What is a Horse’s Lead?

horses lead

A horse’s lead is which front leg it first takes a step with during any gait above a trot. The correct lead is easiest to find by watching the horses shoulder. The shoulder that goes further forward, the last to hit the ground, is the leading leg. This link ravenox.com

When a horse is on the wrong lead, it can be dangerous. If a horse is asked to canter, lope, or gallop and it doesn’t change leads properly, the rider could be thrown off. It is also unsafe to have a horse on the incorrect lead when going through a narrow opening, like a gate. The horse might move through the opening too quickly, which could injure or kill the animal or hurt a person.

When training a horse, it is often beneficial to teach it to respond to pressure on its head rather than just pressure on the reins. This gives the handler more control, especially in the event that a horse loses the ability to listen to verbal cues or panics.

Lead with Confidence: A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing and Handling Horse Leads

A common method of tying up a horse while being led is the halter hitch, or a subset of loop knots collectively known among equestrians as safety or quick release knots. This type of knot is designed to be easy to untie by the handler, even if the horse pulls on the rope. If the rope is not tied using a safety knot, a handler can be dragged or injured by the horse.