When doing groundwork with your horse you use a lead rope.
The lead rope, the name says it all, is being used to lead the horse.
This rope is attached to a halter, rope halter, cavesson, or neck ring. It is secured by means of a clip.
In contrast to the “traditional” lead ropes, which often are only 2 metres long, in the Horsefulness training system we use a long lead rope. That means that the lead rope is at least 3.5 to 4 metres long.
The most important advantages of the (long)lead rope are
- You can create distance between yourself and the horse. You can clearly define your personal space. This can be necessary in situations in which it is important that you pose yourself higher in rank or in situations where it is for your safety that there is enough distance between yourself and your horse
- Because you can walk ahead with this lead rope you can act as a leader, your horse follows and you lead.
- You can take different positions, going from the leading position to the partner position to the driving position (the driving position can never be taken with a short lead rope, however, this can be a very valuable position when training your horse!).
- You can let your horse circle around you at a safe distance.
- You can let your horse jump during groundwork, and many other obstacles while you remain at a safe distance.
- By creating distance between yourself and your horse, in many situations you can communicate more clearly with the horse.
- A horse is very fond of his intimate space and will appreciate it when you work with him/her on a distance.
- Trailer loading will go better with a long lead rope.
- At the same time you can use the lead rope to give driving assistance.
A long lead rope has a great advantage over a short lead rope, but moreover, it is a must in case you want to train your horse well on the ground!
Lead ropes in all colours and sizes
Nowadays they are available in all colours of the rainbow! That means you can really choose what you like best.
I do advice to check the clip. There are big and heavy clips, but also smaller and lighter ones. It is best to choose a small and light clip!
When working with a cavesson and therefore attaching the lead rope on the nose, a heavy clip can irritate the horse because it can bump against the nose. With a light clip the horse practically doesn’t notice it. With a rope halter a heavier clip can give a bit more pressure behind the ears, simply through the fact that a heavier clip also feels more heavily on the neck.
As a beginner you use a lead rope of 3.5 – 4 metres.
When you’re more advanced you can also work with longer lead ropes, for example 6 metres, or even 12 metres.