How to tell your lead?

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How to tell your lead?

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  • How to know what lead your horse is on
  • How to tell what lead your horse is on

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    04-14-2011, 12:46 PM
How to tell your lead?

I feel stupid asking this, but it's been bugging me. I've always been a trail rider, so when posting to the trot it didn't matter what lead I was on.
My last instructor told me to 'sit' when the inside leg was under you. That would make me 'sitting' when the outside leg is forward. Did that make sense?

Do I have this backwards? From what I'm reading it seems like I might.

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    04-14-2011, 01:07 PM
You are supposed to sit down when the outside leg hits the ground and rise when the inside leg hits the ground.
    04-14-2011, 01:10 PM
Just to avoid confusion when you are talking with others, leads are a canter thing. The horse is on a specific lead. When referring to your up and down movement at the trot it is called a diagonal.

There is an old saying - Rise and fall with the leg by the wall.

So you do have it backwards. You are rising when the shoulder by the wall is going forward.
    04-14-2011, 01:19 PM
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Remeber that for the trot, it's the "diagonal" and for the canter , it's the "lead" that you must take into account when doing circles. When going on a straightaway, trot on whatever diagonal feels good to you.

You may want to trot on the trails and after you have picked up the diagoanl that you natural feel is best, look down and see which one it is. Do this many times and see if your horse isn't kind of "putting" you on the same diagonal all the time. Often one diagonal will feel better than the other.

The reason for positng to the outside diagoanl on a circle is that when we post on , say the left diagonal, (we are circling to the right), we wil come out of the saddle as the outside REAR leg is thrusting backward (impelling the horse forward). That thrust is what lifts us off the saddle. Obviously, both legs thrust with each stride, and we coudl be lifted by either one, but since the body of the horse on a circle will be longer on the outside, shorter on the inside due to the bend of the circle arc, the thrust on the outside will need to be bigger and with a freeer reach forward of the front leg. THUS , coimg up and off the hrose when the outside is doing the work is better for the horse!
    04-14-2011, 01:23 PM
Can someone from the UK and/or AUS/NZ correct me if i'm wrong, but I thought in the UK they posted on the opposite diagonal as the US (i swore someone once told me this lol) and that AUS and NZ is (maybe?) the same???

I.e. UK posts to inside leg forward
US posts to outside leg forward

Or, of course, I could well be crazy
Clarification anyone? Thanks!
    04-14-2011, 02:20 PM
I was kind of confused when I read this but I think by leads, you are talking about diagonals while trotting. Leads are for when you're cantering and diagonals are for when you're trotting.

When you are posting to the trot and you want to be on the correct diagonal, you will "rise and fall with the leg on the wall." That's how I always remembered it. If your are traveling to the right, when the horse's left front leg comes forward you will rise. So when that leg hits the ground and the right front comes forward, you will sit. And then reverse it when heading to the left.

For leads while cantering, a correct canter stride starts with the outside hindleg. Say we are traveling to the right again. The first hoof to start the stride will be the left hind leg, followed by the right hind and left foreleg at the same time, finishing with the right foreleg. The right foreleg will typically reach out farther than the left foreleg and that is how most people tell which lead they are on. In order to be correct, especially on horses who are incorrect up front or behind, you will watch and feel for the hind end. :)

I hope that's not too confusing!
    04-14-2011, 04:14 PM
Alrighty. Diagonal, not lead. Got it.
So my old instructor was a quack. Taught it to me backwards. Okay. Will start re-learning today.
Thanks everyone!
    04-14-2011, 06:09 PM
I always learned to do it with the horses movement. So the horse push's me up and I control going down was how I started then I learned what leg/shoulder and now rely on feeling since I know the horse. I think I learned it when the inside leg is forward, the outside shoulder is up so that's the one I am "up" on.

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