The video above, posted to Facebook by Tennessee horse trainer Jessica Hlebak, is just six seconds long. That’s the amount of time it takes Rob, the horse in the video, to get loose from his halter in a single, swift motion.
Crossties are a useful setup for barns. They limit a horse’s side-to-side movement more than a straight tie, which makes it easier to work around them from all sides for grooming and tacking up. But if you’ve got a smart horse with a penchant for escape, you’d better make sure his halter isn’t too loose and the crossties aren’t so tight that they give him some easy leverage to escape. On the other hand, there are some horses and ponies (especially ponies) who are clever enough that no arrangement of halters and ties will reliably keep them in one place for too long if they don’t want to be. Given the ease with which Rob parts ways with his halter, we’re thinking he’s one of that sort.
For an example of how a motivated horse can escape from a straight tie, check out this featured video of the past wherein a Swedish horse named Noble patiently removes his halter and then attempts to hide the evidence.
Our advice: Don’t let your horse watch either of these videos, lest they be perceived as instructional.
Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com