Interesting idea for horses that lag when being led...

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Interesting idea for horses that lag when being led...

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  • Horse lags when leading
  • Horse doesn't like rocks

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  • 2 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By tinyliny

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    03-16-2012, 08:46 PM
Super Moderator
Interesting idea for horses that lag when being led...

I'm not sure if this is "a thing" but it's been working super well for Lacey and I, so I figured I would share and maybe it would benefit someone, or something...

Lacey is one of those that'll lag behind you while you lead her if you're taking her anywhere she doesn't want to go. If she's interested in where you're going, she'll be jigging/trotting/staying right up next to you, but forget it if she doesn't like where you're going.

This has been frustrating to me for forever, since I got her, because who really wants to be practically dragging their horse behind them whenever the horse doesn't want to go?
She'd catch right up if I'd "tug-tug-tug" on her halter but then she'd start walking slower and lagging behind again.
I tried leading her with a dressage whip and doing that whole butt-tap "thing" when she'd lag behind but that just caused her to walk out to the side of me or charge ahead, then lag.

In any case, it was not getting solved and it's a pain to be always either holding your horse back or hauling her forward.
Somehow, one day I was trying to get her to walk more to the side of me (she likes to be really close next to me or right behind me when she's being led >.< ) and I ended up back by her neck/shoulder with her about 4 feet away from me, and she's walking like a dream. When she'd slow down, I'd pop her in the girth with the end of the lead rope and she'd start going an excellent speed again.
I still had full control (which she thought she'd play with by walking in a circle around in front of me to "turn" me towards home, hahahaha, however I caught her immediately and got her walk correctly) but we weren't playing tug-o-war anymore.

I'm not sure but it seems like making her "lead" to wherever she doesn't want to go is somehow making her think that wherever we're going is her idea and therefore not objectionable.
In the last few days, leading her down to the trails has been a dream. It used to be pretty annoying, trying to make sure she kept up and all, but now that she's keeping up, it's easy.

I don't let her do this going places she wants to go because she's already thrilled enough about them but for places she doesn't want to go, this seems to be encouraging her to be enthusiastic about where she's going all the time.
She even fell behind a little the other day, realized that she should be farther up (before I even corrected her) and trotted up to where I wanted her to be. Trotted! Towards work! The world is ending!

Anyway, it's been really weird how fantastically it's worked. I never thought I could get Lacey to not be always walking behind me when she doesn't want to go (it's scary too because she has knocked me down, spooking at something, before).
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    03-16-2012, 08:57 PM
Good work! It is annoying when you sort of have to drag them someplace, thank gosh I no longer have the problem!
    03-16-2012, 09:19 PM
I taught my guy to walk up with me rather than dragging by tossing the end of the leadrope behind my back to bump his girth area and saying "get up". Now I only need to say "get up" and he catches up to me. Same thing when he feels like doing the lazy walk, and I want him to do a working walk lol.
    03-16-2012, 10:09 PM
Super Moderator
So, Wallaby, I love reading your revelations. I feel like I know Lacey. I think your flexibility has made you a good leader for her.

What it sounds like is that you are basically, "Sending" her, or leading from behind, as some say. You should be able to lead your hrose from in front, from along side and from behind, as you would if you were longlining. The further back you get the more it becomes "driving or sending".
Can you send her through a gate ahead of you? Over a log, while you stay on the one side, or across a small gulley? Being able to send your horse ahead of you is a valuable skill, and I do think that some horses really like being in front and enjoy this. The trick is to keep them focussed on your for direction and ready and willing to stop, and even turn around (disengage the hind), such as if you sent them across a short creek and you wanted them to stop now and wait for you to cross and catch up.

A mecate type rein arrangement is really handy for this, with the long rein becomeing your leadline when you need it.

There are ways to train a horse to lead up correctly and not lag on the line. When I first started working with Zulu, he would lag. And it required me working with throwing the line around behind me , as someone above said, to get him to come unstuck and MOVE! And eventually he got so he keeps up with me really nicely and doesn't lag at all, which is no fun if you are leading a 1400 lb horse.
Wallaby and xxdanioo like this.
    03-21-2012, 10:51 PM
Super Moderator
Thanks for the tips, Tiny!
I had never tried sending her over something so I gave it a try our last ride by sending her ahead of me between the two rocks (they're about knee/hock height and about 6-12 inches apart so it's a little bit challenging) we pass through to get onto the trail.
She was reluctant at first (she doesn't particularly like going between those rocks) but she did go right over. I wanted her to stop with her front legs in front of the rocks and back legs behind the rocks (the rocks make a great mounting block, haha) but she just didn't seem to be getting that. I think part of it was that I was leading her using her reins with only one side attached the bit, so when I put a little pressure on the rein to stop her, I inadvertently pulled her face to the side and made her think I wanted her to turn around.
In any case, I decided to just send her back and forth over the rocks a few times and it was really great. She seemed to really enjoy it, I guess she's one of "those" horses. Lol! I'll probably continue doing that, it was a really nice confident way to start our ride.
    03-22-2012, 12:02 AM
Super Moderator
I think it is a confidence booster. And you work on that having her stop part way throught the rocks. You 'll get it. You just have to give the message to stop a bit sooner, and when she begins to think about stopping, you have to stop the backward pressure on the rein before she starts turning her body.

So , you get your feel and timing developed and you really look for the place where she has made the decision to act on your request (but hasn't moved yet) and THAT is where you may be able to stop asking; letting the horse, who has now decided to do this movement, complete it on her own.
Wallaby likes this.

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