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When I was at the feed store the other day, they had a bucket full of used lariats for sale, which reminded me that I always thought it might be kind of fun to try roping off Pony. I mean, just targets, since I don't have any animals I'd rope. So today I thought I'd see how he did with having the rope moving around him.

So I got a lead rope and got on him. I dangled it around his face and he didn't even seem to notice (he seemed pretty tired today for some reason FWIW). I moved it from one side to another in front of his face. I whapped it lightly against his legs. I swung it around his face. I swung it over his face. I swung it in big arcs on either side and then figure eights above his body and head. He barely twitched an ear.

If I ever did want to rope off him, what else would I need to desensitize him to?
 

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Quite a bit goes into it but for the desensitizing bit the main things are being touched by the rope and something pulling on them. A very simple exercise I do with young horses is put a rope around a tire or log, dally it and let them feel it drag behind us at a walk, trot and so forth. They will feel the rope across their hind quarters and what it feels like to have an object dragging behind them. From there it is things like "facing" and other basic maneuvers a horse with cattle on the other end of a rope needs to know how to do.

What you have done so far is in its basic form what I do but it is part of the colt starting process. Before the horse has even had a saddle on they have had a rope all over them, swinging off their side, overhead, wrapped around their hind quarters etc. The filly I am working with right now (seriously born to do this, she is amazing) I will gently but intentionally let the rope be in places it shouldn't ever be (under her tail, back of her neck) just to check her out on it because the person who will eventually ride and compete on her is a teenage boy, nuff said.

If this is something you get more serious about I recommend a DVD by Joe Wolter called "Get Ready to Rope with Joe Wolter". Probably the best video of it's kind in existence in my opinion.
 

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Basically the more places you can touch a horse with a rope the better. Probably best to start on the ground but it doesn't always happen like that for me.
Definitely get them used to all around their butt and legs. Dragging in between legs, under the belly, basically everything imaginable. Make sure they see the rope dragging on the ground in front of them, thats often a scary one. Make sure that sometimes when you swing the rope, swing fast enough that it makes some noise as it goes through the air. I've had horses who apparently never experienced that and flipped out when I took them to rope something on a windy day.

Then when I put a rope on a log/post, I make sure to drag it from both sides, make sure I turn enough that they feel the rope behind their butt, and make a circle with the log to the inside so they can see the rope and log move. Face up to the log and pull it backing up. I'll also get off and keep a half-wrap on the horn and take the tail end of my rope with me and get the horse to keep the rope snug while I move around.

I only have enough dallies so I can hold the log so if anything happens, I can ditch the rope entirely and save myself from a wreck. If the log or post is light enough I can just hold it without any dallies, I do everything like that first and then dally after a while.
 

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When you dally, please, please have your little finger be the side closer to the horn. Always. Even just playing around with the rope.
Mind elaborating because I'm very interested but also had to read it like 4x and still feel like its another language... :p
 
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