November 25, 2014

Learning to Crosstie

Although Gentry ties like an angel, the first time I brought him in the barn it was pretty apparent that he had never been in cross ties before. Having PTSD from Rose learning to cross tie, I decided to think through my approach to cross tie training this time around.

In the grooming stall I have my super safe and sturdy panic snap cross ties. However, it's never a good idea to just put a horse in cross ties the first time and expect all to go well. So, I decided to hang up two blocker tie rings and two lead ropes to ease him into the the idea of being tied from each side of his face. Truly a new idea for the little man.

Gentry in the blocker tie-ring cross ties.
First thing first, I put him in a super durable leather halter and kept a lead rope attached to the lead ring on the halter for backup. No rope halter's when it comes to cross tie training (or cross ties in general if I can help it). The first and second time I had him in the cross ties, I attached one of the ropes to a blocker tie ring, and actually just held the other one, eventually just looping it through the ring of the other blocker tie ring and held onto the end of the rope. This gave him more slack and me more room to work with him should things get western. I also kept these sessions short and didn't do anything but praise him and give him lots of treats. He as a little nervous, pawing a few times, and concerned with Hugo's whereabouts, but otherwise he was a good boy and all went well ending on a positive note both times.
Gentry in the panic snap cross ties, post ride and cooling off.
The third time was charm. I started out with him attached to the blocker tie rings. I alternated between praise, treats, and asking him to stand, insisting that he not paw. This time I kept him in the blocker cross ties until he completely settled down and relaxed. Then, because I was feeling comfortable with his expression of acceptance and relaxation in the blocker cross ties, I switched him out to the regular panic snap cross ties. Then I groomed and tacked him up. He was terrific! I am so excited to be able to take him in the barn on cold days and at least groom him even if I can't ride due to ice or to let his long winter coat dry in comfort after a sweat inducing ride. Hurray!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Good job! He's such a good boy!

  2. good pony! it's kinda crazy how overwhelming cross ties can be for some horses... definitely wise to introduce them carefully :)

  3. nice, he looks game for any challenge. as long as your gentle about it.



Related Posts with Thumbnails