Items

Forums
How to Lead a Horse
 By Saferaphus   •   27th Jul 2018   •   302 views   •   0 comments


Itís amazing how little time some people give to teaching their horse to be led, compared to how much time we actually spend doing it. Most of us think of leading as something that happens between the times we are actually doing something with our horse rather than an important exercise in itself. But a horse that doesnít lead well probably doesnít tie well, doesnít load on a trailer well and can be unpleasant and unsafe to handle. How many horses do we know that are great when youíre riding them, but absolute pigs when youíre on the ground? Many times, itís because basic steps, such as leading, has been ignored, or done incompletely.

Leading isnít walking ahead of your horse while pulling on the lead rope. It isnít tagging along as your horse drags you along. Rather, your horse should be trained to walk beside you with no tension on the rope at all. You may move the rope a bit to guide the horse, but otherwise, it should be simply walking alongside you, with you at its shoulder so you can see what your horse is looking at and how it might move. It shouldnít be floating away from you, nor should it be walking on top you. Leading shouldnít be a contact sport. Your horse shouldnít be dragging you towards the nearest patch of green grass, or interesting buddy hanging its head over the fence. When you stop, the horse should stop beside you without swinging away or rolling forward. Sounds simple, but it amazes me to see how few horses actually do this.

The equipment used to lead a horse is pretty simple: a lead rope thatís comfortable for you to grip, and a halter that fits your horse well. Iím going to stick my neck out and suggest if youíre using anything else, itís because your horse hasnít learned this essential ground manner thoroughly. There may be rare times when something like a chain over the nose might be warranted. If you have a stallion that youíre leading past a pasture full of mares, you might need a little extra enforcement to keep his attention. But the rest of us shouldnít have to use one to get from the pasture to the barn. Leading is really about teaching your horse to follow your body language rather than taking cues from the equipment.

Ideally, a horse learns to be led when it is still a foal. As soon as a halter can be fitted on its little head, itís time to start very short lessons, no more than a few minutes at a time. This lays the foundation for the rest of its life. The steps in teaching a foal to lead are an article in themselves, and there are far better trainers than I. But, you might want to check out Handling and Haltering Your Foal Without Trauma by Linda Tellington Jones to get started.

Now there are many ways to teach an older horse to lead if they need their manners upgraded. Again, any one method would take an article, or small book to get you through the process. Itís important to know that some methods are dangerous or silly. One technique suggests carrying a jump pole in your arms to prevent your horse from getting ahead of you. There are easier ways to go about this. Others have you face the horse which isnít a great idea because it prevents you from seeing where you are going. Others have you yanking on the horseís head with a rope halter. If youíre doing something to make your horse, throw its head back, youíre un-doing any work you might be doing to lower its head and keep its neck and back relaxed. So do some research and look at what methods you would feel safe doing and make sense to you.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Leading,
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Training      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 Related Horse News
Leading Your Horse Through Gates and Doors
29th Jul 2014   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
It sounds simple right? And you may do it almost every day. But leading your horse through a gate takes a bit more attention than you might first think. Holding a horse while fiddling with a gate latch, having other horses crowd a ...
How to Lead a Horse
27th Jul 2018   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
Leading isnít walking ahead of your horse while pulling on the lead rope. It isnít tagging along as your horse drags you along. Rather, your horse should be trained to walk beside you with no tension on the rope at all. You may mo ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Saferaphus
Most Dangerous Horse Movie Stunts
20th Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
There was a time when CGI and other complicated special effects werenít available to movie makers. Back in the Ďgood old daysí both rides and horses did all the wild stunts. There is no doubt that the riskiest stunts were performe ...
Questions About Horses
18th Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
In the wild, horses are extinct. It was thought that the Przewalski's Horse represented the last true wild horses. But recent research has proven that these horses are actually feral descendants of domesticated horses. There are p ...
Team Horse Sports
15th Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
Iíd be the first to claim that there is nothing more relaxing than a solitary ride out on my horse. But, sometimes being on a team can be fun too. Being on a team often requires showing up for practices, buying and wearing a team ...
Horse News
12th Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
When it comes to horsepower, sometimes there is no substitute for the real thing. Clydesdale team Molly and Prince normal pull logs and sleighs. But after an early storm left roads slick and snow covered they came to the aid of a ...
The Appaloosa Breed
6th Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
The Appaloosa breed began in the mid-west. Itís truly an all American breed. The horses we see today are descendants of horses selectively bred by the Nez Perce (French for Pierced Nose), an indigenous people who lived in central ...
Longing For Long Manes
1st Feb 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
While many of us love the look of a beautifully braided mane and tail, and may even thin the hairs to achieve the look, thereís no denying the romance and beauty of long, wavy manes and tails. Most horses have tails that reach jus ...
Every Day Horse Health Check
30th Jan 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
Every day, you should give your horse a visual check and ideally, you should run your hands over it to check for swellings, heat or other problems that indicate an illness or injury. While grooming is a good time to do this. A ste ...
Are Horses Getting Faster
26th Jan 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Saferaphus
Back in 1973, Secretariat set a track record at the Kentucky Derby of 1:59 over the 1.25 mile distance. Since then, not a single horse has broken that record at Churchill Downs. A look at Equibase records of the various tracks in ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
479 Members Online 243,194 Registered Members 2,528 News Articles 10,594,402 Unique News Article Views 237,870,529 Website Views