Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Horse bolting from cross-ties

HELP! I have had my horse for about two and a half years, and he has never done anything like this. The only time he does this is after I ride him.

Whenever I am taking his bridle off in the crossties, and putting his halter on, he will yank his head up, out of the halter, and bolt out of the barn. This is very embarassing, since he is the only horser that does this. His halter fits fine, and he is fed after I ride him. He has done this twice, and has already injured me. PLEASE HELP!!! I am starting to lose my patience and confidence in him, which I never want to happen!

Hello and Happy "Day After Thanksgiving",

If you only ride your horse, give treats and groom, you really don't have much of a relationship with him. A bond of trust is formed first and foremost on the ground with a horse through appropriate and successful interaction. Riding should be the icing on the cake of your relationship. If you had done a fair amount of handling and playing with the horse on the ground you would probably not be having the problems you are. Cross-ties can be the most dangerous way of restraint there is with horses. Personally I train my horses to stand quietly and patiently where I ask them to. This willing compliance is far better than restraint. It demonstrates partnership rather than control. Please consider you actually could have a deeper and more profound relationship with your horse than you currently have.

To assist your problem (other than really attempting to build a relationship based upon mutual trust and respect through the application of appropriate communication and handling techniques), I would practice removing the halter and putting it back on without the cross-ties, but in the place where they are. Always unhook all cross-ties before removing the halter. Place your lead-rope around the horses neck first so you have something to assist you keeping the horse with you when removing the halter. Move slowly and thoughtfully but not with apprehension and too much trepidation. Stand on the left side of the horse, by the throat-latch facing forward, never in front of the horse and not too close that you crowd the horse's head (they are very claustrophobic and crowding their heads make them more so). Your right hand should be over the horse's neck and left hand by the left cheek or nostral. This is the basic position for removal and application of your halter. It is very advisable to train your horse to lower it's head when requested. This is a basic foundation of horse training and if you don't have a clue as to how to train for it, descriptions of the process are found easily and for free in my help center archives. It only takes a few minutes to train for this. As with any training it must be consistently reinforced. Asking for a lowered head and receiving it helps a horse to relax as well. A horse with it's head down is feeling safe and not looking for danger (preditors).

Please consider you would benefit a great deal from some real knowledge and education about horses beyond the human activity of riding them. I know of vast numbers of great riders who know little of the true nature of horses. They win ribbons and trophies but really don't have a clue as to the mind of the horse and many don't really care. Their total agenda is them riding the horse. They do not even consider that their horse has a life beyond them riding it. It sad but true. I hope you are not one of these people and you really want to know something of the world of horses beyond humans riding them. The cross-tie situation is merely a symptom showing a lack of relationship and proper handling techniques with the horse to assist it in feeling safe and trusting it will be safe wherever you ask it to stay. Consider the purchase of several training DVD's. Many good ones are found in the backs of all horse magazines. Its a little moeny for a lot of information and good techniques. I have several in my shopping corral that would prove very valuable to you. No matter whose you get I strongly suggest you gain some very valuable information about the horse itself and acquire several DVD's. Good Luck and I send best wishes to you for a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: