Dragging a Log with Purpose in Mind
- February 15, 2020
- Tristen Baroni
Using ropes and dragging logs is a great way to educate your horses and prepare them for future situations or career paths. I personally find it entertaining because I try and imagine a working scenario in my mind. You may see me dragging a log and you wouldn’t be wrong, but what I’m seeing is a cow up on a mountain pasture that may or may not be a little snotty and is in need of medical attention. For me setting up a scenario in my mind for my horse allows me to relate it to working situations, giving the activity purpose to the horse and myself.
Now that you have an idea of what I’m thinking, we must cover safety. If you are inexperienced with a rope it’s a good idea to start on the ground learning how to handle a rope, as well as showing your horse how to work a rope. When a horse works a rope they are no longer scared of it, they understand the rope for what it is, a tool to catch things as well as drag them. It’s crucial that you get your horse to this point before you start trying to rope and drag in the saddle, even more so if you are inexperienced to doing so. The reason for this is it’s very easy to get a horse scared of a rope. This is simply due to the horse’s nature. They are a prey animal and they stay safe by moving. A rope can slow a horse down or pull them out of balance if used incorrectly. Pulling a horse out of balance is a good way to get them worried, for if they are not in balance they feel compromised mentally. This can be fixed, but it will take quite a bit of skill or time to solve the problem. I’d prefer we didn’t cause one to start.
Now, for actually dragging a log, when you first start I like to do so by dragging backwards with the horse facing the rope. Once you and your four legged are confident you can progress to dragging forward, but it’s very important that when you start, the horse can see the log out of one eye at all times. If you get the log straight behind your horse they cannot see it and this may cause grievances. After you have accomplished dragging the log while the horse can see, then you can progress to straight lines and dragging across your horse’s hip. Take your time and make it count, this isn’t something you have to do everyday or for very long, but if done correctly it will last a lifetime.
Happy dragging and may the horse be with you.
About Tristen Baroni
I enjoy working with horses and people. It affords me the opportunity to constantly learn and improve my horsemanship skills and also grow as an individual. Horses are truly remarkable in the way they are and what they are capable of. I’m trying to get these...