Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
What I always did was to first turn them around. Facing their rear pull them around until they have done an 180 degree turn. Do this from each side. They cannot resist as hard in a turn. Always keep your eyes where you want to go instead of looking at the horse but be aware of what it is up to. Once you've made your two about faces then get in front of the horse, your eyes looking forward and put some tension in the lead rope. Try to keep that same tension at all times even if they start going backwards until you get the least amount of forward movement. This may only be a slight lean of their body towards you without their feet moving. You should be able to feel it through the lead rope. Release pressure, praise and give them a rub. Tension again on the lead asking for forward movement and don't let up until you get a foot to move. Just one foot is good enough. Immediate release, praise and a rub. You can stop there for the day but no more than 1 more time because youngsters have very short attention spans.
Next day do the same thing with the turns but when you get to the forward movement no release and praise until they take a step. Next all 4 feet have to move before release and praise. Again you can stop there or one more time depending on how long you've been working. For yearlings I'm going to do 15 or 20 minute sessions.
I usually trained for leading when they were at least weanlings and oldest horse I got that wasn't trained to lead was a 2 year old. I only had one weanling filly that was still resistant by day 3. She was a stubborn one and was still resisting occasionally, if she wasn't in a cooperative mood, when she was a 2 year old. We finally had to have it out for her to learn she didn't get to dictate when and where she was going while the halter was on. That part is just so you know that a particular method may not work on every horse. I had success with other methods too over the years but the one I described just seemed to work the fastest and easiest for me.
R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.