How to Put a Lead Rope on a Horse

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Bring the horse to a round corral.,
Let the horse investigate the rope.,
Soothe an agitated horse.,
Repeat the attachment many times.,
Try again with a short rope.

If the horse is inexperienced or untrained, it’s best to attach the lead rope in a round corral. This is an easy space to handle the horse where it still has some room to walk away.

, If the horse is not used to ropes, let the animal sniff and investigate it first. It may help to rub the rope against your body, demonstrating that it is not harmful. Let the horse chew on the rope, and rub it gently against its nose. Praise the horse when it relaxes.

If the horse doesn’t calm down, raise your arms and calmly shoo it away. Once the horse calms down and starts chewing or dips its head, turn your body and invite it to approach. Repeat the exercise with the rope until the horse calms down.

, If the horse presses its ears back or tries to back away, calmly stroke the horse and speak in gentle tones. Be gentle and patient until the horse relaxes and lets you put on the halter or clip on the rope. Always convince the horse to cooperate instead of forcing the halter on; you’re never going to win a contest of strength with a horse.

, If the horse is not fully relaxed after you’ve clipped on the rope, unhook it again and let the horse move away. Call it back to you, quickly snap the rope on again, and praise the horse if it stays calm. Repeat until the horse accepts the rope without pulling away.

Do not chase after the horse in this situation. It’s easier to develop trust if the horse comes to you.

, If the horse will still not relax during this process, try attaching a very short rope instead, that the horse can’t step on while grazing. Let the horse walk away with this short rope attached, then once they’ve calmed down, remove the rope and let the horse walk off. Repeat until the horse is no longer scared of ropes.

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