As I start hauling/riding/seasoning my young and inexperienced horses, I have to take the time to teach them how to be patient. Right now, when my grey mare is tied to the trailer (by herself or with other horses), she paws and ends up breaking off the reflectors on the side of the trailer. She is being naughty and just doesn’t know yet, how to stand quietly at the trailer. She may never stand completely quiet, but it is my job as her trainer to teach her how to behave while she is standing tied.
Everyone has their own ideas and techniques for teaching a horse how to stand tied. Some of the things I do, include tying the horse to a solid post, rail or even a tree, for periods of time. Be sure to tie them securely and in a manner that they can’t harm themselves or others.
I have also hobbled horses before. Hobbling refers to restraining the front end of the horse by tying their front legs together.
“Hobble training a horse is a form of “sacking out” and desensitizing a horse to accept restraints on its legs. This helps a horse accept pressure on its legs in case it ever becomes entangled in barbed wire or fencing. A hobble trained horse is less likely to pull, struggle, and cut its legs in a panic, since it has been taught to give to pressure in its legs. —Hobble –wikipedia“
Since my grey mare tends to beat up my trailer while she is standing tied, I tied her to a tree while we are at the barn because we don’t have tie rails or patience poles yet. I will be teaching her to hobble but I need to purchase a new pair of hobbles.
Ideally, you want to start teaching horses to stand tied when they are babies but we don’t always get them at the beginning of their learning. Dori was probably taught how to stand tied nicely as a young filly but life happened and she spent some time out with my other horses not being worked and retaining her knowledge.
One of the things I like to do with a horse that paws to let them paw on a rubber mat. The satisfaction of digging a hole is taken away.
Some horses don’t tie well because they are busy bodies and constantly need to be doing something. Put some hay in front of them; if they get fidgety move their feet and once they stand still take the pressure off. Make standing tied quietly the easy thing to do and pawing/moving their feet the hard thing to do.
Patience is a virtue that even our horses need to learn.
How do you teach your horses to stand tied quietly? What do you do if they don’t/ won’t/can’t stand still? Share with us in the comments.