When doing groundwork with your horse, you use a lead rope. The lead rope, as the name implies, is is 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 the Horsefulness training system we use a long lead rope (at least 3.5 or 4 metres long) as opposed to a “traditional” lead rope (often only 2 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 when you want to mark yourself higher in rank, or in situations where safety dictates that you distance yourself from the horse.
- Because you can walk ahead with this lead rope you can act as a leader, leading while your horse follows.
- You can take different positions, going from the leading position to the partner position to the driving position. Short lead ropes make it impossible to take a driving position, but this can be a valuable position during training.
- You can let your horse circle around you at a safe distance.
- You can ask your horse to jump and maneuver many different obstacles during groundwork, all while you remain at a safe distance.
- The distance you create between yourself and your horse allows you to communicate more clearly with the horse in many situations.
- A horse is very fond of his intimate space and will appreciate it when you work with him from a distance.
- Trailer loading will go better.
- You can use the lead rope to give driving assistance.