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This is a discussion on Leads within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • In the show ring is the horses lead facing the inside of the arena
  • Horses head goes towards the fence in a canter

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    03-12-2009, 07:51 PM

Ok so this horse I've been riding knows his leads but I every couple times a ride he picks up the wrong one.

Does anyone have a good trick or 2 to help get the right leads everytime.my traeiner always says to turn their head to the outside for 2 seconds then turn it back straight then ask. It always works.but do you guys have anymore ways to pick up the right one?
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    03-12-2009, 08:13 PM
Green Broke
Well, first of all. What's your definition of the inside? The center of the arena or the side with the fence or wall?
What I do is I turn my horses head towards the leg that I want him to lead with. For instance, if I want the left lead, I turn his head towards his left foreleg, then kick with my opposite leg, my right leg.
    03-12-2009, 08:35 PM
Really? If im going clockwise I turn his head to the left for like 2 seconds then turn it back straight then ask with my outside leg..which would be my left leg.why do you ask with ur inside leg?
    03-12-2009, 08:51 PM
Green Broke
I guess we have to different ideas of what is your inside and outside legs. Lol. That's okay. What I was taught was that my inside leg is the one facing the middle of the arena and my outside was the one either facing the fence or the wall. I don't give him his head back until he moves into the canter and usually that's an immediate response. I read(in an article by a well known horse trainer. I don't remember his name but he's pretty famous) that by turning your horse's head towards the foreleg that you want to lead(example: left lead, you'll want the left foreleg to lead or extend the farthest). By doing this your horse will be balanced at the canter.
    03-19-2009, 04:39 PM
I personally disagree with your trainers theory. Turning your horses head to the fence will encourage the horse to drop his shoulder which means that his body will not be in the correct position to pick up the lead. For example if your picking up the right lead I would hold the horses head slightly to the right while asking for the transition. This keeps the horses inside shoulder up throughout the transition. I would ask with the left leg for the right lead.
    03-19-2009, 04:49 PM
I've only seen someone pull the horse's head to the outside in the beginning of training the lope. What I've assumed it was for was, when you pull to the outside, it puts the hip slightly in. Making it easier to pick up the lead. I would NOT do this after the first couple times of working at the lope as it will encourage the horse to drop into the lead.
Its far more productive to teach the horse to move its hip over with the leg so that you can tip the nose in and pick up the shoulder.
There are no "tricks" to pick up the proper lead...only good training will make a horse consistant in its lead departures.

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