Getting the Correct Lead
- August 3, 2016
- Jenn Zeller
Getting the correct lead may be a mystery, but I’m here to help you figure it out, make it simple, and teach you how to never have your horse miss one again, while keeping in mind, he’s been taking the correct lead since he was about 3 hours old, or as soon as he got up and running through the pasture. So basically I’m going to teach you, how to communicate to your horse what you want!
But first, what is a lead? A lead is a sequence of footfalls, if you will that happen at a lope or a gallop. A horse will move the legs on one side of it’s body forward father than those on the other side. Let’s take a look at what happens when your horse picks up a right lead.
During a lope in a right lead, the sequence is this:
1. The lead starts when the horse pushes off with the left hind leg.
2. Then, in unison, the right hind leg and the left front leg move forward.
(Sometimes this is called the “opposite diagonal pair.”)
3. Lastly, the right front leg is forward.
This sequence is the same on the left, only the horse pushes off with the right hind leg first. If you’ve watched the videos I made about how to move your horse’s hips, getting the leads should be easy, now that you know what they are. But because I’m by myself, in Texas running
amok I mean, chasing cans, I’ve found a video that pretty much sums up how to help you know when your horse isn’t correct.
Two things I’d like to note — don’t be upset if your horse misses the lead. Just start over, and try again. If your horse isn’t far enough along to get a canter depart from the walk, like the horse in the video is, you can work on it from the trot, by posting the correct diagonals. You ask at the sitting stride, for the lope, and that will help your horse pick up the correct lead.
Please feel free to shoot me an email with questions!
About Jenn Zeller
Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...