Pulling back while leading
 
 

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Pulling back while leading

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  • Horse pulls back when leading
  • Horse pulls back while leading

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    06-09-2012, 07:18 PM
  #1
Trained
Pulling back while leading

For right or wrong all my horses learn to lead by walking behind me, I just prefer them to follow just behind and to one side, ad never had an issue with it.

When Bert first came she could be a bit of a mare, you would be walking with her and she would freeze and refuse to move. I worked her through it by simply pulling her to one side, to get her feet moving, and after a while she gave up freezing and was great to lead.

Ben started to do the same thing, but now has started to escalate by suddenly stopping and pulling back. Being as he is 17hh and with saddlebred blood when that head goes up and he runs back he is a) getting away from me, he is just to strong to hang onto, and b) he is trashing my already bad shoulder.

When he does it he doesn't actually go anywhere, just spooks back at great speed, until I can't hold on anymore, then he stops quite happily until I walk up and grab his rope, then he will walk on with me again, until teh next explosion. They come out of the blue, and I need to solve this now, before he totally wrecks me

Help, ideas thoughts.
     
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    06-09-2012, 07:36 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
That sounds hard to deal with. One thing, are you using a rope halter? And can you wear gloves when leading, to give yourself all the advantages?

When she backs up, to you try to hold her by pulling downward on the rope? If you can lift and pull upward, with sharp jerks to get her attention, and when and if she takes a step sideways, rather than straight back, you can then pull her off her balance a bit (such as you described as your approach when she just got stuck and needed a little help to go forward.) ONce you have unstuck her feet, then hopefully you can get her moving forward.

Also, when leading, she should NEVER take the slack out of the line. So, when she is walking behind you , if she starts to hesitate, and the slack gets lost as she sags behind, I would firm up your hand held tight against your hip, and say "Walk up!". If she doesn't move foward, you ccan slap your other hip with the extra line and see if that breaks her resistant feet loose, at which time she will hopefully move til she hits the end of the line and them bounce off it and come forward.

Mac used to do this to me, though slightly different. He'd lead up closeer and closer to me, then suddenly , turn at a 90 degree angle and so he'd be facing directly away from me, and could just freighttrain the rope right through my hands and run gaily off to meet the mares, and I'd have to catch him on the 40 acres. I used a chain on his nose for a bit , 'til he pretty much stopped doing that.

He'd do it during trailer loading, too. He was really sneaky about it, showing no signs that this was what he was thinking to do.
     
    06-09-2012, 07:37 PM
  #3
Showing
Well let's think about herd dynamics for a minute. Would a horse ever spook away from their herd leader while they were asked to follow?

Probably not unless the herd leader offered a kick or pinned ears.

Maybe the way you are leading isn't constructive or productive.

When a horse falls behind, because the handler isn't enforcing they stay at their shoulder, they WILL begin to stop and pull because you aren't there to keep them moving forward. They need to be by your shoulder so you know where they are at all times, and can keep up with them.

The ones you drag behind are probably feeling pressure from the rope on their halter and he's trying to escape it.

I would be concerned, too, if the horse behind me got scared and bolted right into me! It can happen.

You have to lead in such a way that you encourage the horse to follow you. It's called "Leading" a horse for a reason, not "dragging" you know?

Now you've got to re-program him and yourself. He stays by your shoulder. If he goes infront you halt and back his hiney up without moving yourself (I usually spin the rope infront of his nose.. if they are new to it, it takes awhile and if you need me to explain, PM me or I'll reply here) and then continue on your way. Your horse moves WITH you. If he doesn't, he gets a swap on the barrel or hind end with the end of the leadrope. You don't change your position, you just reach behind with your left hand (if leading left) and swat them. As soon as they move, you move. When you stop, slow down before you stop and they should in turn slow down.

I respect you, GoldenHorse but I honestly believe that your method of leading is creating problems and you need to be more thoughtful about it so you don't get yourself hurt. I know what 17hh of pull feels like and I have a good shoulder :/

I guarantee, once you begin to re-think your leading, and it will take some consistency and time, you won't have these problems.

If he doesn't respond to a swat of the leadrope, carry a crop. But they stay AT THE SHOULDER. Not infront, not behind.
     
    06-09-2012, 07:51 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Are you meaning, Sky, that the head is in line with your shoulder?
     
    06-09-2012, 07:55 PM
  #5
Trained
Just to clarify, I don't DRAG my horses, I lead they follow, on a loose rope, it is the way I do it, *shrugs* it works with everyone, but that doesn't mean I'm not prepared to change if needed, just clarifying

Quote:
I would be concerned, too, if the horse behind me got scared and bolted right into me! It can happen.
Yup, it can happen, but also when a horse is walking behind you and spooks sideways you don't get run into, it's kind of swings and roundabouts to me.
     
