When should I start asking for the correct lead?
 
 

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When should I start asking for the correct lead?

This is a discussion on When should I start asking for the correct lead? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to teach young horse to canter on correct lead
  • Teaching a horse to pick up the correct canter lead on straight line

 
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    05-20-2010, 08:30 PM
  #1
Trained
When should I start asking for the correct lead?

Gracie and I have been working on lunging. She can walk, trot, and canter with a simble verbal cue, she never pulls or hangs on the line, she doesn't wander into the circle, and she only acts up briefly when I first ask to canter. But here's the thing, she almost always picks up the right lead, even when going left. Sometimes she will pick up the left, but not very often. Granted, we haven't done a whole lot of work, only twenty minutes max on the lunge line and it's mostly trotting.

So my question is: Should I be working on getting the correct lead now? Or should I accept a "canter" when I ask for canter, regardless of lead?
     
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    05-20-2010, 09:27 PM
  #2
Yearling
I try to encourage the correct lead from the beginning even if we only get half way around the round pen.

A young horse can have some difficulty at first on a small circle and can really get their legs in the wrong place.
It is important to be patient and give the horse time enough to sort things out.
I try not to spend too much time with the horse in a circle at first and find that straight line work and hill work is best in the early muscle building stages.

I have had a few horse come in that folks have just sent them round and round so much that the poor horse doesn't even know how to walk or trot in a straight line.

The muscle and balance really helps the later stages of body control.
     
    05-20-2010, 09:42 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
It is difficult to ask for the correct canter lead on the lunge line. If you start ground driving with two reins, it is easier. Once under saddle, I always ask for the correct lead. If they get it wrong, I immediately trot and ask again. Immediately. Once they go into the other lead, I praise.
     
    05-20-2010, 10:20 PM
  #4
Started
There are lots of threads on here about taking the correct lead from the saddle, and some of them might be helpful. If she has enough room to canter comfortably, and she knows the cues, I would start trying to get her in the proper lead.

I had a thread that vaguely related to leads, and someone (forgot who) suggested asking for the canter when her weight is on her inside hind. This only works if she's dead-on responsive to the cues, though.
     
    05-20-2010, 11:01 PM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
So my question is: Should I be working on getting the correct lead now? Or should I accept a "canter" when I ask for canter, regardless of lead?
You should be asking and expecting the correct lead pretty much from the beginning.

Failure to get the correct lead is usually the result of the horse not having the balance or muscle development to achieve it......................or the lunger not timing the aids or assisting the horse to achieve it.

I would point out though that lunging was never really designed for the canter or the walk but the trot. This does not mean you can't do it though.

For first timers position yourself in a corner so that the horse will be against a wall ( and have a "corner" ) for approximately 1/4 of the arc of the circle.Then with a shortening of the lunge line a step or two before asking and releasing the line to enlarge the circle at the moment of asking along with asking for the canter as the horse approaches the corner will give the horse the best opportunity to get a correct lead....no guarantees but should have the best results.
     
    05-20-2010, 11:34 PM
  #6
Foal
Training a horse to pick up the correct lead on a line is pretty interesting for sure.

You really have to be towards the end of the ground work before you will have good control of the hind end. Remember that's where the lead starts.

If you arent there yet then you should work on the side that is sticking more than the other that is working good. They usuall figure it out for themselves as counter cantering is way harder work than picking up the correct lead. Try pushing them into the correct lead at the turn. Get them going the opposite way then turn them fast and ask fior the canter like now. Soemtimes it work sometimes you have to wait until you get control of the hind end. Remember that horses have two sides, Bill and Bob. Different in all aspects and what you teach Bill you have to teach Bob. If Bob needs more time to pick something up then work with Bob more.
     
    05-21-2010, 12:08 AM
  #7
Trained
[quote=Marecare;639397]I try not to spend too much time with the horse in a circle at first and find that straight line work and hill work is best in the early muscle building stages.[QUOTE]

Well, she's not two until August. Lunging, ground-driving, and going for walks is about all we can do at this point. I lunge to get her moving a bit and work on her verbal cues. We do take walks up a pretty decent hill though, maybe once a week. I love hill work. =]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
If you start ground driving with two reins, it is easier.
We've started ground-driving, and once we get solid at it, I will begin some double-lunging. I have a long ways to go before I even start getting on her, so we're doing a lot of groundwork to keep her engaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aforred    
I had a thread that vaguely related to leads, and someone (forgot who) suggested asking for the canter when her weight is on her inside hind. This only works if she's dead-on responsive to the cues, though.
I've heard that too. Unfortunately, it takes a stride or two of trot for her to pick up the canter. I'll do some fiddling and see. If she always takes two strides and then canters, I can time it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
You should be asking and expecting the correct lead pretty much from the beginning.

Failure to get the correct lead is usually the result of the horse not having the balance or muscle development to achieve it......................or the lunger not timing the aids or assisting the horse to achieve it.

I would point out though that lunging was never really designed for the canter or the walk but the trot. This does not mean you can't do it though.

For first timers position yourself in a corner so that the horse will be against a wall ( and have a "corner" ) for approximately 1/4 of the arc of the circle.Then with a shortening of the lunge line a step or two before asking and releasing the line to enlarge the circle at the moment of asking along with asking for the canter as the horse approaches the corner will give the horse the best opportunity to get a correct lead....no guarantees but should have the best results.
I am definitely not a professional lunger. I want them to know how, and I use it to check soundness, but I don't spend a lot of time lunging when I could be riding. Right now, I'm just in the process of teaching Gracie. So I really don't now how to correctly assist through the transition, lol. Maybe this is just going to lead to heaps of problems further down the road. O_O

I will definitely try what you suggested, while trying to combine asking while her weight is on the inside hind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cuetrain    
Remember that horses have two sides, Bill and Bob. Different in all aspects and what you teach Bill you have to teach Bob. If Bob needs more time to pick something up then work with Bob more.
Teehee. Exactly. New direction, new brain. =] I also want to pay more attention to the lead she picks up while running around the pasture. It's just so odd. She is better going to the left, and not so great tracking right, but she seems to be right-sided. Very tricky indeed.

Thank you, EVERYONE! I really appreciate all your help. =]
     

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