Will tying your horse to baler twine become a thing of the past?
Two new products, marketed as alternatives to baler twine, have been launched in response to fears that twine is now too strong to be used safely for tying up your horse.
The British Horse Society’s (BHS) Margaret Linington-Payne warned owners: “Modern nylon baler twine is not suitable for tying up horses, unless it is split so that you are using fewer strands.
“Old-fashioned sisal twine is preferable, as it will break in an emergency.”
Agritel Crop Packaging Limited in Shrops supplies baler twine and agrees that it is getting stronger.
“There’s a relatively new twine on the market which is higher density for bigger, heavier bales, so that is stronger,” said a spokesman for the company.
H&H forum users have been airing concerns on a recent online thread entitled “Tying
up horses with baling twine is dangerous,” wrote one forum member.
“Small bale stuff doesn’t always break, be warned. I thin baling twin now before I use it to tie up. My mare pulled the wooden slats off her stable a few years ago after pulling back while tied up,” she said.
And another replied: “Baling twine these days is so very, very strong, it is utterly stupid to tie a horse to it without thinning it considerably.”
And a third added: “I always thin it slightly since my mare didn’t snap the twine when she pulled back suddenly. She took the stable wall with her for a mad gallop until she double barrelled it and the clip on her lead rope snapped but the bailer twine was still fine.”
Earlier this year, Roy French of Softhorse launched the Idolo Tether Tie. It has a pressure and release system and is made from stainless steel.
“Baler twine isn’t the best thing for horses as it teaches them to break away – with this product they can pull back but remain safely secured,” said Mr French, who created the product to handle his own problem Lusitano stallion.
An updated version of another device, Equi-Ping – an easy-release clip – hits shops in May.
The product, which won a British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) innovation award, was created by Newmarket trainer Martin Smith after witnessing an incident in which a racehorse pulled a wall down onto itself.
Karen Roberts, from Equi-Ping, told H&H: “Martin noticed twine was becoming thicker and stronger and thought there must be a better way of tying a horse. These break more easily and are safer.”
Clayton Fredericks, who uses Equi-Pings, added: “They are reliable and safe, saving gear from breaking and preventing injuries to horses’ necks.
“Baling twine has become a thing of the past at our yard.”
Mr French and Ms Roberts added they had heard of people losing fingers in accidents with twine.
For more information visit: www.softhorse.co.uk and www.equinedesigns.co.uk.
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (19 April 2012)