Leading the colt the first time

1. O.K. You have the halter on the colt, the long, soft lead rope goes around the right side of the body of the colt, around his rump (make sure it is not lodged up under the tail Ė should be down below the rump where the legs begin), you have both ends of the rope in your left hand and your right hand is placed at the base of the neck of the colt.
2. Your helper will walk the mare out of the stall and you help the colt to follow the mare. Note: you always lead a horse with you standing on the left side of the horse Ė never on the right side. The colt is going to act up, want to run away, maybe want to rear up. You are in control. Lead the baby directly behind the mare, pulling with your left hand on the two ends of the rope and pushing at the base of the neck. Occasionally you may have to reach back by the tail with your right hand to give a back-end push to get the baby to move forward but most of the time, they will move with the pressure at the base of the neck.
3. Practice walking with the colt this way for about 10 minutes.
4. At the end of the practice session, bring the mare into the area where you are going to turn them loose together, i.e., a pen, a pasture, a stall or wherever.
5. Pet the colt vigorously all over his body and let him know he did a good job.
6. Then, while you still have the rope around the rump of the baby, ease up and unhook the halter. Let it drop and then let the rope drop and you are finished with your first leading experience.
7. As you lead the colt each day or at least 3 or 4 times a week, gradually lead the colt away from its mother instead of always following. Then take the mare out and let her stand in one spot and lead the colt all around the mother by himself. The colt will gradually learn to lead anywhere regardless of where the mother is.
8. While you are working the colt, gradually move the right hand from the base of the withers down to the back of the halter. This way, the colt is learning to lead directly from the halter.
9. Within a week to two weeks, you should no longer need the rope behind the coltís rump. The colt should be walking alongside the handler with the handlerís right hand place on the coltís halter.
10. When you are leading your colt, you should be positioned right next to the coltís front legs, pushing forward on the halter as you walk. Never drag the colt behind you. Eventually, you will be walking right next to the front legs and lightly holding the bottom of the halter as the colt walks next to you.

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Last Updated: March 28, 2017

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