Teaching your Horse to Tie

Horsemanship Network

Read through Anna’s latest article shared on the Horsemanship Network!

Being tied doesn’t come naturally to horses, but it’s an essential skill for them to learn.

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There are many situations in which it’s important for your horse to tie well. It could be for the vet or farrier, at a show or event, or perhaps while you are grooming and tacking up. While it may seem simple enough, your horse may have quite a different perspective.

As prey animals, horses have a strong inborn desire to flee in the face of perceived danger. When a horse is tied, he can’t respond in this way. For the uninitiated or fearful horse, this can set off alarm bells and send him into a state of frantic panic, particularly if there is no breaking point or release in sight.

It is also important to recognize that horses are innately “into pressure” beings and – by their very nature – they lean into the point of pressure. This leads a horse to lean into you when you press on his flank, rump or other part of his body; or to raise his head high when asked to follow the feel of the lead rope.

Without any support, or formal trust-based training, it is unlikely a horse will automatically take to being tied. While some horses may learn fairly easily to accept being tied, others may have had experiences where they’ve broken their halters, hitching posts or worse, and have subsequently developed a phobia to tying. The good news is that no matter what his age, any horse can be taught what is expected of him if you use a kind and patient manner.

Set your horse up for success

There are number of things you can teach and practice with your horse to help prepare him for being able to tie well. By taking the time to do this work and approaching the task in an open, empathetic and supportive manner, you can create powerful and lasting results while avoiding mistakes or gaps in training that will require fixing later.

Pressure and release

One key to training your horse to tie well is teaching him to yield to pressure in situations that are stress-free, before introducing him to stressful scenarios. The first rule is to never attempt to tie without first exploring your horse’s knowledge of pressure and release.

  • Neck stretches and yields following the feel of the line
  • Light touch head drops
  • Forward and back rocking horse steps
  • Altering gait and speed while leading

As the exercises build on one another, make sure to create times for your horse to feel somewhat restricted while being given a chance to find a way out using collaborative communication.</p

Desensitization exercises

Once your horse fully understands how to get himself out of trouble by coming forward towards the pressure, it is time to introduce him to some surprises. It’s easy to teach him to tie when everything is calm, but you would be remiss if you didn’t prepare him for the unexpected, and provide him with appropriate coping skills for those stressful or startling moments.

  • Desensitize to scary objects and items
  • Desensitize to startling and unusual sounds
  • Graduate to an in-hand obstacle course of higher learning

Building confidence

Another key to successfully training your horse to tie is to address the emotional and mental factors that create a “non-tying horse” to begin with. Training is essential to building the horse’s confidence in both himself and you, and will allow you to create a trust-based partnership.

This can be done over time as your horse learns to come into himself more, leave the herd behind, explore and venture off campus, and experience a multitude of environments and situations. Once he has a good foundation of confidence, you can gradually introduce him to new locations and scenarios, and increase the stimuli that will trigger fears, such as a fear of isolation. Soon, fear will be replaced with the understanding that he is safe, even when you are asking him to be restricted or isolated for a time.

Training your horse to tie

The simplest way to begin is to loop the line over a hitching post to create some resistance, and hold it in your hand while grooming! This way, the horse does not hit a rigid line and panic, which could put both of you at risk for bodily harm. Instead, your horse will be able to feel the give while at the same time making a pleasant association with tying through mindful grooming.

This same looping method applies while teaching the horse to tie at a trailer, wash rack or other location, keeping in mind the necessity for excellent footing and surrounding safety. Naturally, the horse finds himself in a pressure/release situation and you may decide to include food as a reward to enhance the situation while expediting the lesson.

You may also want to introduce the quick release knot, popular around the world. It gives a similar sense of resistance but still gives you a chance to release the horse should he panic.

Some equestrians swear by the tradition of tying to a piece of string or bailing twine on a tie-ring to ensure breakaway. Although some believe that horses can learn their own strength by snapping these strings, and that you should never allow them to break away, I have seen it save lives. While this tradition remains prevalent, its popularity is being overridden by the blocker tie ring, which provides soft resistance and safe tying without using knots.

If all else fails and your horse is truly phobic, you may decide to ground-tie him by simply teaching him to stand still when the attached lead rope is placed on the ground close by. It’s a pretty easy “trick” to start with and moves effortlessly into all you do when you ask your horse to stand!

Work with, not against, your horse

From decades of experience worldwide, I have witnessed many approaches and seen some horrendous tying styles, ranging from snubbing posts through solitary standing stalls. Although it is customary for trainers to state that their methods work, these harmful and sometimes even cruel training styles simply aren’t necessary, and reflect a fear-based, dominance style of training.

Remember that teaching your horse to tie goes beyond simply seeking a place for him to stand and wait — it is an introduction to the concepts of patience, respect, focus and a time to process.

The bottom line is to recognize that tying is not something that comes “naturally” to a horse. Choosing a style of training that supports and works with your horse’s mind, and encourages trust, not dominance, will help him find success with being tied, and will create fewer issues down the road.

