how to train horse to lead correctly? HELP - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 44 Old 02-25-2015, 04:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alberta
Posts: 847
• Horses: 0
In the first picture, we can see a horse being lunged. As the handler points to the left, the horse moves to the left. The horse understands what the handler wants, which is to move in the direction being asked.

The handler's other hand is currently inactive, but can be used to drive the horse forward from behind if that extra pressure is needed.


In the second picture, we see a lady leading a horse through some obstacles. Let's observe the directions and positions of the horse and handler.

The handler is slightly ahead of the horse, but not by much. Her hands are very pronounced.

Look at where her active leading hand is. It is pointing to the right and is more forward than her non-leading hand. Why? Because the handler is asking the horse to stay to her right, encouraging it to go through the two obstacles instead of following behind her (the handler went around instead). She is also pointing her hand a bit more forward, because she is encouraging the horse to walk on or continue to move through the obstacles. She doesn't want it to stop, or back up, or do a fancy dance - she wants it to go FORWARD.

It was simple and clear. The handler wanted the horse to stay right and move forward. So that's what she asked for. You can see it in her hands!

Hope this helps, at least to some degree!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lunging.jpg (20.4 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg leading.jpg (21.2 KB, 60 views)
BreezylBeezyl is offline  
post #22 of 44 Old 02-26-2015, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 9,158
• Horses: 12
Originally Posted by PrivatePilot View Post
Sorry, but with all due respect, I have to place that in the same category as the old "I trust my horse so much I don't need to wear a helmet when riding" argument.

A horse is a horse. Someday if and when something scares them bad enough that's legitimately fear for their life they won't care if you're in their way.
Posted via Mobile Device

I trust that I know the level of training my horses have. I trust myself to be aware of the horse behind me. There is trust for the horse too but I'd say that was the most shakable trust.

We are all shaped by our life experiences. You saw someone get mowed down and hurt while letting a horse walk behind them. I've seen more people lose control of their horse when it was walking beside them and it decided to spook or bolt. If at some point in my life I experience a bad event in the way I handle them I'll probably change something up. So far I've made it over half a century without having any major injuries and most of the minor ones came when I was handling someone else's horse. I put that down to luck more than anything else because it doesn't matter how trained the horse is or how much experience the human has or how much safety equipment the rider has on (and no, I've never worn a helmet either), the chance for a catastrophic injury is always there.
Blue, WillowNightwind and Textan49 like this.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
JCnGrace is offline  
post #23 of 44 Old 02-26-2015, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 12,001
• Horses: 3
Blue surely you don't allow your horse to walk with his nose up your bum?

I think before/behind is all relative, are we talking about the head/neck/shoulder even haunch? Right up against you or away a few feet? This is relatively general too.

In the OPs case I'm sure we all agree that a horse literally walking directly behind someone is dangerous.

I ask WHY the OP lets the horse do this? If you are holding the horse properly they can't do this. Many horses (well behaved ones included) enjoy walking like that but it's a matter of not allowing it for safety's sake.

Hold the lead no more than 6 inches under the snap, higher if you need more control. Don't meander, march with a purpose. Depending on exactly where you want them positioned (see my list above lol) hold them in that position. Depending on the horse I would hold a dressage whip and just casually hold it in between pointing backwards. If the horse enters my bubble he gets a tap, if the horse lags behind he gets a tap.

Just reinforce "away from me".

Sounds like he's just being lazy and it's not being corrected.

I think when most people say they want the horse "behind them" they mean the nose at your elbow. The horse should always be to the side too, not directly next to/behind you. I usually stand halfway between the head/shoulder but it depends on the horse. I am constantly handling horses and don't usually need to lead "correctly" and am even guilty of allowing quiet horses I feel comfortable with to walk directly behind me for a few steps, however you are correct that it is not safe and not something to be encouraged. If a horse tried to do that consistently I would make a point of not allowing it EVER.
Blue and Textan49 like this.
Yogiwick is offline  
post #24 of 44 Old 02-26-2015, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 12,001
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
in all handling of a horse you have to be aware that he have a place to move his feet, if he must, and it's not on top of you. I am always thinking about what will happen if he surges forward. will I be in his way? mostly, they do try to avoid you. as long as they have somewhere to go, they'll usually go there instead of on top of you. still, I don't like a horse leading right behind me. I can't see behind me.