    06-09-2012, 08:03 PM
  #6
Showing
Yes but even if it's loose, there is still pressure pulling them along forward because of the weight of the rope. It's small, but if they get no release (if they're by your shoulder, the rope hangs down so there isn't pressure) then they're going to try and FIND release. Hence him trying to stop, and now running backwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Are you meaning, Sky, that the head is in line with your shoulder?

No, shoulder to shoulder. If their head is at your shoulder, then they can still slam on the brakes and you cannot reach them. If you are by their shoulder, you control their feet and can do something about it when they baulk or try and run off.
     
    06-09-2012, 08:06 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
That opens the discussion of where do you lead your horse? I lead with horse's head about 4 feet behind me and about 3 or 4 feet off to the side, so at an angle, behind. If the horse spooks, it will run forward, but since I am at the side, it should run into that open area. I can see it out of the corner of my eye if I cock my head that way a bit. If it spooks sideways, I won't get my feet stepped on.

I dont' know, this is just the way I learned. I use the line to remind the hrose to stay off and at an angle to the side. I never drag any horse, but I do sometimes have to add a bit of energy to their step, if they get "saggy" on the line.
     
    06-09-2012, 08:06 PM
  #8
Cat
Green Broke
Hmmm...I was always taught to lead the head at your shoulder. If you are shoulder to shoulder the horse is too far forward for effective leading.
     
    06-09-2012, 08:10 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Yes but even if it's loose, there is still pressure pulling them along forward because of the weight of the rope. It's small, but if they get no release (if they're by your shoulder, the rope hangs down so there isn't pressure) then they're going to try and FIND release. Hence him trying to stop, and now running backwards.

There's as much release off the rope as they get in any kind of lead rope ground work, such as backing them off the rope or lunging; you drop your hand, the rope sags , so it's not pulling, but it still has its' own weight, yes. It has a very small "feel" to it, but it's a neutral feel. There is not so much slack that it would take a lot of pull on the rope to bring it to tautness, but there is enough slack that the horse can lag a step or two before he removes that slack and feels his body weight hit the rope.



No, shoulder to shoulder. If their head is at your shoulder, then they can still slam on the brakes and you cannot reach them. If you are by their shoulder, you control their feet and can do something about it when they baulk or try and run off.
I do not want to lead him horse next to me where his front feet are right next to my feet, and his head is past mine.
     
    06-09-2012, 08:22 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
That opens the discussion of where do you lead your horse? I lead with horse's head about 4 feet behind me and about 3 or 4 feet off to the side, so at an angle, behind. If the horse spooks, it will run forward, but since I am at the side, it should run into that open area. I can see it out of the corner of my eye if I cock my head that way a bit. If it spooks sideways, I won't get my feet stepped on.

I dont' know, this is just the way I learned. I use the line to remind the hrose to stay off and at an angle to the side. I never drag any horse, but I do sometimes have to add a bit of energy to their step, if they get "saggy" on the line.
Everyone learns things differently but in my experience (and remember it's limited) if you let the horse fall behind your shoulder, then you can't really see them, their feet are behind you and you can't control them, and if they get too slow or baulk, you can't do a thing about it.

When I lead my shoulder and the beginning of their shoulder are lined up. I can see the horse, I can let them know if they need to speed up or slow down, I know where their feet are, and if they spook, I can easily direct their bodies around me rather than through me. Again.. experience with nasty spooks while being lead from my very own Sky lol.

I've had this experience with 3-4 year olds, I've had this experience with my own horse, and I've had this experience with mature horses because they try and test their handler.

I've never gotten hurt leading a horse, ever. Never been trampled or knocked over or slammed into a gate. Nothing.

The horse's head isn't what you want to worry about, it's the rest of the horse. Those powerful hind legs, their feet, and the heavy weight of their bodies. I want to be able to control that so I don't get hurt.

Also.. your feet aren't lined up with their feet o_O That is too far back. That's behind their range of motion, and behind their shoulder IMOP. Your shoulder, lines up with the beginning of their shoulder (not your body is in the middle of their shoulder, if that happens, horse needs to back up.)

~~

But this is the way I do it. It's not the only way, but I do think leading a horse behind you is asking for trouble as you cannot correct their speed because walking faster isn't a universal cue for "walk faster with me" it creates more distance and then you get the horse that begins to baulk or pull back.
     

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