Crosstie Myths: Tying Horses Properly Can Save Lives

Crosstie Myths: Tying Horses Properly Can Save Lives

Crosstie Myths

By Ruthann Smith
© 2011, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in Equine Journal

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Yarn or cable ties break when they should. The cable tie on the cheek ring is for a pony. Horses can go to the bigger and more standard size.

Horsemen agree that it is preferable for a horse to break the cross-ties rather than injure himself. And, if the ties don't break, some- one will usually get hurt.

Unfortunately, most people have beliefs about cross-ties that are not based in truth. They are about what they think will happen, instead of what really does. This article will share the easiest and most effective safe cross-tie practices for every barn.

Grooming halters are great!


– Use in barn, on ties or in stall; not leading outside.

– Easy, vigorous and relaxing face cleaning and toweling; feels good!

– Avoiding injury. A worried horse usually runs backward. Without snow- balling panic and getting hurt, a horse will usually slip out of a well-fitted grooming halter easily enough. So, when the horse starts to sit back on the cross-ties, just step away and wait with a calm “whoa.” He generally won't go far when it releases. Then you can instill confidence and regroup.

So, it is easy to create your safeties. I highly recommend cross-tying to a small polypropylene (preferably not nylon) zip-tie on the halter. Even if the barn uses something at the wall, a plastic tie on your horse's halter, careful leading and passing on the aisle will serve you well.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.