Whether you use a patience pole, a hitching rail, tie them to the trailer, or prefer cross-ties – standing tied is a valuable skill a horse should have. It’s worth noting that we’re not advocating tying your horse up for hours and hours without access to food and water. But, teaching him to stand tied for daily activities will make life easier for the both of you.
If you’ve been in the horse game for awhile, this is not new information to you. However, if you’re getting your first horse or starting your foray into the wonderful world of horse ownership, here are 3 reasons your horse should stand tied quietly.
Have you ever tried to saddle a horse that dances back and forth at the trailer? How about picking up a hoof to clean it while he does his best step-dancing imitation? It is simply safer to work with a horse that stands tied quietly and patiently, than the alternative. Whether you’re tacking up, grooming, or trying to swing a leg over him, it’s far easier and safer if he stands quietly.
Travel and Trail Ready
If you’re a horse show person, you know the old adage of “hurry up and wait” can be a very true statement. Especially at day events, horses need to be accustomed to standing tied at the trailer for short or longer durations. At most events this also means they’ll be standing tied around other horses. If he is accustomed to standing tied in busy environments, he’s also going to handle the hustle and bustle of show life better.
If trail riding is more your jam, don’t discount the benefits of a horse that will tie quietly. During trail rides, there are moments when you may need to dismount to navigate challenging terrain or take a break. A horse that stands quietly tied will patiently wait while you attend to these tasks. This demonstrates trust in you and confidence in the situation. This trust is built through consistent training and positive reinforcement, resulting in a horse that is more relaxed and less likely to become anxious or attempt to escape when tied.
Mind Your Manners
As horse owners we talk often about how manners are important in horses. (And humans, but that’s a topic for another time.) And it’s up to us to instill this. Teaching a horse to stand quietly while tied helps improve his ground manners and responsiveness. It fosters patience and discipline in your horse. This helps him be cooperative and respectful during various activities, such as vet visits or farrier work. Your horse’s health team will appreciate it immensely if he can stand tied patiently.
A horse with good ground manners is easier and safer to handle. Proper ground manners ensure that your horse respects personal space, responds to cues, and stands calmly for grooming, saddling, and veterinary care.