Don't let yourself be carried away by the leadrope!

Leadrope work is just as important as mounted work. It allows the rider to better observe how the horse moves, which is more difficult to do in the saddle. However, many horses equate a leadrope session with recreation, and take a wicked pleasure in leading their riders around by the end of a string... To avoid this problem, here is a method that can help you to discipline your horse. Your plan will be to do leadrope work with your horse, not just to let the horse de-stress. Does your mount want to express itself? Of course, we can understand that. This isn't a reason to drag you around and pull on the leadrope; the horse can do that in its circle.


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Leading work

Initially, so that your horse doesn't run off everywhere, the important thing is for it to feel safe with you. It should follow you and keep its head towards you for your slightest movement. To do so, the "follow me" lesson is essential. This allows your horse to choose to stay with you because it feels good to be there, rather than trying to escape. This is why it is very important to reward your horse well, so that it wants to stay near you. If it follows you everywhere, you can gradually lengthen the leadrope.

You are now ready to put your horse in the circle.

Initially, walk in a small circle, keeping the horse close to you. You need to keep a level of contact and distance so that you can bring the head towards you while pushing the hips away.

Now, establish the codes. Bring the arms apart to send the horse on the circle, and bring them back together to bring the horse back towards you. This work should be done with both hands. It can take some time for the horse to properly learn the motions.

Once on the circle, if your horse pulls on the leadrope, bring it into the centre of the circle with you. Reward the horse, and send it back out on a small circle, which you will gradually enlarge. As soon as the horse pulls, bring it back into the centre, calmly.

The horse should always be waiting for your command. This way, it will be more attentive to you than to what is happening around it. In the end, your horse should be able to make a large circle without pulling.