Monday, June 29, 2009

BTB Invention central: Cross-tie Saver

Riley redefines mouthy for the equine world, and now that he is sidelined with an abscess, he's antsier than ever. He doesn't take well to 45 minutes in cross-ties while I fuss with his foot. When we're done the ties are soggy from his chewing. I try to use my voice to correct him as much as possible, but I'm so over the "never hit them in the face" adage. Thank goodness he's not head-shy, but I'm sure other boarders are tired of soggy, chewed-on cross ties. What to do? Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, meet the nubby no-nibble tie covers! The video says they are untested but at this point they are tested -- and they work, at least for Riley. Even if the covers don't stop the chewing, at least the ties are protected from wear and sogginess.

Note: I'm the narrator, demonstrator, and videographer of this video.
It's a bit unorganized and while I refer to step 3 I don't mention steps 1 and 2 :-)

So, my goofy invention is a plastic tube with sharp nubs on the outside. You pull the cross-ties through the tube to protect them from a chewy horse. Looking to save your cross ties? Here's what you need:
  • Clear plastic carpet runners -- the kind with sharp nubs on one side (used for traction) -- in the length of your choosing.
  • Clear plastic duct tape (Scotch makes it) or regular duct tape should work too .
  • Scissors that can cut the runner plastic.
STEP 1: Measure the circumference of your cross ties (guesstimate is fine).
STEP 2: Lay out the plastic runner.
STEP 3: Cut the runners. Cut lengthwise, 2-3 feet long and wide enough to wrap around the cross tie. When you cut, make sure that the long sides do NOT have nubs along the edge (you need flat plastic to apply the tape).
STEP 4: Please the nubby side down on a flat surface,
STEP 5: Apply a length of tape along the long side, face down.
STEP 6: Flip the tape back (see video, the part where I really struggle!)
STEP 7: Pull the other edge up and apply it over the sticky tape, smooth side down. It will form a tube.
STEP 8: Cut a thin strip of the duct tape and apply it over the seam of the tube's exterior.

That's it!


  1. Well, since I have my own barn and my horses don't chew the ties, I don't need them, but what a clever idea.

    If Riley gets nippy, I have found good solution. It started with Kenny Harlow who suggested grabbing the horse's nose if he nipped, rather than hitting. That'd be fine, except I was always missing.

    So, I decided to work the theory in a way I could do. I use my fingers as "teeth" and bite my nippy horse on the neck, shoulder, wherever, as soon as he even threatens to bite. In essence, it's as if I am biting him in response to his threat. So far, so good. Don't know if it would work for the chewing stuff, but it seems to curtail the other biting.

  2. Sections cut from a garden hose will also work. I've also seen some sort of industrial-strength plastic tubing used, although I don't know where the barn got that from.

    No nubs, but no tape to mess with, either.

  3. My barn uses tennis balls with a slit cut in each end and threaded over the ties. It works really well, although it did drive my dog crazy for the first week or so :)

    We did use the plastic carpet runner quite successfully for a horse that liked to body slam the wall of his stall at feeding time. We just duct-taped (plastic nubs pointing out out) a large square to his stall wall and after hitting it a couple of times he no longer felt the need to do it anymore.

  4. I've been riding a young gelding that's pretty mouthy, too. Grannicks Bitter Apple for Horses on the cross ties (and on his web reins)deters him about 90% of the time.

  5. well i found out how to keep my dog off of our couch.....


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