Among the dozens of questions I get about training horses, one keeps repeating: “How Do I Teach My Colt To Lead?”
Many folks wrongly start training a colt to lead by taking hold of the halter and pulling straight ahead. In the process of doing so the head piece of the halter comes down hard on the colt’s head and he naturally tries to pull away.
If you continue to pull he’ll often rear and possibly go over backward and he might hurt himself (and possibly others in the process). There is a much better and safer way! The safest way to lead the colt is to take hold of the strap, stand next to his right shoulder and made a quick pull to the side. This will pull the colt’s head toward you and the colt will naturally step toward you.
If he only steps a little bit, stop and caress and praise him. Repeat the pull until he turns toward you at the slightest touch of the strap. Sometimes you might have to pull to the right and then quickly to the left to get the colt to start. Once he starts or shows an inclination to start, stop and praise him. After a while you’ll be able to start him to the side and then take him forward.
In the most stubborn of animals it may be necessary to use the Pulley Breaking Bridle. If needed you can also apply a slight tap with the whip. Be sure only to use the whip as an encourager – never “whip” or hit the animal to cause pain. Use it to “nudge” him a little.
You’ll soon have him leading everywhere you want. By applying the confidence lesson learned in Beery’s Lesson #1 he’ll actually be following you wherever you care to lead him without a strap. All this, and dozens more useful lessons, are taught in the full Jesse Beery 8 Volume Course in Horse Training.
Stay safe around your horses.