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    Re: [RC] born ground tied - Bonnie Davis

    Hi Beth:
    All of the horses I've owned have ground tied -- they stay where the end of the reins or the halter lead rope hits the ground.  The one exception is Bud -- he likes to wander.  But he does it in a circle around the end of the lead rope or his reins.  Never moving the very end of the rope. 
    They also hobble.  I use a pair of heavy leather, fleece lined hobbles and when they get a foot hung up somewhere, they stop!  I've learned a long time ago that when my horses suddenly stop, turn ears back to me and refuse to go when I urge 'em on -- better get off and check.  Sig's even stopped dead when going through tall grasses.  He had stepped into an empty McDonald's Big Mac Box and it hung over his hoof.  In his mind, he was suddenly 'hobbled'.  So he stopped for me to get him 'unhobbled'. 
    Horses don't pull back either.  If they panic -- they freeze!  Old Sig had a bear come down a hill in front of us one time.  He just froze.  Shivering with his eyes closed tight wait for whatever to happen.  The bear had literally had a piece of hill side slide out from under him.  He just looked at us and went on over the trail edge.  He didn't want to be around us anymore than we wanted to be around him.  
    Halters -- I never turn a horse loose with a halter on in an arena to play or a pasture.  A halter is a piece of 'working equipment'.  When the halter goes on, the horse goes to work.  If I want them to graze with the halter on, I first have to pull a handpull of grass and offer it to 'em and then when they take it -- drop some on the ground.  That's the 'signal' they can graze with halter on.  If I pull up and say "No".  They won't graze anymore.  Great for riding -- a horse constantly nipping and trying to eat grass can be unsafe because he's not watching where he's going.
    In fact, I won't BUY a horse unless it stands tied, loads, hauls, easy to shoe and vet.  I can teach ground tying and hobble training but I want the basics IN the horse before I spend money ON the horse.   
    But I also have to tell you guys my horses are not endurance horses.  They're trail horses.  If they've galloped 5 miles in the 15 years I've owned 'em, that's a long way.  We simply plod down the trails.....but the trails are in California, Oregon, Nevada and we horsecamp a whole lot!
    Bonnie Davis      
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Beth Gunn
    Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2002 10:20 AM
    Subject: [RC] born ground tied

    In reading posts regarding teaching calmness when "tangled".  When my 11 yr gelding, Danny, was a few months old, he stepped in abandoned hog wire hiding in tall grass.  I had only been teaching him halter, leading, feet and handling up to this point.  The hog wire had been left on my side of the fence (unbeknownst? to me) by my neighbor.  New neighbor called me when I got home from work to tell me Danny had been standing in the same spot for hours!  I went to him immediately and found he had not done any harm and waited all that time! for me to come pick up his feet and release him from this situation!  I swear!  I have witnesses...:))  This is an abnoxiously intelligent horse.  Drives me bugg-o wanting to learn new stuff.  I really think he is a dog with hooves and whinneys.  I wish he had the body to do real endurance.  Just LDs for this guy.
    Beth Gunn

    [RC] born ground tied, Beth Gunn