Won't Lead, this is easy for you pros!!
So my horse glyder sometimes decides he doesn't want to go where I want him to go and will stop and hold his head really high as I stand there looking dumb. I know this sounds so stupid of a question but what do you guys do in this situation? Some have said relive the pressure, pat him and try agian but sometimes that doesn't work, and doesn't that give in to him? What do you think?
When he does that step to the sides, you can knock him off balance to make his step forward. You can also step back to his shoulder and pop his side with your leadrope...If that doesn't work then I have no idea...
I actually just had my gelding do this to me tonight when I was turning him out. I usually stand there and keep constant pressure on his poll (keep tension in the lead rope) and continually ask him to walk. It usually just takes him a few seconds to realized I'm not letting up.
Yeah I have stepped to the side and popped the lead rope near him and he moves but I didn't know if there was any way to get him to just not stop, any ground work exercises?
I would not relieve the pressure until he moves his feet. Do not reward until he does what is being asked of him.
So -- why won't he move forward? Is he walking along fine and the just stops? Is it always at the same place? After the same amount of time? Does he pull back or just stop?
I had that problem. I never did figure out why she would stop, but she would be leading fine with me and then just STOP. No apparent reason; none that I could find anyway. So what I did was maintain forward pressure on the lead, not pulling and jerking, just pressure. As soon as she moved forward AT ALL, I would release. She goes just fine now.
If you really can't get him to move forward, do try putting him off balance a bit to get the idea across that he has to move his feet. I would do this by turning him in a circle with the lead. I would not use shoulder pressure as you are looking for him to respond to your body position and the lead rope pressure.
Sometimes I'll walk up beside their head and start over if they stop, and that usually alleviates the problem. Other times I just whack em lightly with the rope or for the really stubborn ones... lead them the same way you would a baby with the rope around its bum.
This may sound obvious, but what makes him go? His hindquarter and legs, not his head. Pulling on his head will not help. When I get stubborn horses, I give them a "warning" by stepping closer to their shoulder and starting to walk forward while loosening my grip on the lead, if they don't listen then I give them a light tap on the shoulder, and if that doesn't work then I give them a tap on the hind. Remember to always face forward, because if you face towards him you are applying pressure and blocking him. I have also had situations where the horse was simply too frightened/aggravated to behave accordingly, and I made them turn around and back up in the direction I wanted them to go.
Get a longe whip or a dressage whip, and when he stops, tap him on the butt gently (as a warning) and if he doesn't get the hint, increase pressure even if you have to get after him a bit. It won't hurt him, and he'll definitely start minding you once he knows you're serious.
If he stops before you can give those cues given above, then just get him moving his feet; doesn't matter what direction...back wards, side ways (shoulder\hip yields), or in a circle (longing). "most" of the time when a horse balks, it's because 1) he doesn't trust you enough to follow you 2) he doesn't 'believe' you when you do ask him to go foward...so he tests. Get him moving his feet, whether it's in the direction you want, and you gradually teach him that 1) you control his feet\body 2) he can trust you to not place him in a situation in which he needs to become defensive. Because if he is moving his feet, he is trusting your judgement.
roro said this briefly, but I would like to reiterate this very important tip:
When he stops, DO NOT turn and face him to see why he stopped. Your energy should be saying very clearly, "come with me, let's go forward!" If you turn to face him, he is reading your body language to mean "stop" "back-up" or "get out of my personal space!"
While walking, keep no tension on the lead/halter. When he stops, keep your body language moving forward and add light halter pressure to subtly cue "walk forward." If no response, keep the light pressure and add a verbal "walk" or cluck. If no response, keep the light pressure, add your verbal cue, and toss the end of your lead rope behind your back towards his hind end (remember, you're still facing forward). If still no response, do all of the above plus twirl your lead toward his rear end/mid section (however far back you can twirl it without turning your body too much or facing him). If still no response, do the above, and then let one rope twirl actually plop him on the rear/side. If he's still planted in place (hopefully not by now!) then go alpha mare on him, pin your ears, flail your arms, shove him, whatever it takes to get him to move...even if it may be sideways or a turn on the haunches or something.
At whatever point he moves, tell him he is a "good boy" in a friendly tone. (Best if he's still moving when he gets the "good boy" so he knows moving with you is the good part.)
When he stops again, start back at step one...body language forward, slight halter pressure. Keep adding the steps until he remembers, "oh yeah, if I keep standing still, she'll keep getting more aggressive, and eventually go Crazy Alpha Mare on me! Maybe I'll just walk forward now instead."
Also, don't work on leading and stopping for extended periods of time going in endless circles. You and your horse will get bored and stop learning. Throw in a couple other things to the mix: ASK him to halt, back, do some figure-8s around cones, turn on the haunches/forehand, etc.
Be very aware of your own body language while leading. You are the alpha horse, walk with authority! Picture the handlers in those showmanship classes...head held high, no doubt that the team is going where the handler wants!
Soon enough, Glyder will follow just your body language with maybe a halter pressure reminder every now and then.
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