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Our Gratitude Speaks when We Care and We Share the ROTH Way

 

As a result of the many donations Anna sends we often get lovely expressions of gratitude that come seemingly out of the blue!  It always brings a smile to our faces and warms our hearts to know that people are enjoying learning about the methods and bringing the message to their volunteers and other cooperating organizations.

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Thanks, Monica, and This Old Horse!  We slaute the work you do in the world on behalf of the Mustangs!

Want to know more about the DVD referenced here, Whispers from the Wild Ones? 

Show me how to Capture the Whisper!

Or, does it intrigue you, the idea of gentling one of America’s last, great, wild icons?  Discover the Untouched Horse Course in California at the Wild Horse Sanctuary this August? Go here for all the details!

Tell me about gentling the wild ones

 

We also got this message on Facebook from a student of the methods, Cynthia Lawson Greene of Sumner, MI, who was able to apply what she learned in Foals In Training DVD to her Mustang, Scarlet:

“Anna, we have your DVD set on foal training…we have applied it to gentling out mustang, Scarlet. I never thought about running and massaging the ears and surrounding area…Thank you. First time I did Scarlet pulled away some but now I can touch them at will…she is a sweetheart…thank you!”

Cynthia, we are SO pelased to hear that the FIT methods were easily applicable to Scarlet!  Thank YOU for offering a good home to the Mustangs!  We sincerely appreciate those of you who do.

This is just one more testimonial to the fact that the ROTH methods are NOT A COOKIE-CUTTER SYSTEM, but rather a methodology based in the language of Equus, which can be applied to each horse individually based on their learning style, likes/dislikes, personality, character and personal history.  When we use the language of the horse to speak and to request their collaboration, it eliminates the barriers that other “training systems” can create.  We are always thrilled to get messages of gratitude!  Thanks again, Cynthia, for Reaching Out to Share in the Success!

To learn more about the Foals in Training DVD, you can go here:

Tell me about Foals in Training the DVD

And, of course, the Foals have thier own course as well!  Learn how to start them right, from the ground up, and discover a path to partnership rather than a dominance-based, training relationship.

Foals In Training the Course!

 

Anna Reaches Out to her English Roots…

ROTH is excited to be partnering with the Western Horse UK Horsemanship Journal to help bring Anna’s message all the way back to her roots in the UK!  This is the December 2017 publication.  Read along as she discusses the benefits of a personal program vs slotting all horses into a cookie cutter system that is one-size-fits-all for training.

A favorite quote:  “If you are looking for total compliance then I would strongly suggest you buy a motorcycle.”

Can we get a “Here, Here?!”

Always celebrating the individual and free nature of our favorite species, Anna’s approach is truly unique and the results can be obviously seen in how the horses respond.UK magazineUK magazine 2

Christine Matthews Shares about Her ROTH Internship

Internship at ROTH

 

When Anna and Vin initially suggested I return to Colorado to do a 3 month internship at the ROTH Ranch after completing HHC, my first thought was what a wonderful opportunity it would be to learn so much more.  My second thought was “F$%&!  Me?  An intern?  They must have either had too much Costa Rican sun, got the wrong person, or forgotten that I’d only just managed to overcome my fear around horses enough to get a halter on – well, half on – without desperately seeking the nearest fence to vault over – or perhaps crawl under would be more apt!  Of course, they hadn’t and my time with them has been wonderful.

The goal was to have more handling experience, and to become more familiar with the day-to-day running of a horse ranch: feeding, pasture management, fencing, being present for equine professional visits (farrier, chiropractor… etc.) and, of course, getting to know the horses, their needs and understanding the dynamics of the herd a little more.  My greatest challenges were fear, of which I still had a sizeable amount, and the belief in myself that I could actually achieve what was required in an internship, particularly the physical requirements.  I developed a very effective stalling strategy when doubt or fear crept in called “I can’t!”  Anna, thankfully, had an even more effective counter-strategy called “Yes, you can!”  She was right!!  I could!

Honey and I

I have learned so much and as it is with the most valuable kind of learning, this has been on many levels.  I also know there is much more to learn.  My fear has diminished greatly in comparison to what it was and without it getting in the way so much I have been able to experience the joy of “being” with the herd and “seeing” them in a way I wasn’t able to before.  I feel great gratitude for this, for what the horses have shown me about myself, and for the healing this has brought.  Great gratitude, too, goes to Anna and Vin for the bestowing of their knowledge, their unwavering support, and the amazingly good humor shown as a strange Kiwi/Brit blundered about within their lives and all over their property!  Even more gratitude goes to the universe for instigating everything and for keeping everyone, human, equine and canine, alive and intact, while that blundering went on!!!  It has been ……………amazing!

Photo Credit: Lacey Knight

A Glimpse into this year’s Rocky Mountain Horse Expo!

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Anna began the R.M.H.E. experience with a day of Saddling-Up with ROTH!  To her surprise, 75% of her equine students were Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) and a true delight they were – with a “try” greater than Mount Everest.  From creating a stronger bond, through to spook-busting, pain management assessment, standing for mounting and exploring benefits for horses, handlers, and riders this intimate group of enthusiasts walked away with overflowing pride!

