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Does your horse fidget in the cross-ties or paw incessantly when you are tacking up? Or do you just want a cool new horse skill to impress your friends at the barn?

All joking aside, I feel that ground tying is an essential skill for the horses I work with. It teaches them to stand patiently for grooming and tacking up, and it can alleviate some tying problems as well. I have witnessed too many cross-tie pullback accidents that my personal rule is I will not cross-tie a horse until he can stand quietly ground tied. Any horse can learn this, but it does take practice and consistency. I find that it takes most new horses that come in for training about one or two weeks to learn it.

In this week's video, I show you I train my horses to ground tie. Click play and enjoy!


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6 Responses

  1. Callie,
    Thank you so much for all your training videos! You are a fantastic instructor.
    I started training my horse to ground tie. She did extremely well after working with her for 15 minutes. I did use the positive reinforcement along with treats. What a luxury it was to be able to tack her up right next to my locker.
    What would be a time limit for each training session? I don’t want her to get bored and shut down. Also, can you address 2 different things in 1 training session. I worked on softening as well and not sure if I was asking too much of her.

    1. Thanks Fran! Great job on your ground tying session! As far as a time limit, just let her tell you when she is bored and stop then. Some horses have a much longer attention span than others. Some of my horses can go well over an hour and still be fully engaged, others are checking out and need a break after 15 min (this is mostly the younger horses). Also, yes – you can address more than one topic in a training session, just make sure not to mix all the new skills together until your horse is getting solid in each one separatly.

  2. I would love to see a video of this with Stewie. My horse is large and heady like Stewie is, so I’m not sure how you might adjust your training to a horse of that size (and extra strength).

    1. Hi Dallas, I can do that! Stewie actually just learned to ground tie a few weeks ago with basically the same techniques, but I did incorporate more positive reinforcement (ie treats) with him to keep the “nagging” about staying still to a minimum!

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