May 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm
I recently bought a new (very green) horse and she’s wonderful everywhere except in the cross-ties. If other horses are in the barn, she’s usually fine, but once she’s in the cross-ties and can’t see anyone else, she begins to panic, dance, and call out to other horses. The behavior is dangerous and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to nip this is the bud.
Once we’re lunging, riding, or doing anything else, even just walking around the arena with a halter and lead rope, she’s the picture of tranquility.
Another rider at my barn suggested I leave her in the cross-ties alone for several hours, but I refuse to do this because I think she could harm herself or damage the stalls around her. Any other ideas?May 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm
I agree that leaving her alone would be dangerous. Is it possible to have her crosstied with another horse near enough for her to see? That might help reassure her. What I have been doing with my boy, who hates everything except food, is to have him in the crossties with a regular lead line that I can keep in one hand, and just groom and treat. He has improved considerably, but of course they are all different. The extra lead line gives me some control over what he is doing without having to move quickly to take hold of either the crosstie or his halter, and possibly making the issue worse.
It is never the horse's faultMay 7, 2014 at 6:34 am
I agree as well: who, in their right mind, would leave an anxious horse alone on cross-ties? Is her behaviour the same if you single tie or tack her up in a stall? I like all my horses to master being tacked up/addressed under a wide variety of conditions, cross-tie, single tie, ground tie, stall, since thru-out the several places we go, we rarely have JUST a set of crossties to work with in every location. Experiment a little bit, see if she is calmer in other arrangements, rotate your grooming locations (but NOT you grooming routine) then work up to adding cross ties to the mix. IF she IS fussy in all locations, evaluate your grooming tools/techniques along with whether or not she is needing other horses around for confidence.
Also could consider adding just a little elasticity along with Joe-Joe’s excellent suggestion of the lead rope to the cross ties you are using, often static resistance can offset a young/green horse (they can’t get away so now they MUST!). She just might not be confident/mature enough yet to handle the rigidity/limitations of common crossties. This MIGHT help, dealing with horses here, not always a clear cut solution. Good luck with this, and be safe : )
Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.May 7, 2014 at 9:43 am
Thank you for the comments, both of you! I will definitely try to tack her up in her stall and other locations. We also have an outside wash rack where you can see the pastures, so, I might try there as well. Unfortunately, the weather has been rubbish up until yesterday and today, so, I haven’t been able to use it yet.
I think I will try and hold off on giving her lots of treats, because I don’t want her to only stand still if she’s being fed and I don’t want her to know if she’s naughty, she’ll get food.May 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm
I never intended to suggest rewarding bad behavior! I give my boy a treat after he has stood quietly until I finish whatever I happen to want to do. Our only crossties are in the wash stall, which he originally viewed as a gas chamber, so just getting him to stand in it crosstied for grooming is a giant leap for him. He also used to leap around for anything slimy, such as hoof dressing, fly spray, mane conditioner, etc. He will now stand still for it all in his stall without even a halter on him – it has taken six months to reach this point, and the weather still has not permitted me to introduce him to the concept of shampoo and water. He is an Anglo-Arab, with a lot of panic attacks. An angel under saddle, but a doorbell to work around on the ground. So, give your girl a lot of time, love and patience – in the long run you will both be happier. It sounds more as if she is unsure and slightly frightened rather than badly behaved.
It is never the horse's faultMay 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm
No, I know! I didn’t think were telling me to reward bad behavior, we just need to get to the point where she stands still for even a second so I have the chance to reward her, is all. (: She just doesn’t stand still for even a second.
So, a quick update: We started today with a horse in a round-pen opposing our outdoors wash rack (with cross-ties!). She was perfectly fine– stood to the point of even falling asleep. We moved the horse out of the round-pen and it didn’t faze her at all. I’m starting to think she gets more nervous when she’s alone inside than when she’s alone outside. So, tomorrow, I’m going to try grooming/tacking her up along in her stall and see how it goes.May 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm
Keep us posted on her progress! Is that picture her? She is lovely.
It is never the horse's faultMay 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm
I definitely will! Thank you for all the feedback! (:
Yes, that’s her, the big goober. You have a pretty cute one, yourself!May 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm
Thank you. He was watching me go to get him some more food. He is very fond of food.
