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.

stray stallion cvhr owner surrender

Derecho July 2012

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.

Derecho makes a great gelding

Derecho in his recovery stall after being gelded.

Derecho with other horses at feeding time

Derecho finding his place in the herd in the lower field–after he became a great gelding, of course!

Derecho giving me a cuddle

He is such a sweetheart! ❤

Derecho the stray stud is a great gelding

Derecho saying hi to Annabelle.

Derecho loves Coda

Derecho and Coda having a drink in January 2012.

Derecho in the snow

Derecho and his best girlfriend saying hello during our March 2013 snow storm.

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!


About Genevieve

Genevieve is a southern gal who loves to write. She is a graduate of Everest College with an AAS in Criminal Investigations. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and volunteers for Central Virginia Horse Rescue by writing their monthly newsletter. If she's not writing, you can bet she's either spending time with friends and family, playing with the horses, crafting, or reading. Interested in having a guest blog appearance? Email to get in touch! P.S. Subscribe by RSS feed if you are interested in following her creative insanity... ;)

Posted on April 12, 2013, in Animals, Horses and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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