Training Tip of the Week: Why you should tie your horse up

 

Tying a horse up for long periods of time accomplishes many important things in your training. I have a little saying, "End each training session by tying your horse up to the ‘Tree or Post of Knowledge.’" When you tie your horse up after a training session, it teaches him not only respect and patience, but it also gives him a chance to think about and absorb what you have just taught him.

The very last thing you want to do after a training session is get off your horse, take him back to the barn, unsaddle him, hose him off and put him in his stall to eat. This puts his focus more on getting back to the barn and eating than on thinking about his job. If you get into the habit of tying your horse up for two to three hours after you ride him, he won’t be in such a hurry to get back to the barn.

Some people will read that and think that I’m being cruel to the horse. But I have to ask, "What’s the difference between a horse standing still in a stall or a horse standing still on a Patience Pole? The difference to me is that if he’s standing tied to a pole, he could be thinking about you and what you’ve just taught him, but I guarantee that in the stall he’s not thinking about you at all.

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