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[RC] Halters, Leading and Tying - Roberta Jo Lieberman

Angie wrote:
Also, the difference in where the pull
comes from seems to affect them.<

Welllll......That's why I never clip the lead to the standard halter ring
beneath the jaw any more.....attaching it to the *side* ring makes an enormous
difference in the horse's response. I've found that by using the side ring, a
horse is much less likely to set back, brace and throw her head up against the
unyielding pull. Tying to the side ring (left or right) allows much more give
and take, and a horse will come along with you much more softly from a lighter
signal. It also makes it easy to ask your horse to bring her head up out of the
grass without getting into a pulling contest. >g<

(Attaching to the side ring is especially advised while longeing, as connecting
the line only to the bottom ring tends to twist the horse's head and body around
and makes the job of staying on the circle much more difficult.)

However, you must have a well-fitting halter. Peggy Cummings, founder of
Connected Riding, has designed a halter with three points of adjustment designed
to fit snugly and securely -- and *no* bottom ring. She also has stretchy lines
that attach to the halter for one- or two-line driving. For everyday handling, I
like to use a Zephyr lead (also called a Llama lead) which is like a chain lead
but with a narrower, soft round section where the chain would be. It can be
slipped through the side ring, woven over the noseband and clipped to the
opposite cheek ring ala a chain lead. In my experience, it allows more sensitive
communication with a young horse (or one with tying or leading issues) than a
big floppy cotton lead rope and huge heavy snap, which creates "shutter lag"
(good term, Lynne G) between the handler's request and the horse's ability to
process and respond to your signals.

As a side note, I let my mare free-graze on the communal grass (an unfenced area
surrounded by corrals) wearing her halter and Llama lead as described above. The
lead dribbles on the ground as she steps over and around it. She has learned
that when she steps on it, she can simpy lift a foot or back up a half step to
release the pressure. As a bonus, now she ties well, coming forward from the
pressure or my signal.

Escondido, CA

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