Monday, July 11, 2011

Tying Issues & An Old Video

This was Beautiful eating from my hand on the first day after adoption--2008. Since I don't have video of our training, I thought this would be a sweet reminder about where we came from.

This has been an interesting week. We did work on the long-line--25'--walk, trot, lope and whoa. We also did more work on disengaging. I'm trying to imitate the pressure point, where my inside leg will be, with my hand so that she gets the idea to move away from pressure. I'm thinking--what do I do when I ride?--what signals do I give?--leg cues, etc--then trying to recreate it from the ground so she understands it when I'm in the saddle. All of this is going well.

I also have continued saddling and unsaddling, but have added cinching and flapping of the fenders. She doesn't seem bothered at all by the cinching, but I'm curious how she'll react when she starts to move out and feels the pressure there--the squeaking of the saddle--the flopping of the fenders--it can be scary--so I want her her used to it before I let her walk out.

My interesting issue, for lack of a better word, is tying, maybe the most important training of week #2.

My thinking is that I want her to be able to stand tied to a solid object. I chose screw-in tie-rings for her training because they are strong and hold pretty tight, but if enough pressure is exerted, they will break off.

Beautiful put them to the test by pulling back hard three times. I actually heard the post creaking. And, as you can see, the rings were bent, but held. She gave to the pressure each of the three times, but I was surprised that she thought she could pull free. And I was surprised she did it three times. I was sitting right in front of the tie-post, out of harm's way, but pretty much right next to her.

Her tying issue has got me wondering if I should separate her from the herd. Maybe that need to be with them is just too much for me to overcome in order to reach my training goals.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on the goat jumping problem. No, there aren't any obsticles for her to jump from. The part of the fence where she goes over is at the bottom of a steep slope. I think she runs down, gaining momentum, and then kind of runs up one side and down the other of the fence. Heavy sigh. She did it again this morning - twice.

  2. Patience is the hardest thing for young horses. I really think they don't see the point in standing tied, it certainly doesn't fit their agenda!

  3. I love the video of her eating from your hand ... How far she has come!

  4. I still worry about tying Chance. I have tied her so many times, and she has pulled back many times. It just still freaks me out that something will happen. But I think I am being way too over cautious. She just needs to stand tied longer then I actually have her tied.
    Sounds like your training is going well!! I can't wait to get to the saddle breaking point with Chance. I am still up in the air about when I am going to start that. I am going to start her in lines this week and within the next month will decide if I am going to put a saddle on her this summer.

  5. I used the same method as you to simulate leg pressure with my hand and I *think* it made a difference. The one thing my girl does well under saddle is yield her hips.

    Regarding the tie-post, it seems that she was just testing the waters. That smart mustang brain is always looking for a point of weakness :)

  6. Yeah, she probably was testing it and I probably expect too much too fast. Tying is an issue for lots of horses, I guess. I just need to give her time and consistency.

    PG--good luck with Chance. I've been tying Beautiful for three years now, but I never did tie her for long periods of time away from the herd. She was always in the barn or in her stall.

  7. Loved the video, how sweet and trusting for her first day with you.

    About the tying. She was probably just seeing if she could get away with not having to stand there when she didn't see the point. I'm sure with more repetition she'll become accustomed to it.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm guessing that's the case, too, but I am going to start separating her for part of the day. I put her back in her old stall this morning and she seemed to like it.

  9. She looks so nice standing there tied! I love her conformation. We tied Catlow and Chico as yearlings and they learned to stand tied pretty young. They did all their testing when young and they have never pulled back when tied since I've been working with them. I think it is important for them to not be able to ever break free because once they do, they will always test it! And it can also be an anxiety thing. Cody pulls back, but only when she feels worried about something, but she has also broken the snap on a lead rope and freed herself, so she seems to think that pulling back when she's worried might get her somewhere, even though I don't use snaps that break on my leadropes anymore!

  10. And I haven't tied Kachina or Griffin yet. I need to work with them more on the ground first and I need a very strong safe place to tie them.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.