Cross Tying

PhoenixRising
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Cross Tying

Postby PhoenixRising » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:54 pm

How do you all teach your young ones to cross tie? Phoenix knows how to tie, but gets a little panicky if I try to cross tie her. She dances around and gets more and more upset until I give up. The barn has some sensitive horses in it, and I'm afraid to get them riled up if she acts any sillier in the ties.
It really would be nice to be able to bring her in and cross tie her. I want to get some things straightened away (like a haircut) but its hard to do when she constantly dances around. This is not a learned behavior, there have only been 1-2 times I've actually put her in the ties and given up. Most of the time she comes into the barn and I don't tie her at all.
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Code3 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:14 pm

This is probably an unpopular answer but I don't cross tie. I have seen horses panic and be injured. I saw one horse flip over. As a result I don't cross tie. Having said that, I would break down the training into smaller steps. Will she stand being tied? If not, get her comfortable with that. Get her comfortable standing where she will stand when cross tied. Reward and praise until it is routine. Then run a rope through one side of her halter without tying while she is tied on the opposite side. Reward and praise quiet behavior. Go for a walk, repeat.

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StraightForward
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby StraightForward » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:48 pm

To add to what Code3 says, I will get an extra long rope and run it through one of the cross-tie rings. Use the cross-tie on the other side. Then, as I'm grooming or whatever, I hang on to the long rope and slowly (like over the course of weeks) decrease the amount they can move until they're within the range of what the cross-ties will allow. If you can get at least one, or preferably two Blocker rings, that will make your life easier as well.

It sounds like consistent practice at it is all she really needs.
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby pawsplus » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:06 am

I second Blocker tie rings. I use them everywhere--cross ties, trailer, and I have one in my grooming box. I don't tie without it.

Basically, they keep the horse from feeling trapped (the basic problem with tying a prey animal) by giving him a little bit of rope. He learns that he is not trapped and stops panicking. Completely cured my "breaks at least one halter at every show" TB in 2 min. :-) And you don't risk teaching them to lay back, the way a loop of baling twine does (because laying back results in freedom).

Info on them: http://blockerranch.com/works/

Some videos showing how they work: http://blockerranch.com/tie-ring-videos/

Ordering: http://blockerranch.com/blocker-tie-ring/

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby angela9823 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:17 am

I'm another one that rarely cross ties. I will do it occasionally. I'm also going to second blocker ties. But if you decide to use break away cross ties instead, please make certain you hang them correctly!! So many people hang them backwards (and I was one of them!!!).

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby PhoenixRising » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:42 pm

I'm actually familiar with the blocker tie rings. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me to try that, mental block I guess. I'll get a hold of a couple and give it a try.
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby ProudHorse » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:35 am

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Last edited by ProudHorse on Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Dapple Field » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:06 am

When possible, especially with a young or flighty horse, I try to crosstie them where they will back into a wall rather than an open aisle. It seems to give them a better idea of the space available.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby redsoxluvr » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:11 am

Code3 wrote:This is probably an unpopular answer but I don't cross tie. I have seen horses panic and be injured. I saw one horse flip over. As a result I don't cross tie.


I don't cross tie either. I had a new horse come in who unbeknownst to me had an issue with girthing. I had him cross tied, put the saddle on, tightened the girth one hole. It was so loose that it was still hanging, not tight at all. The horse literally dropped like a stone. He was still cross tied. He couldn't get up and was slip sliding all over the concrete aisle. There were sparks everywhere from his shoes slipping on the concrete. For whatever reason the quick release would not release. Finally we got him still enough that we could slide a mat under his front feet so he could get up.

For me, they learn how to stand quietly, period. It is a PITA but at this point it's the best case scenario for us. I will tie to the horse trailer but that is about it.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby DressageChic2 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:56 pm

i am lucky as my cross tie area has a solid wall behind it so they tend to think forward and never go back against the ties.

if i DID have a tricky one i would loop a long rope/lunge line through the tie and just gradually get them used to standing central in the ties. Praise and time will cure this.

I have seen WAY more accidents with straight tying than cross tying.......

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby TeresaA » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:55 am

My cross ties have elastic core so that they have some give- I find that helps. I really want the blocker tie rings but haven't been able to find them locally.

I prefer ground tying over everything but that said, I trained my horses to cross, ground and single tie. My view is that I may not always own them (although that is not my plan) and around here most cross tie. When we were teaching my gelding to cross tie we made rings out of baling twine to connect the snaps to the cross ties. That way if he flipped out they would break easily.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Chisamba » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:54 pm

I direct tie first, ie teach the horse to stand tied, but long before i ever do that, i teach the horse to yeild to pressure on the poll. i will put a little pressure on the poll but tugging gently down on the halter, as soon as the horse yields to the pressure, i will release and reward. I do this often, when leading, when standing. when the horse is completely comfortable with lowering the head to pressure, i will ask them when they are anxious to do the same. You can use a voice cue too, if you like, a simple word that you only use when you want them to lower their head to poll pressure. down, ( with a little weight on the halter) reward and release as soon as the horse lowers its head, even if its just an centimeter. you will eventually be able to get the horse to lower its head. this helps for everything, trims, bridling, and simply relaxing and anxious horse.

if i cannot get the horse to lower its head to poll pressure by hand, when anxious, i will not tie them in cross ties, because then if they pull back and get poll pressure tied, it can go bad.

