by: Andy Curry
There's an old horse training saying.It says "your horse should have the feel."
Basically, that means if you're leadingyour horse with the lead rope, does he followyou with virtually no tugging on that lead rope?
As part of the breaking process a horseis taught to lead. That's a natural part of howto train a horse when you're a horse trainer.
when he does, the goal is to have himstep in sync (and stop) with you.
When you step, the lead rope has almostno "pull" on it.
That's the goal (in leading, anyway).
When your horse "feels" that pressurefrom the lead rope, he should move. Thus, hehas the feel.
If you've ever seen someone leadingtheir horse and they're tugging and pulling,the horse obviously doesn't have the feel.
Little does that person know he'steaching his horse to not lead with him.
So how do you get a good lead withthe horse?
There are lots of ways.
I'll try to describe one of my favorite horse training videos that showsPaul Esh doing this.
When filming Paul Esh for .SuperStarsOfHorseTraining.com, we caught him doing it like this:
You're standing beside your horse at approximately the neck area. You're on hisleft hand side.
You hold the lead rope in your righthand and point forward. (That's an alert tothe horse that something's about to happen).
Then with your left hand you twirl the end of the lead rope and lightly tap himwith it.
More 'n likely, that'll get his atten-tion and cause him to move.
So you'll point, take a step, and taphim with the rope.
Walk a little ways. Stop.
Wait a few moments and let him soak itin.
Do it again.
You'll find as you repeat this you soon won't have to tap him with the rope. He'llsee you point and he'll know to step.
And not too long after that, you won'thave to point and step because he'll know yourbody language and what he needs to do.
Ultimately, he'll have the "feel."
Before you do this with your horse, itis assumed you know him well enough that you'reconfident you can lead him close to you and hewon't jump on you.
If you're not at that stage yet, betterteach him to respect your space first. (That'salso one Paul taught in our Super Stars of HorseTraining filming)