So your horse horse doesn’t want to walk forward on the lead rope when you are leading? Perhaps your horse wants to graze? Or simply plants their feet and refuses to move?
This is a common problem with horses who have been spoiled, handlers who haven’t learned the correct way to lead, or a combination of both. If your horse refuses to walk forward on a lead line, consider whether you might not be asking correctly.
To lead your horse forward correctly, stand next to the horse’s left shoulder- not his neck, head, or stomach- look forward, and walk forward confidently, perhaps with a cluck. It’s physically impossible to pull a horse forward by the lead rope and pulling a horse forward usually confuses them. If your horse still doesn’t want to walk forward on the lead rope when you lead using this method, you may have to be more assertive and show the horse that doesn’t want to lead that whether he wants to or not, he WILL walk forward on a lead rope.
To do so, you’ll need to use the end of your lead rope or a medium length whip. Again, standing at the shoulder of the horse facing forward, hold the whip or the end of your leadrope in your left hand. Cluck to your horse and make the motion of walking forward. If the horse still refuses to walk forward on the lead line, flick the whip or rope so it touches the horse’s rump. If the horse steps forward, praise the horse and walk forward with him. If the horse still refuses to move, keep flicking, increasing the pressure with which you strike the horse. Some horses will require you assert yourself more strongly than others, but if you take a no-nonesense attitude you can convince even the most stubborn horse that doesn’t want to talk forward on a lead line to walk forward on a lead line obediently.
Please note: one potential cause of horses not wanting to walk forward on a lead rope- particularly if the problem develops overnight- is pain or lameness in the horse’s hooves or legs. If you suspect this may be the cause have your vet or farrier out as soon as possible.