stopping while walking- lead rope - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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stopping while walking- lead rope

So I'm inexperienced and new to this, I've only had my horse about 3 weeks. I need some advice! When I'm leading her in just the rope and halter, she sometimes stops and refuses to walk any further. I tried doing a couple of quick pulls on the rope. She does not change her mind. I have to pull her kind of sideways til her balance makes her start walking again. Then she'll stop. She will pull her head back and toss it a little and plant her front hooves. Should I tap her butt with a stick? Would that make her run over me? I praise her when she does right.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:28 AM
Green Broke
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Make sure you're walking shoulder to shoulder then if she stops take the end of the lead and flick it behind your back. That way you stay in the same position and close enough to correct her if she tries to jump into you. If I get to far in front of my horse she will stop and wait until I go back to her shoulder. if that doesn't work a dressage whip. I find it easiest to flick it behind my back so that I'm not moving.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:35 AM
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How old is the horse in question and what training has she had? My approach to a young, green or untrained horse would differ very much from my approach to an older, trained, "testing you" horse.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:37 AM
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Yep I would give her a tap with a whip or the end of the lead rope (use a 12' rope to make it easier), if a tap doesn't work I would try a bit harder or make her yield her hindquarters away and around you a bit. If you make her feet move she will realise you are the one in control and not her, get on top of it quick before she gets too naughty. I like to have a horse leading with their nose level with my shoulder or just behind, but with them one arms width away from me, and with a slack rope. This way they are not in my space and I have a bit of room to move if they spook at something. Once they respect your space though they usually wont jump in to you unless really spooked by something.

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:42 AM
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I make the horse turn in circles if it's able (disengage the hindquarters) and then give it a smack on its rump to send it forward. Just be careful the horse doesn't land in your lap :P

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-18-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 08:50 AM
Green Broke
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As you say you are new, inexperienced and the horse and yourself are new to each other - what, exactly, is your experience with horses? Have you taken in lessons, worked with a mentor, etc to gain the basic horse handling skills? It doesn't even have to be paid/formal lessons - it may be helpful to avail yourself of the help of a "horsey" friend, neighbor, etc who can help you and the horse get off on the right hoof together.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 09:37 AM
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When working with a horse that balks while on a lead line turning to look the horse in the eye will most always be counter-productive. Turn your eyes to the horse's feet and visualize them moving forward. When asking/wanting a horse to move forward also look to the horse's hind legs and visualize them moving as well. I do recommend trying this approach before spanking the horse. Trust me though in the case of a necessary enforcement I would not and have not hesitated to use a swat with a lead rope or spanking.

Of major importance to handling horses is to use and realize that our body language is all important to successful horse training. Horses do not recognize us as human, but as two-legged herd mates.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 10:39 AM
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My current horse came to me at 7 with a "make me" attitude. He tests EVERYONE. And the first test he gave me was planting his feet and refusing to lead. He gave me a very definite head up, defiant, refusal.

There is absolutely NO point in pulling on a horse. You aren't going to win and all it does is teach the horse he is stronger than you are. NOT a lesson you want him to learn.

I am not a trainer, so all I can say is that this worked for me. I backed him up.
I turned him around and made him back up till we got to where I wanted to go.
I backed him up everywhere. Into his stall. Into the pasture. He walked backwards (in hand) for at least two days. At the end of this, he was SO happy to go forward. I made him move his feet. Away from me. We've never had another problem with leading.

I'm sure this isn't an accepted training method and you will get lots of answers from more experienced people. All I know is it worked for me with the most stubborn, willful horse I've ever seen. I still have him 8 years later, mainly because it's fun for me to out-think him. Other people just get frustrated by him.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-18-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! The horse is not green, she's testing. She's 10 , been a trail horse, very trained. I havent taken formal lessons in a long time. I had horses as a child and as an adult I've got my BO and her husband and a friend across the street that are horsey people. I can't wait to try out yalls advice :) thank you again!
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-19-2012, 10:05 AM
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HagonNag, your post made me laugh. I could just see the two of you for those two days! I bet he WAS happy to finally move forward.

Mine rarely does that but does on occasion when she doesn't want to leave pasture after a simple request by me, I say "Okay. You wanna play this game?" Every time she stops I turn her into a circle. Finally she figures it's shorter to walk a straight line to the barn than get there doing a million circles. Makes her forget about not going and redirects her mind. I can see her second guessing me by thinking "What's this crazy lady doing? Doesn't she know it's quicker and easier to walk a straight line than all this roundy, roundy? Let me show her how it's done, she's thinking." Then she walks a decisive straight line to the barn like SHE's showing ME how to do it the right way. She thought she taught me something but I outsmarted her!

I'm always one step ahead of her in her thinking. To me that's the key! And it's fun getting into their head!
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