Safely Leading Your Horse

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Working with horses on the ground can be just as dangerous as riding, with the possibility of a horse stepping on or knocking over their handler. Here are some tips on how to safely lead your horse on the ground.

  • Stand on the left side of your horse, holding the lead rope close to his face in your right hand. Gather the excess lead rope and fold it into your left hand. Don?t allow it to drag on the ground as either you or the horse could trip or become entangled.
  • Walk at the horse?s shoulder, giving a gentle tug to ask him to move forward and a firm backward pull to ask him to stop. To turn, twist your hand in the direction you wish to go.
  • Don?t let your horse lag too far behind. If he spooks he could run you over. Avoid letting your horse get too far ahead where he can either drag you or kick out with his back feet.
  • Never wrap the excess lead rope around your hand. If your horse spooks, you could be dragged. For the same reason, do not lead a horse by putting your hand inside his halter.
  • Choose a lead rope that is wide enough to be comfortable in your hand, and that won?t give you rope burn should the horse pull it through your fingers
  • Don?t store your lead rope where it is damp, as they are susceptible to mold, and don?t leave it where your horse can chew on it.
  • Avoid using snaps that have rusted, as they will be difficult to get on and off.
  • Remember, your lead rope isn?t leading your horse, you are! If your horse is not respectful when being led, he needs more training and practice to learn how to be more mannerly.
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