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This is a discussion on leading?? within the Horse Showmanship forums, part of the Showing Horses category
  • Horse showmanship leading

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    03-18-2011, 11:43 PM

Hey guys just wondering I do some led classes in shows and I was wondering if anyone could help me out with marlea, she's leading not very good and when I try to make her trot, it just makes her fall behind and i'll be way ahead of her
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    03-19-2011, 12:59 AM
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Hi Marlea,

Do you do ground work with her from time to time to improve her sensitivity to the lead rope and her connection to you?

I know a lot of people do ground work without an emphasis on the hrose following the leadrope, but rather using their body language to "push " the hrose around. That has its place. But you want to work some on having her be so light to that leadrope, that just the weight of it is enought o show her which direction you are directing, including forward.

First of all, I find a rope halter very helpful for training, but not essential. And a good heavy leadline also a nice thing to have.

You want her to lead up promptly to your pull on the line. So, when you are in the leading position, just ahead of her head, have about 4 or 5 feet of slack in the leadline. YOu say ,"let's go!" and you lean your upper body forward, then you step off in a purposeful manner, you are going somewhere. If she doesn't move she will hit the end of that rope. YOu keep pressure on her (hold the rop firmly down against your hip, anchored there). If she still won't move forward or she drags back against the line, use the tail end of the leadline to swing around and "nip" her near her hip. She may react by shuhsin sideways or even backward. No matter, just try leading forward again. You got her to move her feet and that was your goal. So, don't change YOUR position if she backs up or goes to the side. If she does run out to the side, you start walking forward. If she actually runs past you, stop firmly and lift the rope and stop her, put her behind you again and start over.

So, you lead, she resists, you put the leadline or a whip on her hit (try to stay facing as much forward as possible when you do this) you break out her feet , then you both go forward.
Something tha is really important is that if she does move forward from your pulling or you suggestion with the whip/leadline, then dont' take up the slack she has created by moving forward. I mean don't like run forward. Just walk on. Her job is to keep slack in the line, your job is to not rob take it back if she puts it ther. The slack is taken up IF she refused to follow properly, but you dont' reel it in , or speed up when she moves up because that is YOU taking the slack out of the line.
    03-19-2011, 10:01 AM
Tinyliny has already said pretty much exactally. But I will give you a visual aid.~

This is just a picture of me leading my horse. As you can see he is dragging behind a little bit to far. I like to have my horse right at my side, my trainer says he can be a little bit behind but I prefer not being ran over. I have the whip in my hand so I would feel tension on the rope, I could just let go of that string (on the whip) and smack it on the ground behind me to get him going. If he still doesn't get going, I'd use the string and smack his bum. But after doing that and teaching the horse that they have to be where you want them, they will figure out it's not fun to be left that far behind.

That was one of my first lessons at my new trainer's with Moe. Now he's like a dream. I can walk with any speed, stop, and back up. But you have to be fluent about it. Practice swinging the whip behind you a few times so you can stay facing forward. If your horse sees that you can do it without stoping and waste energy she'll certaintly see that you mean buisness!

Also, for backing up, I believe it helps to have a whip in hand. When you back up use the whip like a blind man's cane. Put it back and forth in front of you and her. Keep walking backwards untill she does it a few steps, then walk forward. You might have to touch her on the chest with the whip if she doesn't back up. When you are tapping the whip on the ground, make sure you are fluent and do it sort of in a rythmic way. Like left, right, left, *smack*, left, right, left *smack* sort of deal. ^^

Good luck in your endeavours. ^^
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    03-22-2011, 05:34 AM
Thanx guys for the help, I do often lead her around

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