Bad habits tough to conquer

“Horses don’t ever pull back when they’re broke right.”

That contention might be correct, but evidently all of our horses haven’t had correct training.

Folks who’ve not had experience with horses likely can’t comprehend what we’re talking about. Simple explanation is in order.

Nearly all using horses are tied at some time, and they must be taught this, like training to lead, ride or drive.

Preferably, tying is done at an early age, and it is generally easier than when a horse gets older.

In our experiences raising hundreds of foals, majority of horse don’t ever pull back in fright or attempt to get away the first time they are haltered and tied securely with a rope. They feel the restraint and accept it.

However, there are certain horses that pull back while trying to get lose when tied. This can result in serious injury including broken necks, fractured legs, loss of teeth, even permanent nerve damage.

Typically, after the first time, these horses find out the effort and the pain is more than it’s worth, so they become “broke to tie.” Most will not pull back again, unless frightened, teased or reprimanded, and want to “get away.”

Yet, there are exceptions. If a horse does ever break away during an initial tying, whether due to a poor “tie-post,” weak halter or broken rope, they’ll likely try it again. If they “get away” a second time, there’s likelihood of another try, and many more attempts during their lifetime.

But, despite these “exception-bad-experiences,” most horses learn to be tied without ever a second thought.

Again, this doesn’t hold true in all situations. Certain horses will still pull back when they’re   “old enough to know better,” well in their 20s.

“There’s never been a horse that couldn’t be broke from pulling back” has been repeated often with every thinkable “training tool” imaginable recommended as “the solution.” Chains, clubs, ropes, choke halters, and on and on might work for some, but certain horses will “always pull back if they want to,” in our philosophy. Old habits seem impossible to change.

Reminds us again of Proverbs 18:9: “Bad habits are like vandalism.”  Yet,  Proverbs 22:25: “They learn their habits and are not able to change.” However, Amos 9:1: “He who flees of them shall not get away.”