Leading my horse – not vice versa
When I lead Oakey, I do fine as long as we're going straight or turning left (I lead from his right side) but when I try to turn right, he'll step up and go in front of me, blocking me from going right and dragging me where I don't want to go. How do I overcome this issue?
Walk with a riding crop in your hand and if he starts moving forward tap him on the chest, or give a short jerk on the lead. That's what I do with my draft. Sometimes I walk slower than he likes and he'll move out ahead or if he thinks he's done with whatever we are doing he'll try to move in front of me.
I just put him back in place and we keep on. Don't make a big deal about getting your horse back at your side. Sometimes they take it as a game, to get you to react to them. Some sort of, I'm the boss of you game horses like to come up with!
If you're turning right try putting your elbow into his neck as you turn. It's always worked for me :).
Thanks! I'm going out right now to do some leading. I'll let you know how it works with us! :)
I'm sooo tickled! I went out and did just what you guys said to do. Oakey hardly gave me any trouble! I only had to tap his chest twice before he got the memo, and I only had to elbow his neck once. We were doing figure eights and ovals for about 15 minutes! :D Thanks so much!
Excellent! Very good news.
Now, be prepared for the next thing he will do to test you. Like backing, stopping, etc.
Good times. :lol:
yes the crop trick is great. even better, is a flat bat. the kind with 2 flat leather flaps. makes a racket when it taps, but never hurts them. i keep it flat at my side out of site until the moment the horse doesn't respond to a pull on the halter, or the word whoa. then it comes out of nowhere, gets them and disappears. the don't even see it coming. it's like you have magic powers!!!!
Could you define what a flat bat is?
My horse had the tendency to get in front of me and be all distracted and step into my path. At first, I did that baby, lets go around in a circle and start again, but now I just lead her with a 10 foot lead rope. If she gets in front of me, I start circling the spare tail of the lead rope in front of her face (warning: do not hit her face) creating a visual boundary. If I want to turn right, I step to the right, while swinging the lead rope, to encourage her to step out of my way. Most of the time, it is about assertively deciding where to go and then without hesistation or aggression, going there. Horses are big, they get used to us stepping out of their way. I had an issue where my mare would crowd me at the gate. It took me 30 minutes to back her up and understand that I want her to stand and wait. It took so long because she would take a few steps further, a step further, creep forward all sneakily, and most people would accept that because we get impatient too, but after that 30minute session she knows, I am opening the gate. You wait right here and don't move a muscle, or it will take you twice as long to get out of here!
here is a picture of the type of bat i use:
Leather DOGGIN' Bat
the 2 pieces of leather make a popping sound so you don['t have to hit the horse hard, just one distinct thwap will get his attention. it is used like an extension of your arm, but carry it flat at your side until you need it. then one thump and back to your side. unless he doesn't respond. it helps to give a tug on the halter at the same time and use a word with it. i give a tiny tug, then if no response, a stronger tug timed with the bat. next time the tiny tug is all you need. never use the bat if they DO respond to a tug. (tug = never a steady pull. a pull and release is better. they get dead to a steady pull pretty quickly)
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