LEADING & STANDING STILL
Leading and standing still are possibly the most essential of all skills in handling horses.
The goal in teaching a horse to lead is to have the horse follow willingly, on a slack leadline, and at a safe distance. You want the horse never to push you out of the way, never to step on your feet, never to come up from behind, never to toss his head at you, or threaten to bite, or crowd you on the path. You want to be able to call upon the horse's ability to be led, in a soft, safe, relaxed, and comfortable manner, at any time, without even having to think about it.
How do you get these things? Practice, practice, practice, with attention and awareness - redirect undesirable behaviors as soon as you notice them - or better yet, learn to anticipate and prevent! If you know the horse is likely to balk when it goes by a certain spot, pick up the energy and grab the horse's attention BEFORE you get to that spot.
If the horse shoulders in on you, immediately redirect the shoulder in the opposite direction, by applying pressure to the shoulder with your rope or crop.
Teaching a Wild Horse To Lead:
2. Reward for the slightest forward movement. Maybe the horse will just lean, or maybe it will take one small step. Reward anything that looks like the horse may be thinking "forward."
3. Repeat. It may take many days before the horse begins to offer to lead without going through this process. But so long as you always offer a positive response, the day will come when the horse will lead easily.
2. STANDING STILL
Standing still, also, should be relaxed and available to you at all times. Paradoxically, you have to let the horse move before he can stand still!
If the horse does not want to stand still, ask for movement. The horse will soon decide that it's easier to stand still.
If you are always fair and kind in your handling - rewarding correct responses and being firm and clear about what you want, and sticking with it until you get it - they will be usually happy to work with you.
You can use the inherent "laziness" of a horse by giving him/her a choice: stand still for me, or you get to do lots of running."
An important point here is to allow the horse to stand freely. Don't hold his face tightly. When he is good, give him release!
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