lead rope 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.
    A long lead rope has many advantages over a short lead rope. It is a must for groundwork.

Lead ropes in all colours and sizes

lead-rope-pink Nowadays, lead ropes are available in all colours of the rainbow! 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. lead-rope-with-heavy-clip When working with a cavesson and attaching the lead rope on the nose, a heavy clip can irritate the horse as it bumps against the nose. With a light clip, the horse almost won’t notice it. With a rope halter, a heavier clip can give a bit more pressure behind the ears, simply because of the extra weight of the clip pulling down on the halter. As a beginner, you should use a lead rope of 3.5 – 4 metres. When you’re more advanced, you can also work with longer lead ropes, such as 6 or even 12 metres.

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