Leading
 
 

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Leading

This is a discussion on Leading within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse eats when leading
  • Horse training not to eat grass when working

 
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    06-26-2011, 03:15 AM
  #1
Foal
Leading

I'm sure if this should be in the training thread, as this horse is dead broke. (17!)

But I have no control when leading in a headcollar! He always yanks his head down to eat grass.

I'm not very strong, so it takes forever for me to pull him up and then he does it again.

When he tried it yesterday, I walked him in a circle, but a few seconds later he tried it again!

Is there anything I could try?
     
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    06-26-2011, 04:29 AM
  #2
Doe
Weanling
With work etc I don't get all the time I'd like to work with my horse. So for me leading is incredibly important and I always use it as a chance to reinforce the relationship.
We have a simple rule when we go for walks or even leading down to the pasture. If I stop and pull a handful of grass he can eat. If I don't he does not pull down to the grass.
A lot of people will suggest working the horse - so if he goes down to grass make him move his hindquarters etc, but unless the rules have been set ( for example as above) then although this can work, it does often build resentment in the horse or a loss of spirit again as I so often see these days.
Personally it's a wonderful opportunity to develop your presence. For example when he goes down to eat interrupt him the moment he thinks of it. Interrupt him with a flick of the line, moving your body sharply back towards his rear, or simply suddenly move into a trot and ask him to follow.
Either way it 1) interrupts his eating without pulling or physical contact. And 2) further strengthens your control.
HTH
Incidentally there is a fantastic example here in this old video from KFH - if you can hold a stallion back from a mare in heat then grass shouldn't be a problem! Lol
http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...?v=lQULL3jA3TQ
(I couldn't get the URL thing to work, so either cut and paste or just put Hemplfing Leading into You Tube search)
     
    06-26-2011, 07:42 AM
  #3
Foal
Thanks, I think I will try moving back towards his rear.
     
    06-26-2011, 07:58 AM
  #4
Doe
Weanling
To try and be a bit more specific. Lead him from the front. Ie have him just behind and to the side of you, not alongside. Walk purposefully but keep your eye on him ( and preferably your arm out as a sign of a block.) If he goes for the grass, make a sudden turn so you are stood facing and in front. Make it quick strong and authoritative, bring the rope across in front of you or a whip to make a physical screen. This should interrupt him and make him stop instantly. In fact it would be wise to try leading this way and ask him to stop this way before he tries to eat grass.
So if you imagine walking with the horse on your right. Your right arm is out and slightly behind you and the horse must be behind your arm with his nose pointing at your hand. Have a whip in your left hand. The you pivot on your right foot and bring the rope. Up between your hands up bring the whip across in front of him.
Also when you stand still stand absolutely still. So many people expect a horse to stand still and yet they are fidgeting themselves. Then move off again after a few still seconds.
HTH
     
    06-26-2011, 02:36 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
I agree with Doe. As for setting the rule being demoralizing, well, one has to make a change sometime. If the horse becomes resentful about it , don't worry or try to hug him and say you're sorry. That only makes it more confusing. Let him have his opinion about it but keep to the rule. He will adapt.

My rule is if the horse is on a leadline that is in my hand, he is not allowed to graze . . .EVER! Even if I am standing and talking to someone, not leading him from the pasture. He is not allowed to eat when I am in the saddle, either.

BUT, if he is on a leadline and we are in a nice green area and I have the time, I will drop the leadline to the ground and let him eat. If he steps on it, he will only learn how to release himself from the pressure which is a good lesson for the hrose to learn.

Once I pick up the line, if he goes to eat, I kind of throw the line at his head (send a ripple down the line which makes the knot at the end bump into his jaw). I much prefer a rope halter and anice heavy rope leadline to the more traditional lead and webhalter. One has much better control.
     

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