monty roberts and tying up in floats

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by whitepantheress, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. whitepantheress

    whitepantheress Well-known Member

    I was at a Monty Roberts demo day, doing first aid, and at one point he talked about how dangerous it is to tie a horse up when floating them. A member of the crowd, being a typical aussie said "Well, over here we tie up horses when floating them as a safety rule, can you please explain WHY it is dangerous?". Monty got a bit pissy and just stated it's very dangerous and under no circumstances do it.

    I am wondering if we could try to brainstorm what his issue could be? I like Monty Roberts, I got to have lunch at his table both days as the first aid person, and I like a lot of Monty's ideas, much of it is practical horsemanship than heaps of people use, but I can't figure him out on this one. I also think he slipped up in dealing with aussies. If he wants us to change a behaviour, he needs to give us a damned good reason why and not get snappy about it.

    So, I have posed this to a few horsey people to no avail, and figured I could post here and see if this large horse community can nut it out mebbe?
  2. erilyn

    erilyn Well-known Member

    I think you need to do what it right for you and your horse!
    I suspect Monty got snippy because he didn't have a good answer.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  3. oldtenth

    oldtenth Well-known Member

    I wonder what Monty would have said, he if saw the horse I happen to see yesterday morning that wasn't tied in a float bashing its head continusly into the float roof and was trying to turn around and this was in a double float with another horse next to it.
  4. SCNHP

    SCNHP New Member

    While this may work for some horses, it isn't something I would do. I have a stallion divider in my float and if I don't tie my horses up short enough, they will get their head around the other side of the divider and to me, that is very dangerous. Travelling 2 horses together with neither of them tied is dangerous. I think that when a horse is securely tied they know they don't have the freedom to go anywhere, I would think that with some horses if they weren't tied up they may try to test that freedom and again, that is dangerous. I'm sure Monty has several scenarios that could be dangerous when a horse is tied in a float, but i'm sure there would be just as many reasons for the other side. At the end of the day, we have to look at the pros and cons and weigh up what is best for our horses as individuals.

    I wonder why he got cranky when someone questioned his methods? He should encourage Q&A to help people to understand his methods!
  5. raindear

    raindear Well-known Member

    had a pony go half way over the front bar while tied up..quick release and he went all the way over and out the front door!!!! Now gets tied down low on both sides so he cant get his head up..not had a problem since but would not ever not have him tied. :eek: I would think it would be a safety thing regardless of what the horse was like anyway.:eek:
  6. petamc

    petamc Well-known Member

    On the other hand, I've had a horse go down in the float while tied up and damn near break its neck!!!
    Not easy trying to get a head collar off with the full weight of a horse on it.

    I don't tie mine in the float for this reason, however, they both float really well.
  7. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Yep, my guess would be that if a horse falls in the float they could break there neck. With the weight of the horse it would be hard to untie the knots which would tighten or get close enough to undo a halter on a scared horse. But than people say that you should have a sharp knife in the car when you float for that reason so you can just cut the rope.

    I never tie my girl as I feel she can balance better with her own head, however she does not, and has never (that I'm aware of) turned her head around in the float.. if I ever saw her do it I would tie her. Also my girl is particularly unbalanced in the float.. my other horse always get's tied up.
  8. Yentle

    Yentle Active Member

    My 12 yr old tbred is such an old hand in the float he doesn't get tied. He never moves a muscle. My young friesian is still not really confident in the float and tries to turn her head down between her body and the wall to look behind her so she does get tied just enough that she can have a bit of a look and can move her head around to balance but cant look back over her shoulder. Each to their own.
  9. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    I think it could be for the issue that a few people have said that if anything should happen that a horse can break its neck if restrained. But as Lauren said it is recommended to have a sharp knife in the car with a bit of weight to it to cut a horse free. I always carry my partner's super sharp utility hunting knife in the car (beautiful knife for just about any purpose) whenever I tow the float and there's always a knife in the glovebox of my parent's Landcruiser ute for just that purpose, they're a pretty handy thing to have.

    I think I read in one of Monty's books that in an accident it's easier to get the horse out if they're not tied up. After bringing my boy back from Darwin I know myself that with this particular horse of mine, I need to be very aware of how long I tie him up in the float as he likes to turn his head around and have a bit of a squiz at what's behind him. My old horse at home in Vic however, never had to worry, throw the rope over his back, point him at the float and worry about him when we get to our destination. Each to their own and it depends upon the horse. Some horses need to be tied and the methods are endless, some horses don't.
  10. CDA

    CDA Well-known Member

    I teach my horses to ties up solid first...

    then I will load them in, bum bar up, and tie them in the float, short!

