Lead shanks - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Lead shanks

You know those leather lead ropes with the chain on the end that you weave through the noseband of the halter? (those are lead shanks, right ?) Do you think they are inhumane? When and when not should you use them? Do they hurt badly or mildly?

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post #2 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 01:11 PM
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They can be leather, nylon or cotton. I do not think they are inhumane, but should not be used lightly or by just anyone. Generally they are used for breeding stallions and unruly horses, as well as in halter and showmanship shows in the stock horse world. I use one on my gelding once in a while, mainly because sometimes he gets a bug up his butt and decides to ignore everything else.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 02:16 PM
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Compared to some of the other contraptions out there they are not inhumane. I know a few horses who are smart and just need the chain laid over their nose, no correction needed for them to behave nicely. They are a good tool, like any other tool I am sure you can misuse them and harm the horse.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 02:33 PM
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I use them on our two miniature studs and I've used them on younger, unhandled horses when I might be in danger otherwise. I also carry a dressage or lunge whip with me. I rarely have to use either one, and if I do, I never use a sharp tug- I gradually increase pressure. If they want to run into it, thats their fault- but I never purposely inflict pain with the chain.

Can they be harsh? Yes. In the hands of an experienced handler? Not likely. Make sure it is always attached correctly though.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 05:08 PM
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They aren't by design inhumane, that being said if you use them incorrectly they can be very very painful and cruel. In the hands of a competent handler who can control the horse with minimal pressure on the lead they are fine but if the person doesn't know how to use them and just yanks or snaps the line they can cause lots of damage.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-03-2013, 09:27 PM
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They are not inhumane in my opinion as long as the handler knows how to use them and when to use them. I've seen many horses that are very naughty when led with just a regular lead rope, and then behave perfectly just knowing the chain is across their nose, without ever being tugged on.
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