Leading question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-24-2013, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Oregon
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Leading question

I have a 13 year old gelding who I have owned for about 4 years now, he has all of a sudden become "lazy" when it comes to leading him anywhere. He walks as slow as he can, and not just when its time to go out putting him back in the pasture takes just as long. What can I do to get him leading a little faster, he used to lead just fine.... any tips????
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-24-2013, 06:30 PM
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How is he to ride? Has he slowed down at all while being ridden? Also, how are his ground manners? I'm just a little bit curious that this is something that's just started to happen after you've owned him so long. Make sure there's no physical reason as to why he's started to move slower ...

Personally, I'd give him a whack if he started to drag his feet while I was leading him. Walk forward and as soon as you feel tension in the lead rope from him falling behind, swing the end of the lead rope towards his hindquarters. He'll likely skitter away from you, moving sideways to get away from the rope. It's ok to let him stand for a moment so he can think about what's happened. Then lead him forward again and repeat the process. It doesn't take long for him to figure out that life is a lot easier if he walks with you and keeps some slack in the lead rope.

Hope this works for you!

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will finally know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-24-2013, 06:47 PM
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after ruling out any physical issues, my question would be - what is your energy level while leading him? do you 'march' along with purpose or do you mosey along like you've got all day to get him from pasture to stall, etc? do you keep yourself aligned by his head/shoulder or do you walk ahead of him with the lead stretched out?

the flicking of the lead rope end towards the horse's bum is effective, but i personally would not let them stop 'to think about it' after, but give the correction (the lead rope flick) and then immediately urge them to walk on with you, repeating if necessary.

i find with my Eddie horse, if i'm being lazy leading him and walking slowly, he matches my energy level to a T, and quite often lags behind. if i act in a 'take charge and let's go this way, NOW' sort of manner, Eddie is right there with me, more energetic and quicker to respond should i change direction/stop/etc.

one exercise i do with Eddie to keep him tuned in to me when leading is to take him in the round pen or arena and just walk around with him, but not touch the lead (i drape it over his neck or just take it off the halter). i begin by standing next to him as if i was about to lead him, then i just start walking. i expect him to follow. i turn away from him, turn into him, run, stop, etc and generally make him move wherever i am moving, but without actually touching him at all. Eddie will follow me at a trot over ground poles when i jog over them, with him at liberty. it helps with me and my horse for sure.

Last edited by EdmontonHorseGal; 09-24-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-24-2013, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply.
He rides the same as he always has, his ground manners are great he's not pushy and has respect for peoples space. He is all utd on chiro and teeth so pain should not be the issue.
I will try what you said and see how it gos.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-25-2013, 03:33 PM
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take a whip and lungeline with you down to the feild... every time you feel he is getting lazy start to make him trot on the line, then if he is still lazy make him canter and then without breaking to a halt, power walk to the feild, he slows down again? raise the whip... he doesnt respond then dont "whack" but give him a firm hit on the bum with the whip... doesnt work? keep lunging him until you feel he is starting to respect the whip and carry on. if he really isnt responding to you or the whip then get angry and do whatever feels right to shock him into realizing your authority ;) after one or two times of doing this he will start to keep up, just be careful that you dont pass the line between respectable and abusive, alhtough im sure you wont
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