So when the horse understands that it has to lower its head to pressure, if it starts to set back on a tie, or a cross tie, all you have to do is say down, and reward the horse when it comes forward.

tying in a stall first is the good way to start too, as others mentioned having a wall behind instead of an open aisle is helpful

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby kande50 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:12 pm

I often cross tie first, because it prevents the problem with them putting their head down and bringing it up under the rope and then panicking because their head is caught.

That said, like many others, I start out by snapping the cross ties into a weak enough string on the sides of the halter so it'll break easily if they pull. IOW, I want the cross ties to be more of a guide to where I want them to stand, rather than a demand that might make them to panic if they pulled. The more sensitive the horse the weaker the strings, and then hopefully, by the time I take them somewhere where I might need to tie them so they can't get away, they'll understand how to stand tied.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Chisamba » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:48 pm

weak strings teach a horse to break free, they do not teach a horse to stand. think about it

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby kande50 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:12 pm

Chisamba wrote:weak strings teach a horse to break free, they do not teach a horse to stand. think about it


That's what I used to think too, so I tied my last horse solid because I didn't want her to learn that she could get away. Trouble was, twenty-some years later she was still pulling back whenever anything spooked her, which couldn't have been good for her neck and back and poor skinned hocks. :-(

So this time around I decided that there wasn't going to be any more halter pulling, so not only put a lot more effort into keeping them calm, but only tie the ones who might get panicky with strings.

I noticed that when we delivered a horse to a well known dressage trainer up in VT his cross ties were a pair of heavy chains with little pieces of string holding the snap on each end. I'm pretty sure the chains were for the weight so that the horse would know when he was tied, and suspect that the strings were so that if a horse did decide that he had to leave it wouldn't take much to break them.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby lorilu » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:48 am

That's why so many cross ties have EMERGENCY releases. Not like a weak string - but an emergency release. My crossties are really just long lead ropes. I tie them with the kind of knot you can release by pulling on the end. I am not a fan of those big heavy metal release clips because I think they can fly back and hit the horse. I have seen these turtle snaps.... http://www.davismanufacturing.com/produ ... le-snap/23

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Chisamba » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:41 am

If you give up when she is silly, you have taught her that if she wants to not be tied she needs to get sillier.

I would do some work in the x tie area. Stop. Back. Forward stop. And leave at a moment if calm and politeness.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby Tarlo Farm » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:00 pm

This ^^^^ Every time you "give up", you train her that misbehaving is what gets her out of a situation. It absolutely is "learned behavior". One must be sure of the fact that every time they handle a horse, especially a young horse, they're teaching them something. EVERY. MOMENT.

Love cross ties, but only in a three-sided area with youngsters. Only tie in aisle-way when sure to be within a stride of the horse in case trouble arises.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby DJR » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:54 am

A few things.

I do echo what Chisamba and Tarlo Farms said. If you give up at the "dancing around" phase, you've rewarded it.

I also teach horses to straight tie, first. This is a gradual progression starting with learning to yield to pressure, and ending with being tied.

I then progress to cross ties. I'm fortunate in that the area where I cross tie has a solid wall behind it, and a visual barrier against going forward (but there is room to go forward if they really wanted to). I also keep a close eye on them the first few times and make sure that each session ends on a good note before they are unclipped and walked away.
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orono
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby orono » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:41 pm

kande50 wrote:
Chisamba wrote:weak strings teach a horse to break free, they do not teach a horse to stand. think about it


That's what I used to think too, so I tied my last horse solid because I didn't want her to learn that she could get away. Trouble was, twenty-some years later she was still pulling back whenever anything spooked her, which couldn't have been good for her neck and back and poor skinned hocks. :-(

So this time around I decided that there wasn't going to be any more halter pulling, so not only put a lot more effort into keeping them calm, but only tie the ones who might get panicky with strings.

I noticed that when we delivered a horse to a well known dressage trainer up in VT his cross ties were a pair of heavy chains with little pieces of string holding the snap on each end. I'm pretty sure the chains were for the weight so that the horse would know when he was tied, and suspect that the strings were so that if a horse did decide that he had to leave it wouldn't take much to break them.


IMHO if they get panicky they aren't ready to be tied.

Phoenix, I think you should be forgetting about tying for now - teach her to stand quietly in the cross tie area first. Once she can do that you can try introducing one cross tie at a time, while the lead rope acts as the 2nd one. When you are ready to add the 2nd cross tie, still keep a line on her for extra reassurance and control. Eventually you'll be able to take it off (though lots of people will leave it draped over the neck), and the process can take a long time with some horses, weeks or months (not hours or days). Be prepared to take a step back at any time if she is getting anxious or jittery. But do NOT take her out of the area when she acts up. As others have said she has to learn that this is a place to stand quietly, once that's established the act of tying is relatively minor.

Good luck!!

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby PhoenixRising » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:59 pm

I think her issue was coming more from nervousness in general, not just in the ties. I think I was expecting too much from her too quickly at the time. I stopped cross tying her at all for quite awhile and focused more on just acclimating her to being in the barn and all the noises and activities that come with that. Its only been just recently that I've started clipping her into the ties again and she's been doing great! I still don't leave her unattended but she's been perfect.
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orono
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Re: Cross Tying

Postby orono » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:24 am

That's wonderful! Sorry, I didn't realize this was an old thread, somehow it came up in my list of recent ones.

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Re: Cross Tying

Postby PhoenixRising » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:08 pm

No worries :D I appreciate the suggestions everyone gave! I think it popped up in the recent posts because (I've just noticed) it has been getting some posts lately. I should have come back and updated that all was going well sooner.
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