Inner-Tube Tie

In the December 2005 issue of Western Horseman, champion trainer and clinician Terry Myers, Ostrander, Ohio, shares his groundwork exercises and safety strategies to teach your horse how to stand still – and not pull back. He recommends teaching your horse to tie using a large, truck-style inner tube tied to a secure, deep-set post along a smooth, flat wall. Teaching your horse to tie with the inner tube helps your horse know to move forward. The inner tube will give, then pull your horse back into position faster than your own hands can correct and reward. Your horse won’t feel the constant resistance of the rope; instead, he’ll feel pressure, then release when he moves forward and stops pulling back.

Here’s how to prepare your inner tube before you begin your tying lesson. You’ll need: an inner tube from your local auto-repair shop and two durable ropes. One rope will tie the inner tube to your post. The other should be a lead line with a clip on the end – where you’ll clip your horse.

Follow the steps below to prepare your horse to tie before you clip him to the inner tube. Be sure there are no loose boards, nails or other protruding items near your tying area that could injure your horse.

• Lay the deflated inner tube flat on the ground.

• Fold the inner tube in half, forming a “C”shape.

• Lay the rope you’ll use to tie the inner tube to the post in the middle of the folded inner tube. Wrap it around the inner tube. These are the rope ends you’ll wrap around and tie to your post.

• With the rope as a fold line, fold the inner tube one more time, so that it’s one-fourth its full size.

• Pick up your lead rope, and string it up through one of the loops made by the folded inner tube.

• Thread the lead rope up through one inner tube loop/fold; then run it down through the other loop/fold.

• Knot the ends of the lead rope by folding one rope end, encircling the other rope piece, and tucking the fold through your newly formed loop. Or, use another sturdy knot you know well.

• Pick up the inner tube using your first rope (the rope that will tie the inner tube to your 8- to 10-foot post).

• Secure the inner tube to the post.

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