Blocker Tie Ring
If you have ever seen a horse pull back while being tied, you know how scary it can be. Even horses who have stood tied calmly for years can get frightened and pull back in a moment of panic. That is why we highly recommend using the Blocker Tie Ring by Toklat.
The Blocker Tie, when used correctly (see manufacturers directions), can help prevent a serious horse injury in the event of a pullback situation. The ring is effective because it creates “draw” on the lead rope, while still allowing the horse the freedom to move if panicked. In the most recent version, there is a magnet on the back to hold the link to the ring.
In a perfect world horse's would never get afraid, and they would never pull back against pressure. Indeed they can be taught to stand tied even while they are afraid, but if you are ever unsure, or have a horse with a history of pulling back, the Blocker Tie is a valuable asset in your trailer or in your barn. We use them every time we tie up a horse, whether it is one of our horses or not. Look at it this way, if a horse that already stands tied stands well, then they don't need the tie to help them, but it's there if they need it. If you have a horse who has had a bad experience or one who you are unsure of its reaction, then the blocker tie is the only way to go.
There is an old horsemanship expression: the human tells the story, the horse tells the truth. As professional horse trainers, we see examples of this quite frequently. Someone tells us all about the problems they are having with their horse, but it is the behavior of the horse that tells us what we need to do and how we need to respond.
Horse behavior can be interpreted differently, depending on whom you ask. One person's interpretation can differ wildly from another person's. Which one should we believe? The one that most closely resembles the behavior of the horse based on the chemical and neurological makeup of the horse.
You know the expression, “Opinions are like...bellybuttons. Everybody has one!" When in reality there is only one opinion that really counts, and that is the opinion of the horse. Because horses live in the moment, the answer they give us at that moment is the one we should be paying attention to. We don't need complicated explanations, or tricks, or even animal communication, what we need is genuine science-based, truth from the horse's mouth so to speak.
However, because horses do not use spoken language - the way humans do - it is often challenging to determine what they are “saying” to us with their primary mode of communication: body language. Humans are wonderfully skilled at anthropomorphism; horses are not. Anthropomorphism is the fifty-cent word for applying human thoughts and feelings onto our animals. We see our horse wrap its head around us and we say, “Aw look, Fluffy is giving me a hug.” You might very badly want to believe that your horse is hugging you, but horses do not know what a hug is. And there is a neurological reason why this is the case. You simply cannot say something like this with any certitude or proof, when you have a true understanding of how the brain of a horse functions.
For those of us interested in a scientific accounting of what is actually happening in the mind of our beloved equine companions, the book Evidence-based Horsemanship is a must-read. Scientist and Neuro-Psychologist Stephen Peters and Horseman Martin Black have teamed up in this short book to relay what they know about the reality of the way horses think and behave. This book is based on science (from Dr. Peter's perspective) and associated behavior (from Mr. Black's perspective.) Anyone who is truly interested in the reasons horses do what they do and why they do it should read this book. There are genuine scientific reasons that horses are horses; why they panic when they do, why they spook, and why they learn as quickly as they do. Do yourself and your horse a favor and try to understand horses for who they really are – based on their own unique psychology. You won't regret it.
Click on the book link in this blog and order your copy today!