In this session I introduce Timber to getting tied using the Blocker Tie Ring. There are two main reasons for this:
- Timber has to learn to be tied so he can be vetted when necessary and to have his feet trimmed
- The tie ring is an invaluable tool for “sacking out” horses
I have tie rings on my horse trailer and around my barn. It’s the absolute safest way to tie up a horse. It’s also a great tool for sacking out horses. The principle of the tie ring is such that it allows the lead rope to slowly feed out on a horse who is really pulling hard. After a bit of feeding out, the horse realizes that he can “escape” if he needs to (kind of) and he stops pulling and takes the pressure off himself by moving back towards the tie ring. Due to the fact that the lead rope will give a bit, the horse does not break the rope, or halter or the object that the ring is attached to. When a horse is tied up and pulls back hard enough to break something and gets free he has learned that he is strong enough to do this. Once this happens, you have a real problem on your hands. The tie ring prevents this from happening.
The concept of “sacking out” a horse is to desensitize him to things that we want him to ignore. He learns to stand still and ignore things that are not hurting him. It’s amazing what a horse can actually learn to ignore. For example, there is an air force base not too far from where I live. Fighter jets frequently fly low over our property. The horses (including Timber) just ignore the noise and vibration. They also ignore thunder. So, I will be using the tie ring to get Timber to learn to stand still when I approach, touch him all over and when I make sudden moves and noise that have nothing to do with him.
Today’s session is fairly short. My objective is to introduce Timber to being tied and have it be a good experience, or at least not a “bad” experience. In the next session, I will “up the game” a bit and work more on getting him used to being approached and touched all over without feeling like he needs to run.