The Reason Might Surprise You
A lively discussion on my online training group evolved recently over the different ways we lead our horses. Some people lead their horses at the shoulder, others lead their horse behind them. We all have our own valid reasons for doing things a certain way.
“I was always taught that you have more control over the horse if you are leading him beside you.”
“I don’t like to lead my horse next to me. If something spooks him, he could jump sideways and knock me over.“
"In the wild, horses follow behind each other, it is their natural way of going.”
“I don’t like to lead my horse behind me. If something spooks him, he could jump forward and run me over.”
“My horse needs to lead at the shoulder because I show him in hand, and those are the rules for the class.”
“If your horse respects your personal space, it doesn’t matter where you lead, because he is not going to run you over no matter what happens.”
The truth is, there is no absolute right or wrong for this issue. However, I lead my horses behind me, and it has nothing to do with control, safety or tradition.
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Photograph courtesy of Billie Fitzharris
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