When Carlos wouldn't tie I got him a BeNice Halter so he'd stop breaking my regular ones
Yup, got one of those too :)
I've just about given up on cross tying my horse... let me know the technique you take with Tesla. I've tried so much, but it is just a crapshoot as to whether or not Murray feels like cooperating that day. And if he happens to panic and pulls on the ties and starts to feel trapped by the ties on his face then there's DEFINITELY nothing I can do to stop him, and he will for sure be breaking a halter, cross tie, or both. Sigh.
To start: I'm tying Tesla loosely with the lead rope in the cross-tie spot (the lead rope gently figure-8'd on the bridle wash rack (so it will give way if needed), and then asking her to back up until she feels a little resistance. She can see she is at the "end" of her rope and everything is OK. Then I ask her to come forward. Lots of praise & Lots of carrots. Rinse and repeat. So far she seems calmer...still a long way to go :)