the horse I am riding now really wants to be close to me, though, and it's proved a constant battle for me to reset him off of me a bit. I have gotten to where I will tolerate him walking off to my side, and allow him close enough that he can put his nose on my elbow. he really seems to like that position, so we compromise.
And if they are directly behind you it's hard not to run you over.
Yogiwick is offline  
post #25 of 44 Old 02-26-2015, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 48,204
• Horses: 2
Yes. You need to allow for them to take one lunging jump without actually landing on top of you or your feet. I mean that a horse that spooks will likely be unable to NOT move one jumpy step. Even a horse that spooks in place will often jump a bit before their brain kicks in and they stop . As long as your feet are nit in that one step radius, at a minimum, you have a better chance of avoiding the broken foot.
Cordillera Cowboy likes this.
tinyliny is offline  
post #26 of 44 Old 02-26-2015, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
• Horses: 0
The position of the horse is one topic I've given a lot of tho't to. Horses have a pecking order so the less dominant horse will never stand with it's nose ahead of the more dominant. Otherwise it would quickly be challenged. Therefore it stays behind a little, or a lot, maybe even trailing in behind. I've had only one horse lead with it's nose ahead of mine, the others have always hung back a little and one tries to stay well back altho not directly behind me. I always give a horse plenty of lead so it can walk it's own path without bumping me with it's shoulder.

JCnGrace likes this.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #27 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,838
• Horses: 12
Here are some pics of the behind AND beside manner that I lead.

I don't want him directly in back of me, or in front of me.

01 DSCN4119_1343.jpg

02 DSCN1039 cropped.jpg

03 DSCN4140_1364.jpg

04 DSCN1075.jpg

05 DSCN1076.jpg

anndankev is offline  
post #28 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 07:55 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Camp Verde, Az
Posts: 3,944
• Horses: 3
Yogiwck, sorry I wasn't clear. When I behind me I do mean in back and outside of my personal space. That could be as much as two or three steps. I don't like a horse up and beside me because I could be hit by a head swinging around to look at his pasture buddies.

I have noticed though that preferences in leading vary greatly between discipline was well. I ride western and expect my horse to follow me and if I drop a rein or lead role I expect him to stand and wait .

My computer is down so I'm posting on my kindle. If this doesn't make sense it's awkward
Yogiwick likes this.
Blue is offline  
post #29 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 08:02 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Camp Verde, Az
Posts: 3,944
• Horses: 3
But I think the original question was how to train for where you want. Each time he would get too close to me I would aggressively get in his space. Quickly back him up then proceed forward again. Didn't take long for him to decide to stay oust of "the crazy lady's space"
Yogiwick likes this.
Blue is offline  
post #30 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
Posts: 2,350
• Horses: 2
Everyone seems to have a different preference. Many experienced folks are adamant in where they want the horse to be positioned. Most of the horses I deal with are green or problem cases. I want their head at my shoulder, where I can read them.

I had no idea what Willownightwind was talking about until I saw the photos. That is basically the technique that I use. One poster mentioned holding the lead "no more than 6 inches" from the halter. I give them more line than that, but it will vary with the horse. I'm a small guy. That extra slack in the lead gives me a bit more oomph if I need to shake or jerk the line to get the horses attention back to me.
natisha likes this.
Cordillera Cowboy is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you train a flying lead change? beau159 Reining 13 11-29-2012 11:12 PM
Two Questions: How to train neck reining and lead changes? AmericaWasntLost Horse Training 8 11-26-2012 10:48 PM
How to train a horse to lead bhorselover Horse Training 2 05-02-2012 07:49 PM
How do you start to train a young green horse flying lead changes? Klassic Superstar Horse Training 13 02-16-2012 06:10 PM
How to re-train an ex trail riding horse to trot/canter correctly? Blondehorselover Horse Training 2 10-20-2011 06:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome