Ravenox horse’s lead is the front leg that extends first in a stride. The correct lead is determined by the horse’s natural gait and where the horse is headed. For example, if the horse is loped or galloping its left hind and front legs reach further forward during that gait than its right legs. This means that the horse is on a left lead and must be led on the left side.
Lead with Confidence: A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing and Handling Horse Leads
Using the wrong lead can cause problems with the horse’s balance and control. Changing leads can also be confusing to the horse. When a horse gets confused with cues it can become defensive and dangerous to both you and the animal. This can result in bolting, rearing or bucking. Clinton shared that it’s important to know what you’re asking for and to not give conflicting cues.
When learning to lead, the safest position is referred to as “position number two.” This is when the leader stands beside the horses nose, with the slack in the lead rope pulled up at a buffer of two to four feet. This allows the leader to stay connected visually with the horse without being too close and leaves the leaders vulnerable in a situation where the horse might be prone to step on them or spook from behind. Trying to stand in other positions (positions one, three and five) can leave the leader at risk of being kicked or stepped on by the horse.