Derecho Learning to Lead
As you may recall, last summer a loose stallion turned up at my farm. He was surrendered to CVHR and is being fostered here indefinitely. Derecho has settled in nicely and is learning how to be a polite horse.
He came with very little, if any, training. Derecho was pushy and did not understand how to give to pressure. After just one short week, he is now respecting my “space bubble” much better and very sensitive to the slightest pressure. He isn’t scared of anything and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Derecho is one of the sweetest horses I have ever encountered.
Teaching an 1,150 pound 3 year old stallion to lead is NOT easy. We had foals when I was a kid and I helped teach them to lead…but this was a completely different task. Derecho knows he is bigger than me and did not like the idea of being led around. Although he wanted to follow me around like a puppy dog, he didn’t like being tugged on with a lead rope.
Since he resented being pulled forward so much, I decided to work on other directions first. We have nearly perfected backing already! He willingly moves back a step at a time with the slightest touch now. I can get him move away from me to the left and right, although he is much more supple to the right than the left. Derecho also lowers and raises his head easily for me with gentle pressure either on his poll or under his jaw.
When I want him to move forward, I began by simply encouraging him to follow me with the lead rope long and loopy. He does well following at a respectful distance most of the time, but occasionally he still gets too close and I have to stop and send him back a few steps. After a week of practicing multiple times a day, he took his first willing steps beside me moving forward. I was thrilled!
We made 3-4 large circles in each direction in his paddock. I began by walking beside him and apply the slightest forward pressure to the lead. Derecho followed the pressure willingly and lead beside me like a champ by the end.
Check out the rest of his year in pictures below! He’s adjusted really well and is a super nice boy.
We’ve been letting him take some time to be a part of the herd since he learned how to lead. He has also learned how to pick up all 4 feet, behaves politely for the farrier, and stands nicely to be groomed. This spring we are planning on starting him under saddle. Stay tuned for more Derecho updates!
Posted on April 12, 2013, in Animals, Horses and tagged Animal Welfare, animals, article, best friend, Central Virginia Horse Rescue, CVHR, Derecho, Equestrian, great gelding, Horse, Horse training, horses, Lead, learning to lead, love, oohat, owner surrender, stray stallion, training, turning point, va. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.