Teaching a Weanling to Lead

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Teaching a Weanling to Lead

This is a discussion on Teaching a Weanling to Lead within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Ray MacDonald
  • 1 Post By JCnGrace

LinkBack Thread Tools
    10-27-2013, 10:26 PM
Teaching a Weanling to Lead

I have just purchased a 6 month old filly, she's a Fresian/Paint cross and she is beautiful and very sweet, but also quite stubborn. Thanks to some outside circumstances, she doesn't really know how to lead. She knows what a halter is, and she will back and move from side to side but for the life of me I can't get her to go forward unless tempted with grain.
I have never worked with a baby before, I've owned horses for 13 years and I know how to work and train with older horses, just not one this young. All the advice I can find is how to train a foal, less than a month old, and with mine being 6 months and substantially larger I'm at a loss on how to start.
Any ideas?
Sponsored Links
    10-27-2013, 10:58 PM
Sometimes if they are extremely stubborn I will use the never-fail butt rope method. Just put a lead rope around their butt and use pressure from that as well as from the halter.
Posted via Mobile Device
    10-27-2013, 11:35 PM
Green Broke
I don't agree with the butt rope method... If they learn to lead from that, then once you take the butt rope away, they still need to learn how to lead from the halter.

If she wont walk forward at all, pull her off to the side until she takes a step, then reward her. NEVER use grain! Bribery never works, it only creates bratty horses.

Once she gets good at the side step, try adding some forward motion after that. Remember to always reward her for trying! Even if it was only one step.
EmilyJoy likes this.
    10-27-2013, 11:54 PM
I use a figure 8 butt rope method. It goes around the butt and gives encouragement but it also goes through the halter rings so as not to stress the neck. It usually only takes a few sessions with my "foal come along" to get them walk right beside me and I've never had one even notice when the butt part comes off. I'll try to rig up my colt and get you some pics for ideas.
    10-28-2013, 12:26 AM
Green Broke
I always waited until mine were at least 6 months old before teaching them to lead. I'd start lessons by pulling them around in a 180 from each side (praise for responding to the pressure-no treats). Then to go forward I put steady pressure on the lead. The second I get any forward response, release and praise. This includes a slight shift in weight or even them stretching their head/neck forward the least little bit. The next step is keeping the pressure on until they take a step with one foot, release and praise. Ask for a little more each time. The key is patience and timing. Release needs to be immediate after a response so they understand exactly what they are being rewarded for. Since you're working with a youngster keep the lessons short and stress free. Always end the lesson on a good note. For me it has never taken more than a couple of these lessons for them to learn that pressure on the lead rope means to give in to whatever direction that pressure is leading them (forward, back, turn). Occasionally one will decide to be stubborn and then I'll use my body to keep the pressure up so that my arms don't wear out, which is having the rope taught and then leaning my hip into it (DO NOT wrap the rope all the way around your body)...gives me a little more leverage.

I do have a disclaimer...this method never worked on my mini's. I'll train a full sized horse to halter any day over trying to train a mini to lead. Good thing they're small because I would hate to come across a large horse with a mini attitude. LOL
Falcor74 likes this.
    10-28-2013, 12:57 AM
Thank you for the ideas! These are all very helpful, and I can't wait to start and try them out. I hope that just pressure alone will work with her. She is very sweet, just stubborn and I hope with a little time she'll be leading like a dream.
    10-29-2013, 12:53 PM
The rope around the hindquarters works well, but you have to be able to flex them to. Horses, young ones especially, will lock up. Once their weight shifts to the front end, they brace there legs and you will not get them to move. Start her flexing, then let her step out of it to the side. The hindquarter rope can be used in assistance, but don't rely on it.

leading, teaching a horse, weanling

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teaching a 2 y/o to lead? QH9904 Horse Talk 0 05-26-2012 07:24 PM
Teaching a foal to lead? howrsegirl123 Horse Training 5 03-31-2012 08:23 AM
Teaching flying lead changes? Fringe Horse Training 16 03-27-2012 10:48 AM
Teaching To Lead. TwisterRush Horse Training 4 10-05-2009 09:38 AM
Teaching Lead Changes Obrien16 Horse Training 2 02-24-2007 03:01 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0