A horse ground hitched with a lead rope. Because they will soon step on the reins or rope and stop themseves if they try walking around, most horses quickly learn to stand ground hitched. Photo by Bob Lemen.
Tying a horse, sometimes called racking-up, means securing a horse to a fixed object by means of a halter and lead rope. This may be done to restrict the horse’s movement for grooming, tacking up or simply to stop the horse from wandering around.
The recommended height for hitch rails is 42 inches (1,067 millimeters). This height is good for both riders and stock when lead ropes are tied properly. To avoid injuries, round the corners of hitch rails (figures 10–44 and 10–45).
When your horse stands quietly at the mounting block, step onto the block. When he stands as you do this, step down from the block. Reward him either with praise, a treat or a pat every time he stands. Repeat a couple of times or as many times as you need until he stands as you are stepping onto the block.
Pros: Tying your horse in the trailer is supposed to help prevent him from hurting himself, turning around, and/or biting/ disturbing a neighboring horse. A loose horse can seriously injure another that can’t defend himself, and can cause a wreck as the injured horse seeks to escape from the attack.
If your horse develops severe muscle cramping, call your veterinarian, then keep him still and comfortable until help arrives. In some cases, damaged or dying muscle cells can release enough toxic debris into the bloodstream to stress the kidneys. … Extreme cases may be fatal.
Ground tying demonstrates a high level of obedience and self-control on the part of the horse. It is a skill that can be extremely useful for a working horseman, when trail riding or simply as a mental exercise for a horse! Before teaching your horse to ground tie, they should be able to stand quietly when tied.
Carriage or van harness
Lighter weight but strong harness similar to show harness, used for pulling passenger vehicles such as buggies or carts, or other lighter loads. The traces attach either to the shafts of the vehicle or to the vehicle itself, and the harness may have either a horse collar or a breastcollar.
Most buggy horses used by the Amish and other related “plain” religious groups begin their lives in racing stables where they’re trained to wear a halter and pull a jogging cart. (This process is known as “breaking” and comes before “training,” the process of getting a broken horse into top racing form).