Thursday, May 1, 2008

Home Wrecker

Raven's most dangerous vice is the tendency to pull back when something startles/interests/annoys her while she's tied. It's not uncommon for horses that don't yield well to pressure to panic when they hit the end of a tie rope, and 1000 pounds of panic can do a lot of damage to the horse, the thing to which it is tied, and anyone else nearby. For example, Raven has already broken a leather halter, ripped two panels of cedar siding off our garage, and almost broken my thumb. Some folks from the school of "that'll learn ya" will simply put such a horse in a rope halter (which, unlike a flat halter, digs deeply into the sensitive poll behind the ears), tie it to a tree and let it fight. Others will teach the horse to ground tie, meaning that it is not to move a muscle when standing haltered with a rope dangling to the ground. I don't have the heart for the former or the patience for the latter, so I have invested in two Blocker tie rings. These nifty little gizmos arrived yesterday. When used as shown the curve of the pivoting arm allows a little give when a horse pulls back, thereby neutralizing the panic. The degree of give is dictated by the thickness of the rope, and the way in which it's looped around the arm. I will install one on what's left of our garage and on our tie tree, and I will look forward to using them while tacking up to ride this weekend.

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