already started to ruin my lead rope and rope halter by pulling.
    I am at a standstill, she comes off of pressure very well for a more so spooky horse, and she is getting much softer and responsive with everyday that goes by. however i still can't get her to stand tied. When I want to go for a ride or groom her I hold on the end of the lead rope and she stands very well, with some movement but nothing major.

    I'm afraid that she may hurt herself if she continues this behaviour, and I don't know what I would do if i had to tie her for some reason or another. I have some ideas of how i could possibly solve this problem, however I would need a round pen, which I don't have one available to my use.

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that anyone could give me, all ideas will be considered and i would love hear any ideas.
     
  2. Ranger’s Roheryn

    Ranger’s Roheryn Full Member

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    What kind of halter do you have?
     
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  3. Jenna Scott

    Jenna Scott Registered

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    I use a standard rope halter.
     
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  4. Ranger’s Roheryn

    Ranger’s Roheryn Full Member

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    Do you tie quick-release knots? Or does she pull so hard it doesn’t matter?
    Does she panic if she pulls and doesn’t come loose? Or does she just try it to see if it will, then settles down and acts normally?
     
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  5. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    Instead of hard tying her put a long lunge line through a ring and hold then end of the rope so that you can control the pressure. Once she is calm doing this then use a bungie tie with a quick release so that when she pulls it stretches and then release pressure as she comes back forward.
     
  6. Jenna Scott

    Jenna Scott Registered

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    I do a slipknot, I always have. however she does pull so hard it doesn't matter. she will tighten it so much that i can hardly get it unties. I spend almost 20 minutes trying to undo it last time.

    She sort of does both, she comes right up close to whatever i am tying her to with no fear, i can tie her and walk away. she tries to pull, then when it doesn't loosen she gets scared and pulls so hard her hindquarters are almost on the ground. After pulling like a mad man, she will stand and let me groom or tack or whatever. but she could do it again. I don't know what gets into her. she comes off pressure, and is quiet responsive, she also does fine if I tie her and she pulls and it does come untied she will just walk away.(i tie it so it will come untied sometimes to see what her problem comes from)

    i am baffled, and i dont know what to do.
     
  7. Jenna Scott

    Jenna Scott Registered

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    I have tried the first suggestion, with me holding the end, and shes fine, i even tried to scare her and she will just raise her head a couple times but not flip out. Until she is hard tied in a slip knot and I'm off to the side. That is when she flips out.
     
  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Your post is really concerning me because it sounds like you have no supervision and have some very ineffective methods. Ideally, you get supervision - frequent supervision - from someone who is really good at dealing with problem horses, and really good at communicating with people, and who you respect and will listen to.

    For one thing, horses do not typically pull when they're tied up correctly. They pull when the tie point is too low, which restricts them from putting their head up, and makes them panic, but also gives them a very good 'line of pull' - in other words, when tied not high enough a horse can pull almost any post out of the ground or break it. Tying high is not a solution with a horse that truly panics and is truly terrified - he still needs to learn to be tied up.

    All the methods below are dangerous, except method 1. All the others require that you can 'read' a horse and react very promptly, instantly, without delay, that you know how to 'push the envelope' - that means challenge a horse to really think, without causing him to react in a dangerous way. Without the challenge, the horse's habits will never change, but without the skill to set up a challenge the horse can figure out and respond to, no progress will be made, the horse will just panic. All assume a certain amount of facilities and safety. Safe footing. Safe tie points(that means tied to an appropriate object, to, like not a sliding door, gate, vehicle or anything similar). Safe ropes. Gloves, helmet, sensible shoes. No buckets, boards, stall walls with holes or junk anywhere near where you're working. Etc.

    Method 1: Don't tie her up. She's ten, she came with a problem, and you're a novice and getting no help, instruction or supervision(it sounds like). Adjust and make do. Better than getting either of you hurt.

    Method 2: When she pulls back, say 'NO' and smack her on the rear end with - something that puts you out of harm's way. A broom, a whip. Not your hand. Make sure she's not on a slick surface so she can scoot without slipping.

    Method 3: Tie her up with a neck rope, belly rope or rump rope(two choices - either tie with one rope, that goes around her belly, up through the halter and to the tie point, OR tie her with one rope, and then put another rope round her belly and through the halter, the second rope only puts pressure on her when she's pulling really hard on the first one, though SOME people tie the SECOND rope so that it puts pressure on the horse BEFORE she pulls on the regular tie rope). She'll freak out, and then, supposedly, if you don't undo her, stop pulling. Or she'll get hurt really bad.

    Method 4: Teach her to give to pressure. When she puts pressure on the halter, say 'get up, and tap her with a whip and teach her to move forward to relieve the pressure on the halter. Want to see it really work? Do it 200 times and give her some food every time she steps up.

    Method 5: Teach her that being tied up is not scary. Put her on a longer rope, putting it on her halter, through your tie point and back to you, and when she goes back, feed it out and let her go back, as far as she wants (they generally do not go far). Then immediately lead, walk, tap or cluck her forward - QUICKLY. IMMEDIATELY. This has to be done very quickly or it does not compute.
     
  9. Jenna Scott

    Jenna Scott Registered

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    Thank you for your methods. She may be my first riding horse, but that does not mean that i am a novice with horses, i have just never had a place of my own. i grew up around horses and i don't ever put my horse or myself in any alarming or dangerous situations. i do not have supervision, because my family is busy and they don't have the time to babysit me (which i don't need) i make sure somebody knows i am with her and i am investing in a helmet the next time i go to the city. My horse does come off pressure and i have done many exercises in hand to make sure she does come off to pressure, she flexes and lowers her head as well as moves hindquarters as i ask her to. I have done method four with success how ever it has not panned out when i hard tied her. the positioning of the ring is fine and she has no health conditions that could be influencing this in anyway. i believe in positive reinforcements and not punishing incorrect behaviour unless it is a danger to somebody (kicking/ biting). however i think the best way and the way that i have been training her so far is to reward good behaviour and put more pressure on incorrect behaviour. And i would have to say other than this problem i have had lots of success with my method in the past.

    Therefore, method two is not for me, i think that instead of saying no and punishing behaviour that is not dangerous however just incorrect (such as going right when asked to go left) is not the way i like to train. instead of punishing because they for example go right, just keep putting more pressure on going left until she gets the point and goes left, then i let off the pressure and let her stand still and think about it for a moment realising that she did it correctly and doing as asked will be rewarding. that is why method four was the most intriguing to me and why i have already attempted this method with success until the next step.

    Method three is not for me because i feel it is out of my expertise and i would not want to do such a complex method with her as i could do it wrong and she could get hurt. i have done a variation of method five and it came to same stand still as my attempt with method four, that being successful until i hard tie her with a slip knot and she resorts to pulling aggressively. as for method one, which you seemed to think i should consider doing, i think that dealing with the problem by ignoring it is lazy and not rewarding for either me nor my horse. if your dog nips you should teach it to stop, and not wear more protective clothing. that is not the way i am going to deal with this situation.

    i appreciate your help and i will try to continue with method four and five until we work through the problem.
     
  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Good luck.

    There are horses that I just do not tie up. There are horses that I retrain and then tie up. There are horses I only tie up in very specific, limited situations. There are horses I never tie up hard, they always have some slack and some give.
     
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