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How to Safely Tie a Horse that Pulls Back when Tied

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

The safest and most humane way to tie a horse is using the tie ring, especially a horse that has a history of pulling back when tied. For those who have experienced or worked with a horse that has pulled back when tied, it’s always a worry and can be dangerous to tie a him if you need to leave the area to grab something, or go to the restroom. The temporary solution may be to find someone to hold the horse or put him in a stall. The long term solution is to do some humane retraining and use effective tools, specifically, a tie ring. Not only is a tie ring the safest way to tie but it also trains your horse to stand.

What ever the reason is why your horse pulls, the tie ring (Blocker Tie Ring made by Ted Blocker or the Aussie Tie Ring made by Clinton Anderson) is a tool that is incredibly helpful, provides piece of mind and is a tool you will use forever. Once you use it, you will never want to go back to a quick release knot. It is the safest option of tying a horse that pulls back, a young/green horse or even an adult horse that has never pulled back before.

People and horses have been very badly injured and even killed when a horse has been hard tied trying to get the horse loose or the horse flips over, etc. A horse can be claustrophobic, spook, have poll releasing issues, separation anxiety, get bored, or just test it and once the horse breaks free he has learnt that he can pull back to get free.

Training a horse to stand quiet while tied does help tremendously, however it doesn't guarantee that the horse will never pull back when tied, especially if he has done it in the past. The safest way to tie a horse that has a history of pulling when tied is:

1)Retraining to stand

2)Using a tie ring

The inhumane way some people say to “fix” the problem is to hard tie the horse and let them try pulling it out. Horses have very badly injured their neck, back, poll etc. by doing this. It is not safe or humane and doesn’t fix the problem, it can make it worse. Some try the inner tube of a tire, bungee cords (which can snap back and cause a severe eye injury), loop the lead rope around the tie post or even make a DIY version of the tie ring (I tried making a DIY version and it doesn’t come close to the real thing. Save your time and money trying to make one and just get the real one straight away).

Clinton Anderson says, “The Aussie Tie Ring is a great tool for teaching a horse how to stand tied because it, too, lets the horse move his feet. If he pulls back while tied up, as soon as he stops pulling, the tie ring gives him an instant relief of pressure. That causes the horse not to panic as much. When he’s using the reactive side of his brain, the more a horse pulls against pressure and can’t escape it, the more he wants to fight. When a horse pulls back and is actually able to move his feet, it’s as if he says to himself, ”There’s no reason to keep fighting because I’m able to move my feet. There’s no need to feel trapped and claustrophobic.” That’s why the Aussie Tie Ring is such a great tool.”

For more information and training tips on for a horse that pulls back when tied, both the Ted Blocker and Clinton Anderson have You Tube Videos and instructions on how to effectively use the tie rings.

The tie rings are multi functional and can be used to single tie, cross tie, tie inside and outside trailers, on high lines, take it to shows or wherever you go.

A horse that pulls back is a safety concern for itself and others. A tie ring is the safest piece of equipment to tie a horse that has never pulled or has a history of pulling. It is also a very effective training tool for young horses and horses that pull when tied. Retraining to stand and utilizing the tie ring will set you and your horse up for succes.


DownUnder News (June 24, 2014). Tie Your Horse Smart. Retrieved from

Blocker Ranch (nd) Blocker Ranch Home of the Blocker Tie Ring and New Blocker Dally TY.

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