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo Demos

Watch Anna’s Lectures and Demos

ARE YOU READY?!?  We go live in 3… 2…
Anna is now live-streaming on Facebook at many of her events throughout the year!  Bring her directly into your home, your heart, and your horses’ lives.  With thousands of individuals logging on to be present during the presentations and demonstrations, she was able to reach a global audience.  Benefit from her expertise and even go back and visit the 3 Facebook pages for more insights.  
Topics covered included:
 
  • Animal communication: What your horses want you to know
  • Fearful rider – fearful horse; training your young; training your young or insecure horse to an unbalanced rider
  • From bridle to bitless
  • Acting out as a form of communication

49bb97f554e894c327ce1935_560x278Perceptions from RMHE 2017

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by Laura Schuman
2017 Brings me my third year of having the honor of being on the ROTH team for the Expo.  Fortunately, I had discovered that the expo occurs on my Spring Break, and since Boulder is my home, I am able to slip in a quick visit with my mother before heading for the several day event of long hard hours of lots and lots of work, plus horses galore!  We all love to grumble, the days get intensely long, but I rather doubt any of us on the team don’t on some level love what we are doing…based on our firm belief in, faith, and absolute loyalty to Anna Twinney and her nonstop authenticity for the horses (and their people).  And of course, Vin.  I would be remiss to not mention Vin’s undying leadership (ahem) and assignment of tasks.  He likes that booth a ‘certain way’…often not at all the same as Anna…..and on we go!
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“A highlight from our time at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo!
YouTube video footage coming soon. Deep gratitude to Anna Twinney for her generous heart endorsement for the Nokotas!” ~ Mari Rubens
Hello Anna and team,
 
My Mum and I attended a few of your clinics at the Rocky Mountain Expo this weekend, we really enjoyed your sessions and learned a lot about horse communication.
 
We recently adopted 2 young BLM Mustangs, a 2yr old mare, and a 3yr old gelding. I had been struggling to get a good connection with the gelding for months. When we got home today, I gave him full eye contact and used some of the body language cues you showed in the expo, and we finally had a breakthrough! He was much more responsive to me in the pasture and the round pen, and a lot more respectful of my space (he’s usually very pushy).
 
Thank you so much for the excellent advice, and for sharing your knowledge!
 
Kind Regards,
 
Megan Sprot
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Save 50% OFF of the Horse Whispering Defined
DVD Until the End of the Month!

Use the code “HWD50” for SAVINGS

L: The R.M.H.E. is a time of connection and communication not only with horses but with talented friends, partners and peers too!  Anna was absolutely delighted to meet up with Frank Kuntz, brother of Leo Kuntz, whom Anna supported in North Dakota, gentling the wild Nokota horses.  During the expo she was honored to support the Nokota horse conservancy in her life lessons at liberty demonstration; a highlight of the weekend for sure!  
 
R: A rose between two thorns!  This was a time to become acquainted and reacquainted with horse experts Mike Brashear and Justin Dunn.  Anna has spent two decades bringing horsemen and women together for the good of the horse!

 

 

ROTH at Home in Colorado

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Dear Colorado and surrounding area’s friends,
We’ve put together our upcoming events, courses and clinics taking place here at home, simply click on the event  link below that you are most interested in (or all of them, we don’t want to limit you) to learn more about them and register! We can’t wait to see you at an upcoming event!
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Learn More about RMSAAM’s Weekend

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Find out more about how you can join

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Join Anna for the day and learn more…

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Join us at Mounting Miracles Ranch

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Join Anna for 3 days of Liberty Magic

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Learn more about Horse Whispering and how you can be a part!

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Learn more about joining Anna in Lafayette

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Find out how you can learn the valuable principles of starting and beyond…

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Join us for this year’s HHC III

For any additional information or if you have questions please feel free to contact us at either 303-642-7341 or info@reachouttohorses.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Komitor Joins Anna Twinney &  Reach Out to Horses for a 4-Part Webinar

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Carol Komitor – Founder of Healing Touch for Animals® will be featured on Episode 1, Thursday, December 8, 2016 6 – 8pm MST.

On Thursday, December 8th, Anna Twinney, founder of Reach Out to Horses kicks off a FREE 4-part webinar series and Anna is thrilled to once again invite none other than Carol Komitor herself to join her for the 1st episode.
Carol will join Anna to lend her ever-flowing expertise on the power and value of incorporating therapeutic essential oils into your daily life and practice.  They will share their expertise and talk about the impact Essential Oils can have on Body, Mind and Spirit for you and your animals. You will also have an opportunity to ask them the questions you have about specific oils, how to use them, or anything else you might be curious to know.

Whether you have had an interest in essential oils and want to try them, or have used them for a long time and want to deepen your use and understanding, you won’t want to miss this FREE web event.
And, if that isn’t great enough, when you register for the first webinar, you will automatically be registered for the entire series.  Topics include Partnering with Horses in Therapy, Coaching and more, Animal Communication: Animals as our Guides, and Nutritional Supplementation for you and your Animals.
There are limited spaces and it is always a popular event when Anna and Carol come together, so don’t wait, register now.