Some people have horses they don’t dare tie. Why? Because they break their halters and/or crossties. So what is a person to do in their horse training practices?
My first suggestion is to get a rope halter. But not just any ol’ rope halter. Get one of those rope halters that are thin because they cut into the horse’s poll more if they pull back. It sends a message to the horse that’s it’s not desirable to pull back.
When you get the rope halter on, tie the lead rope to the halter. Try not to use hardware on the lead rope if possible…instead tie it to the halter.
Next, try tying the lead rope to a tree limb. Find a limb that’s about as thick as your forearm. You want the tree limb to bend some because as the horse pulls back the limb gives but doesn’t break.
A good type of tree to tie to is a willow tree if you can find one. Be careful that the limb isn’t cracked. If the horse pulls back on the limb and it breaks you could really have a wreck.
Leave about two feet of rope between the heel knot and the limb you tie to.
Now here’s how it works. If the horse pulls back, the limb will bend. This lessens the resistance and lessens the desire to pull. Once the horse stops pulling, the limb pulls back – creating pressure – much like a giant rubber band. It causes him to step forward. He will soon get sore around his nose and his neck if keeps pulling.
What you’re after is the horse being uncomfortable when he pulls back. Not only do we want him to have the inability to break loose…we want it to be uncomfortable. We’re wanting Mr. Horse to think to himself that it’s crazy to even try to pull back
If you can’t find a good tree limb to tie to, you can use an inner tube. Make sure it’s good and strong and that you tie it to something good and secure
What’s important now is you must tie up your horse several hours a day – preferably all day – day after day until he is cured of it. There’s only time to untie your horse. If he struggles and gets in a bind where he could be in danger of breaking a leg or neck or choking to death then you untie him.
So once you tie him, you gotta watch him for a while and make sure he’s not going to get himself hurt.
Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at www.horsetrainingandtips.com. He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at www.horsetrainingandtips.com/Jesse_Beerya.htm.