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Want A Respectful Horse? The Most Important Training Equipment You Should Use

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To read more articles about Natural Horsemanship and find great Natural Horsemanship products visit: http://www.naturalhorsemanshipinfo.com

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Want A Respectful Horse? The Most Important Training Equipment You Should Use

  1. 1. ==== ====For more tips on Natural Horsemanship visit:http://www.naturalhorsemanshipinfo.com/==== ====A few years ago, I was at a neighbors, very nice indoor arena. She was kind enough to let me ridein it to escape the Texas rain and mud in my arena. I didnt know her very well, but she hadseveral horses and this beautiful ranch, so I assumed she was an accomplished horsewoman.She had talked about showing in the dressage ring and supporting her daughter in horse shows.You know what they say about assumptions....I had been riding and playing with my horse for an hour or so. I was just finishing up with him whenshe brought in a cute little paint mare. She had a flat nylon halter and about a 9 foot poly leadrope. As she led the mare around, I could see that she was very fearful of the horse. I asked if Icould help her and she quickly handed me the rope. She said the mare tried to kick her as shewas leading her. I didnt notice this as I started walking around the arena with her.The mare was little pushy and not respectful. The flimsy lightweight lead rope gave me absolutelyno feel to ask her for respect. I only had my rope halter and 12 foot lead that was on Bonus. Iquickly put him in a corral at the end of the arena and took off his halter and lead.The halter was a simple rope halter, a little stiffer than some, but an effective tool all the same.The lead is made from high-quality yachting braid. It is smooth, slightly forgiving, will flow throughyour hands and is a good weight.I put the halter on the little paint mare and began again to lead her around the arena. This timewhen she pushed on me, a simple wiggle of my good rope caused her to back off. I was able tomove her front end, back her up and have her lead up nicely, within just a few minutes. I workedwith disengaging her hind quarters for a few minutes and then picked up all 4 feet. The mare gaveno signs of intending to kick. My friend couldnt believe the difference. I explained that the polyrope had no connection with the horse and the flat nylon halter was very easy for her to ignore. Itwasnt that the rope halter was abusive; it was just a different feel.Imagine you are standing next to your friend and she pushes on your shoulder with her hand,open palmed. You can lean into her hand and really not be inclined to move. Now, lets say shepushes on your shoulder with her index and middle fingers. She uses the same amount ofpressure as she did with her open hand, but you feel the need to move away from her fingersbecause it is an uncomfortable feeling.That is the feeling your horse experiences with a rope halter. So a rope halter is a very importantpiece of equipment. But, the title of this article is The Most Important Training Tool You ShouldUse, so even though I believe in using a rope halter exclusively in training for respect, it is not theMost important tack item.I believe the high quality yachting braid lead rope is. You need a 12-15 foot rope for leading and a22-24 foot rope for refinement of ground control and to achieve a natural connection between you
  2. 2. and your horse.Now, if I had continued to use her light, short poly rope, even with the rope halter, to try to impelher mare to give to pressure from the halter, I would have gotten very little response from thehorse. There is just nothing to those cheap, tack store poly ropes. To be able to allow your horseto feel your intentions through the rope and onto the halter and thus his head and nose, you haveto have a rope with some weight and feel to it.I have noticed that the run of the mill tack stores have jumped on the rope halter band wagon,which is good. I am glad that the rope halters are becoming more common place and readilyavailable. But, it is very difficult to find the good quality 5/8" yachting braid rope leads. Some of therope halters have the cheap, poly ropes attached. If real horsemen or women were designing andmanufacturing these combinations, they would not use the poly ropes.I worked with the little paint mare for a while longer, led her to the barn where the owner said shewas really flighty and aggressive and put her quietly away in her stall. My neighbor was grateful,which was nice, but I really hope she learned something as well. She obviously had the means tobuy the quality equipment, but would she follow up and do so. Unfortunately, I moved away andwasnt able to continue helping her with her little mare, but I hope our short lesson gave hersomething to build on.All of the top Natural Horsemanship Clinicians use high quality leads and halters. I hope you willgive them a try.==== ====For more tips on Natural Horsemanship visit:http://www.naturalhorsemanshipinfo.com/==== ====

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