    Upon unloading, I unties, the undo bum bar....
  11. ellechim69

    ellechim69 Guest

    We have never tied our horses up on the float and have never had a problem we just throw rope over their kneck and up they go. Each to their own but we do what works for us and mostly our horses
  12. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    I always tie mine up in the float but only to baling twine. (and yes I know baling twine can be very strong and that if can be just as hard to get a 'hung up' horse free but I always have something at hand in the car to cut it just in case).
    I tie because one of my horses has turned her head/neck sideways and got herself stuck up over the stallion divider and I'd rather prevent it ever happening again.
    I will never solid tie though.
  13. Kiwigirl

    Kiwigirl Well-known Member

    I will tie to baling twine if there are two horses in my float.

    Fatty by himself I don't tie, partly because I am lazy :p and he is a good floater that doesn't twist himself in knots to see out the back. If he was one of those then I would tie him up.

    I think it depends on the horse and float combination, no set rule as such ;)
  14. Sharaway

    Sharaway Guest

    I have seen far more damage done to horse that where not tied up in a float that that of those left tied up.

    I tie mine to baling twine also so if they do go down the twine will break.

    Leaving them untied can leave you open to so many problems, I had a close call not that long ago.

    Chantelle who we all know is quite large, but so is out float, got herself untied, then managed to get her head under the chest bar.

    She was firmly wedged in there, god only knows how she even managed it.

    If she chose to panic she would have wrecked the float and herself in the process.

    She managed to get her head back up again but not with out giving us both a few heart stopping moments.

    Yes if you tie a horse solid in the float and it goes down you have problems, but leaving a horse untied can lead to the horse going down to, especially if the bay is roomy and the horse things it can try and turn around.

    Rearing up and ending with legs over the front chest bar another big danger.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  15. jodie

    jodie Well-known Member

    I always tie in the float. I have three pieces of bailing twine tied plaited together so it will take a fair amount of force to break but in extreme circumstances (Ie horse going down) should break or will be easier to cut than a rope at least. I make sure I tie short so no legs can get over ropes (angle load) and no heads can turn around.

    I feel it is far more dangerous to have a horse trying to turn around in the bay.
  16. CDA

    CDA Well-known Member

    I have to agree with Sharaway and Jodie.

    I also tie to bailing twine which is plaited or doubled up. I want some strength in it but I also want to break it MYSELF in an emergency.

    PS I always carry a knife when I am doing tie up training or floating any horse.
  17. janm3680

    janm3680 New Member

    I'm with the tie to baleing twine group.. I've had a horse go down and it was easy to cut the twine and all ended well.. I've also experienced a horse, who was left untied, try to turn around in the float causing all kinds of drama.. Perhaps the thing with Monty Roberts was he was put on the spot to explain his theory and was not happy to be challenged.. IMHO any horse professionals should be able to answer all queries with grace.. if people feel unable to ask questions how can they ever learn... :}
  18. MyShadowfax

    MyShadowfax Well-known Member

    Another tier - short and to bailing twine.
  19. Que Sera Sera

    Que Sera Sera Well-known Member

    Another tying to bailing twine. My anglo is a nosey bugger and likes to look around and also nod his head up and down. Tying limits the amount of rocking he can get the float doing. LOL.

    Dont forget Monty comes from America and they have horse trailers, which is basically an empty box, so the horse can find its own balance. I know on one DVD I saw him doing float training on, the back doors and sides had no ventilation from memory (maybe just small slots), nothing like we have here in Australia for our hot conditions. Whether it was for affect or not, but he had the horse jump up into the box (remember they dont have ramps) and then just shut the door. I dont know if there is any front access to these boxes. I certainly wouldnt want to be going in the back door of a horse box with one going nuts, I would prefer to know that if it was going nuts, I could open the door and stand out the way so the nutso horse could get itself out.

    I will stick to my method of tying to twine unless I ever get a supberb floater who doesnt need it. I reckon my SIL QH probably doesnt need tying, as long as he has hay, he doesnt sticky beak, just has his face permanently planted in the hay bag LOL.
  20. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    I only ever use LEATHER halters in floats (they break and dont burn). I prefer not to tie, and Buckley is never tied (I unclip his lead). Quiz is currently tied to break a habit he had of looking behind him (he turned around as a 2yr old, but was during loading not when travelling... didnt want that happening whilst travelling! How a WB can turn in a straight load is beyond me!). He is tied to the oldest weakest peice of twine ever, and will soon graduate to not being tied. He is not tied short - tehy need to be able to put their heads down!

    I had a mare go down in the float, tied up to twine. The twine did not break... Her head was thus stuck over the chest bar strangling her, until we could pull over and get her up. Without being tied she would have been able to get her head under the chest bar and just lie there, or perhaps even get herself up again. I never want to experience that again, it was terrifying!

    In the end, where are they going to go? And if they DO decide to do something stupid like jump the chest bar, having a lead on them isnt going to stop it.

    I value good float training above having to tie them in there ;)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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