It is never the horse's faultAugust 18, 2014 at 4:47 pmpanacheTopics Started: 7Replies Posted: 29
there are a lot of horses in my barn with this problem, usually their owners just tack them up in an outdoor cross ties or I’ve heard of people who tie the horses up in their stalls and let them eat while they tack them up
Life is not about waiting for the clouds to pass, its about learning to ride in the rainAugust 18, 2014 at 6:08 pmJoan FryTopics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324
Most ASBs are trained to stand with cross-ties in their stalls (away from their feed). These horses have grooms, though. Scout, when I first rode him, was cross-tied in the aisleway. When we took him home, I put him in the cross-ties over my rubber bath mats, and the next time I looked he was trotting off over the ridge! What I failed to take into consideration is that the cross-ties were fitted for a QH. A small QH, whose natural head carriage was slightly above the horizontal. Scout’s natural head carriage is nearly vertical. He probably was wondering where we had disappeared to (the tack room), couldn’t get his head up in order to see, and panicked. So now here I am, doing the same dance the rest of you are. I tried cross-ties in his pipe corral and ended up with shavings on my saddle pad and spilled hoof dressing, although he did stand. He will also stand with a lead rope wrapped around the tie rail. Next I will teach him to ground tie–always useful.August 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm
Adjust them until Scout is comfortable, and don’t leave him until he accepts them as part of every day. Joe Joe is still anxious if crosstied in the gas chamber, I mean the wash stall, but is fine in the aisle so long as he is facing the door. Don’t ask me why, as there is more activity behind him, but I think he just likes to know what is going on outside. He is also learning the word “stay” (I tend to treat him as a dog), which is nice. As long as there is nothing that might be edible anywhere, he is doing well with that.
It is never the horse's faultAugust 19, 2014 at 6:16 am
Well, when I woke up this am, I thought: I wanna be the PrinCESS! but I think I will be devil’s advocate instead..more compatible with my nature anyway : )
TRAINING….some patience, MORE training, MORE patience, the occasional cookie and a good scratch in a special place when it’s all over and well done…and more patience…and more training : )
There is a fine line between horse not understanding (generally due to not being taught yet or having been traumatized in the process by less than effective methods) and horse having an actual issue over something (generally due to being taught roughly, poorly, impatiently, incompetently and then consequently being punished for not being immediately multi-lingual as well as readily, correctly and happily subservient). VERY fine. Up to us (those that genuinely strive to BE bona fide and capable horsemen) to figure it out and come up with a protocol that allows teaching an element, the forgiveness of niave errour and the reward of an honest effort (doesn’t ALWAYS have to be a cookie).
When learning to write, we are taught how to hold the pencil first. THEN how to make the letters. In other words, break down the project to workable elements in some semblance of order, make it simple as possible. Might have to use alternative methods and wean her into the cross-tie project.
Good luck with this, there ARE enjoyable parts to dealing with a green horse…. when the light goes on in their busy little brains, there is nothing more satisfying : )
Updates. Updates are good!
Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.August 19, 2014 at 6:26 am
Pheets – add to all your wonderful words of wisdom the part that often we get a horse and have no clue what may or may not have happened in his or her past to cause whatever the issue might be. How we approach something should be influenced by whatever caused the reluctance on the part of the horse to do something – if only we could know what that was.
It is never the horse's faultAugust 19, 2014 at 6:36 am
Sometimes, all we get is the resulting trauma horse. As much as I would LOVE a behavioural Hx to come with every horse, that is a luxury rarely happening, and when we DO get info, only half is true. In all honesty, it really doesn’t matter to me as I am left to deal with the behaviour regardless of the cause. The horse is frightened. We start all over again. I do admit, however, that after 50 years of this circus, I have learned to recognize many negative signs and symptoms of specific programme and application results as well as the guilty trainers. At this point, I would rather NOT know ALL the lurid details so as not to make assumptions or have any expectations.
You are right Joe-Joe and as a trainour, it is my expected JOB and my general JOY to figure out each horse and his issues and put a programme together that softens the harsh, brightens the light and turns the poop into gold (don’t we WISH!!), regardless of the reasons for ANY behaviour. SOMEONE has to make it better, or at least try! I even succeed once in a while : )
Mornin to ya, Joe-Joe : )
- This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by pheets.
Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.
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