The boys tied
Have you ever heard the saying: “Good things come to those who wait”? Well good things come to horses who “learn” to wait. Patience is a skill that horses have to learn. Like us, they are not born with it. So how do I teach my horse this skill? Another good question.
The best way I have found, and countless others over the eons of time, is to tie our horses up. This is a method of teaching horses patients. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you go out today and tie your horse to the rail and expect him to lick this skill off the fence. This, like every other skill you will teach your horse, will take time. Some horses figure it out faster then others. Some don’t like it at all at first. So, you need to prepare your horse to “learn” to stand tied. The last thing you want to do is take a horse that has been standing in a stall all night long, feed him sweet feed, which I think you should never do, and then take him and tie him to the rail. That’s like giving a kid two or three candy bars and then trying to make him sit in a chair. It’s probably not going to happen. So how do I do it?
I usually will tie a horse to the rail for his first time, or for the first time that I tie him to the rail, after we have worked. In other words after he has worked, round penned, or ground work, or work from the saddle, and I know that he would just like to stand still for awhile. He is more apt to see the value in being tied, and left alone, if he wants to stand still. Then I will find a safe place where I can tie him. Don’t tie him to a fence that is made of panels. A tree is usually not a good idea either. I have seen horses run off with a panel fence and a tree tied to their halter. Don’t tie him to a low rail like a hitching rail next to the barn. I have seen horses end up over the top of the rail, upside down between the rail and the barn. I can’t tell you enough times: Make sure the place you are going to use to tie your horse, is safe and secure. I then use some sort of tying device. The “Clip” is the one I prefer. http://www.smarttieproducts.com/Default.aspx I don’t get paid to tell ya that, they are just the best that I have found. There are several ways to use the clip so make sure you read the directions.
The Clip allows you to tie your horse up, but also allows the horse, if he gets nervous or scared, to pull back to the end of his lead rope. I have found that most horses when they pull back will not pull back very far. Once they get a little ways away from the rail and realize that nothing is going to hurt them, they stop pulling. Now some folks wonder why in the world I would let any horse pull back and get away with it. First of all I don’t want to break the horses neck or hurt him in any way. The friction that is created with the clip makes pulling back difficult, but not impossible. Once a horse does this a few times he realizes that it’s just easier to stand there and relax.
The first few times you tie your horse up, don’t leave him alone, and don’t tie him for long periods of time. You can work up to longer time on the rail once he gets better at being patience. We will talk more about this tomorrow.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.