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Equine Leading Safety Talk

It is critical to practice leading a horse consistently, and gradually build on successful training. Haltering cues should be reliable. When teaching a young horse, lessons should be brief to decrease stress. Once successful haltering has been accomplished, leading can begin.

Safe Leading Tips:

  • Always hold onto an attached lead rope not the halter
  • Place hand approximately 8-10 inches from the halter
  • Never wrap the lead rope around hand or arm in case the horse attempts to get away
  • Apply pressure with the lead rope until the horse complies with direction and then release pressure
  • Ensure the lead rope does not drag on the ground becoming tripping hazard for handler or horse
  • Always use applicable verbal cues along with physical cues to optimize recognition

As with the training on haltering, always stand and lead the horse from the left side.

Body Positioning:

  • Elbow should be upright and angled towards the horse with knuckles on top of the lead
  • Always face the direction that the horse is traveling
  • Stay even with the horse’s head and never lead a horse in front of or behind you

Remember to guide the horse away and never into the handler. If the horse moves to close it should bump the elbow and move away slightly. Always move in the same direction the horse does to prevent them from stepping on the handler’s toes. Additionally, always move at their pace instead of forcing a faster stride.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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