use lead ropes made from the finest quality soft, marine grade double braided
nylon rope you can buy. There is an inner core of braided rope covered by an
outer core of braided rope. This gives the rope a "live" feel which
you can use to send energy, direction, and feel to your horse. There is
a huge difference between double braid rope and an ordinary rope. This difference
also comes into play when training, the heavier feel allows you to send subtle
"messages" to your horse which are not possible with lighter rope.
Purchase lead ropes from our catalog.
Your lead rope also doubles as a 12' longe line and a set of side pull reins. We trail ride with our rope halter and lead ropes all of the time. This is a good way for the horse to become accustomed to what's coming up next with the bridle and headstall. In addition, it's a good way for inexperienced or "bad hands" to get used to the feel of a bend at the poll without the bit to complicate matters with a young horse.
When we take an inexperienced rider out on one of our "good" horses, we set them up with a rope halter/rein headstall. This keeps them out of the horses mouth and makes for a good experience for all.
Training A Horse to Lead
There are plenty
of ways to lead your horse. If I handed you a lead rope and said "show
me five ways to lead this horse" you should be able to do it. If I then
asked, why you would want to lead the horse all of these different ways you'll
get hundreds of different answers. The context of why you want to start a horse
by leading in front with a loose rein is what is important. I'm not talking
about showing a horse in hand or casual hanging out with the horse. I'm talking
about training/starting a horse and how to set up the concepts of personal space,
respect, reward, release and posture.
by having your rope halter and 12' lead rope on your horse. With the lead
rope in your hand, ask the horse to move off the pressure of the rope and follow.
You are asking the horse to follow a feel. Remember to ask with as little
pressure as you want to end up with and use whatever it takes to get them to
move their feet and follow. Your horse may not want to move it's feet.
This is common. When the horse moves off of the pressure of the lead rope,
release immediately and reward the horse. It won't take long before the
horse figures out that your body is moving off and they should follow.
Don't let the horse anticipate you moving off. If the horse walks off before you ask, use the lead rope for a correction -- send some energy down the lead rope. Use this technique if the horse walks past you or into your space. Let the horse know right up front that this is not acceptable -- they need to respect your space.
While walking behind you, your horse should be paying attention to you and not looking around at other horses, birds, cars, etc. If this happens, simply bring their head back to center with the lead rope. Don't make a big deal about it, just use a small correction.
stopping you should expect that your horse is paying attention to your body
and posture too. The moment you stop, your horse should stop. This
is very simple to teach. When you come to a stop, make yourself "big"
by hopping up and lifting your shoulders. This is an extreme example,
but it is going to get your horses attention. Do this a couple of times
until you're sure you have their full attention and then try stopping with very
little energy. Your horse should stop just like it did when you got big.
If he takes a step, send some energy down the lead rope. If he continues
to walk on, give a correction and make the horse yield backward by sending energy
down the lead rope.
ropes come in 1/2" diameter are 12' or 14' long. They are available in
black with a leather popper at the end.
The best way to attach the lead rope to the halter is to thread the lead rope through the fiador knot loop on the bottom of the halter. If you purchase both a halter and lead rope from us, we will attach the two together so that you can see how it works.
There is some risk involved in horse training for both you and the horse. Horses can cause serious injury. Be sensible and dont attempt anything that is outside your comfort level. This information is intended to illustrate how we apply our training techniques, you are responsible for using this information wisely. If you dont feel comfortable with your abilities or an exercise, dont do it! Seek advice or assistance from a professional horse trainer. Stay on the "high side of trouble".
Natural Horse Supply Training Information, (c) 1999 Natural Horse Supply. All rights reserved. Duplication of any material prohibited without express written permission. This prohibition is not intended to extend to personal non-commercial use, including sharing with others for safety and learning purposes, provided this copyright notice is attached and you have written permission. E-mail to submit comments or request reproduction permission.
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Updated Sept. 2012