Here at SW Future Foal, we don’t use cross-ties. We use the Aussie tie rings from Clinton Anderson because we like the horse to be able to pull back if they feel they need to. However, we know many barns have cross-ties, in the wash rack, for the farrier etc.
So, here is a training tip from Lynn Boone, NC:
This is how we train our horses to the cross ties.
- They have a “breakaway” halter.
- For the first few times we have someone at their head with a regular leadrope. That person will drop the lead rope, walk away with a “whoa” command. Then after a few seconds, return and reward the horse for standing still. After a few times and when the horse is calm, the person grooming will put the horse in cross ties, lead rope hanging down, give the whoa command, walk around the horse (not necessarily behind, depending on how calm they are) and return and reward. The time in cross ties during the first few sessions is very short at first with lots of positive reinforcement.
- Repeat as often as needed until the horse is calm and stands still.
Perhaps this should be number one! The cross ties are attached to a small piece of breakable twine and a double end clip. I use that at the halter instead of quick release clips, because lets face it, if a horse is having a meltdown, you sometimes can’t get close enough to release it. The twine will break easily and there will only be a double end clip hanging from the halter.
As another safety note, do not leave your horse unattended for long periods of time.
It is a rather long training process but I have never had a bad result.