how to train horse to lead correctly? HELP - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 01:06 PM
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We've had some very lively discussions on leading.

some feel better holding the leadline 6 inches below the clip and being positioned halfway between the horse's head and his shoulder. others like the horse to be following on a loose line, well back behind them.

there are arguements for each side, and traditions for each.

I tend to lead with the hrose on a loose line, and behind me and off to the side. at best, I'd like him about 5 or 6 feet behind me, but I confess to being very lax about correct leading. I sometimes "lead" my horse from his side. when we come back after a long ride,I dismount and walk because and my knees and back are killing me. So, I have him walk beside me while I hold onto the saddle for support. he goes forward willingly because we are going home. I am sure if we were going somewhere he didn't want to go, it would be much harder for me to "lead" him from that position without using a lot more driving pressure.
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post #32 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 03:25 PM
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Experience has taught me that by holding the lead close to the halter, the horse invariably got me with it's shoulder if startled. A min. of 30" prevents this happening as it allows room for the horse to scoot ahead without the handler being in the way.



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post #33 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
.... my knees and back are killing me. So, I have him walk beside me while I hold onto the saddle for support ...

Wait, is this the new 60's Thread?



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post #34 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 05:03 PM
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How far down the lead are you holding him? You want the hand closest to his halter about an inch away from the metal part of your lead's snapper (or if it's a tie on lead, about two or three inches away from where the lead attaches to the halter). That way, he has no choice but to walk beside you. He may still linger a way behind, though. If he does, that's okay. As long as you can see him fairly well in your peripheral vision, you're good. As a rule, you always want his head beside your shoulder.
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post #35 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Experience has taught me that by holding the lead close to the halter, the horse invariably got me with it's shoulder if startled. A min. of 30" prevents this happening as it allows room for the horse to scoot ahead without the handler being in the way.
We're straying just a bit from the OP, but:

Many ways to skin the same cat. I don't give them nearly that much line, but I also don't hold them up close as a couple other posters mentioned. If the horse I'm leading is squirrely, I'll hold the lead sort of upside down. The line runs from the halter through the bottom of my fist. The tail runs out the top with the bight held in my left hand. I cock my right elbow out to give myself sort of a bumper if the horse jumps toward me. That elbow bumper keeps me from being bowled over. The bit of slack I keep in the line allows me to put a good solid jerk on it without having to extend my arms to their full reach.
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post #36 of 44 Old 02-27-2015, 09:04 PM
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I always hold the line like that. I hold it like I hold a rein. and I have my hand able to transmit a lot through that "rein" just by closing my fingers on the rope or not.

you'd be surprised how well you horse can feel, even on a loose line, if you firm up your hand on that line.
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post #37 of 44 Old 02-28-2015, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
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.
That would be me. I'm 5'3" lol.

Typically (esp with the taller horses I usually work with) I give a lot more lead. Especially with a nervous horse to utilize more room in the lead. So for day to day I usually do it your way, sometimes with one hand, sometimes with the horse trailing behind, 5 feet of lead, etc when I don't care about room or a longer lead when I DO need room.

But if I'm working with a horse that really needs "holding" I will hold closer to the head. For a horse that wants to walk behind they can't do that on a long lead. I think it's often very easy to teach them leading positions without any "training" just by how you hold them and walk.

For the OPs situation I think it's important to hold the horse "properly" and will stand by what I said, though no, in day to day work I typically do not do that, but I am experienced and working with different horses the OP is.

This thread is pretty o/t. It doesn't matter how you lead, the important thing is the horse stays where you want him, the OP wants to know how to do that both for her and the horse.
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post #38 of 44 Old 02-28-2015, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
I want their head at my shoulder, where I can read them.
Another good point...body language, and particularly relevant for me right now - The gelding I'm riding now was gelded late and he still think's he's a stallion sometimes...and he can be pretty miserable towards some of the other geldings who he still considers competition. Get too close to one of his enemies when leading to/from the arena and he'll pin and get grumpy. I want to be able to see that before it escalates.
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post #39 of 44 Old 02-28-2015, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PrivatePilot View Post
Another good point...body language, and particularly relevant for me right now - The gelding I'm riding now was gelded late and he still think's he's a stallion sometimes...and he can be pretty miserable towards some of the other geldings who he still considers competition. Get too close to one of his enemies when leading to/from the arena and he'll pin and get grumpy. I want to be able to see that before it escalates.
That's an excellent point. My old boy wasn't gelding until he was just over 9 years old! Ugh! There were days I just wanted to quit with him, but he turned into an awesome horse. Of course I had to constantly let him know that I was on top of things. Him, I kept just in my peripheral vision and always let him know I was aware. Now, he 32 and still a handful, but his antics only last about a minute then he's done.
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post #40 of 44 Old 03-09-2015, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. He gets to where he is right behind me with his nose touching my back. Just a little too close for me In case he were to spook.
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