How to Know Your Horse’s Lead

horses lead

The horse’s lead is the front leg that hits the ground first during a gait. A horse has only leads during the lope (also known as the canter) and gallop. For all other gaits, the horse has only one leg that strikes the ground. The quickest way to figure out which lead your horse is on is to see what it is doing, not to look at the lead rope.

A correctly ridden horse will have its left hind leg and left front leg hitting the ground before it’s right leg. The horse will also be loping or galloping in the correct rhythm and feel balanced. Read more

Safety First: Tips for Using Quick Release Mechanisms on Horse Leads

However, many horses do not use their correct leads, which can be dangerous for both the horse and rider. The most common cause of incorrect leads is a spooked horse or a rider not paying attention to their signals. If a horse is not on its correct lead, it is unable to balance itself and can easily fall or jump. This is why it’s so important for riders to always keep their attention focused on their horse and give clear, consistent signals.

Using a high quality horse lead helps with this because it allows the handler to stand up to two meters from the horse and still maintain good contact. This will prevent the horse from getting tangled up in the rope or feeling constricted, which can make them harder to communicate with. Ideally, the halter should have about an inch of slack in it so that the horse is not being dragged.