11-01-2012, 09:28 AM
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We add ALL NEW THINGS at the end of a long ride and NEVER when a horse is fresh. Since a lot of our horse are used as ranch horses, they all need to be OK with a swinging rope, early on.
I have gone through it many times how we 'sack out' every horse with a long cotton rope. Our horses are already used to a rope around their legs, behind their rumps, under their tails and everywhere it can be.
When I have ridden a horse a while and it is quiet and settled (if not getting pretty tired), I start swinging a lead-rope around. I swing it over-head, on both sides, drag it behind; Just in general, I want a horse comfortable with anything I do with the rope.
When I get the horse back to the ranch, if it has been OK with the lead-rope, I use a lariat. I ride the horse along-side of the arena fence with the rope swinging on the side away from the fence. That eliminates the possibility that the horse can move sideways away from the swinging rope.
When you introduce things I thing at a time and do it when the horse is settled and been ridden for a good while, there is very little drama.