Ride and lead.....

Gingerwitch

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Never done it.
How do you start to do it?
How do you pick who to ride and who to lead ?
What to look out for before it goes wrong.
Who gets the fittest the ridden one of us there not much in it?
Thanks in advance
Gw
X
 

maya2008

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I train all mine to do it. Takes a little while at first, but they get it in the end! Ride the naughtiest one, lead the better behaved one. If equal, could always put saddles on both and swap half way. I start in walk - in an enclosed space. It is best to ride a very well behaved older one for the training so you can ride with one hand, lean off the side to deal with things, tap the led horse with the whip as appropriate and generally focus on the one being led. Train them all up to lead, then lead a ‘good’ one (you have more control on board and you do NOT want to get pulled out of the saddle!). I can canter mine together and have known other people do likewise. Once they are trained, you can ride the ‘led’ horse as normal with both hands on the reins, on the bit etc. The other just follows, matching you for speed and direction.
 

Michen

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Near side.

I started by riding the sharp and more forward one and leading the sensible one but actually swapped them around the other day and the sharp one was very well behaved being led but spent the entire time with his ears flat back because he likes to be in front.

So both.
 

Lindylouanne

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I ride the one who is better in traffic and bigger of the two. The pony is also better behaved and responds to staying by my knee whereas DP would want to be in front all the time. No training involved, they picked it up within minutes and I can take them out together for a few hours as long as there aren’t any gates. I actually enjoy taking them out together on my own.
 

SOS

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Some great replies above, just to add a few things.
  • Trick to it not going wrong is be very strict on the lead horse not falling too behind or charging off in front. I used to take a schooling whip to flick up and over the other side of them for a particularly lazy horse that didn’t like to be pulled along.
  • Always start in a bridle. I prefer a long lead rope attached through both sides of the bit but some like reins.
  • To mount you have to technically get in between them. So the first few times have the lead horse handed to you and make sure the ridden horse stands to mount (which it should anyway!). After this there is a variety of ways, such as putting yourself and the mounting block in between or having them at a right angle depending on where the block is. If you’re like me eventually the lead horse will stand in the middle of the yard with the rope thrown over and you grab it on the way out.
  • I always, always make sure the horses get both regularly lead and ridden. The lead horse is sometimes trotting slightly skewed as they are close to the other horse and I wouldn’t want them to build unequal muscle. You can take both saddled and jump from horse to horse or just swap every few rides.
  • Watch they don’t catch each other on the legs/feet and if they do put overreaches on. I used to look a right sight with one pair that had overreaches on both their “middle” front and hind feet.
Being a hunt groom previously with way too many horses for one person to exercise in a day I was riding and leading sets everyday and have many other times when grooming. These particular hunters were awesome and would canter, let me do gates, go in single file down narrow wood tracks and a few times were led over fences.

**Warning: riding and leading in public WILL lead to people saying “haha where’s the rider gone?”**
 

Gingerwitch

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Some fab tips....so thanks all
Do you lead Mares with mares and keep geldings to geldings or does it depend on each individual? I have 3 mares and 2 geldings. One is a mare mare and one helding loves the ladies..... but is very easy to handle he just falls in love lol x
 

SOS

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Some fab tips....so thanks all
Do you lead Mares with mares and keep geldings to geldings or does it depend on each individual? I have 3 mares and 2 geldings. One is a mare mare and one helding loves the ladies..... but is very easy to handle he just falls in love lol x
Wouldn’t think too much into it. If they are okay with other horses generally I just take them together. If the mare is in season I may be a tad more wary if they get a bit touchy about personal space.
 

Sprig

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Always have a bridle on the led horse. I always lead using a long line that's longer than a standard lead rope and shorter than a lunge line. It's not too much in your hands and you aren't likely to get tangled up but if one horse spooks /stops suddenly it means that you can slip the lead through your hands slightly rather than get pulled off/let go of the led horse.
 

Melody Grey

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I ride mine and lead my sons pony. My tips would be;

-I can do gates, get a long lead rope so you can allow led horse to drop behind. Same if you need to be single file for any reason.
- for mounting/ dismounting, teach horses to stand in a T shape using leg yielding off the ridden one to give you more room. Similarly, my lead pony responds to ‘over’ to make room.
-I find turning the lead pony around the front of mine easier to do if I need to turn us round. The other way round is possible, but lead pony needs to know to halt while we cross round the front.

it’s really not hard and has been a godsend for hacking with my son. Not sure I’d fancy leading another big horse though nowadays- wouldn’t have thought twice as a young un though!
 

Melody Grey

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Some fab tips....so thanks all
Do you lead Mares with mares and keep geldings to geldings or does it depend on each individual? I have 3 mares and 2 geldings. One is a mare mare and one helding loves the ladies..... but is very easy to handle he just falls in love lol x
I expect all combinations of mine to just get on with it, same as I would expect them to hack side by side on the road in any combination ir needed.
 

atropa

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I've tried ride and lead three times, the only time it didn't work was when I tried riding my (at that time) quite submissive, timid mare and leading my older, more dominant mare. The submissive one kept shooting off to try and get away. I've since tried it the opposite way and it worked a lot better, and have also led my smaller Native off my larger dominant mare which worked really well except we were out on that particular ride with someone else who kept letting their horse lag beside my ridden one and getting in the way of my led one. A few choice words were had!
 

FlyingCircus

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I tend to ride my gelding and lead the mare as her go to when she gets anxious about another horse in her personal space is to threaten to kick, and my gelding is terrified when she so much as gives him a glare.
 

j1ffy

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Lots of great tips above. I find it easier to lead the more forward going horse as it’s easier to slow them down than having a horse drag behind! However if you do find they are dragging, a rope halter is a useful tool as it applies pressure in a more ‘forward’ way. I don’t like to lead in just a rope halter so either use it in enclosed land to train the horse or put it over a bridle. Generally they get the idea of staying beside your leg after a couple of goes and then you can stick with the bridle.

I’ve done many long hacks in all paces doing ride and lead, it’s particularly handy for working hooves on two barefoot horses!
 

huskydamage

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I can only do it one way round with my two mares as one of them throws a strop being led and won't walk next to my other horse! If she is ridden they are absolutely fine. Just looks weird as I am riding the small pony and leading the horse 😂
I do it with a rope halter.
 

Michen

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Also a good point some made Re lead horse being wonky. When I lead the more forward horse although he was very polite he was very wonky as wanted to be in front so was sort of reining himself in. Wouldn’t want to do it regularly.

When the quieter horse is led he seems pretty straight.
 

Gloi

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Once that is sussed then you can put a roller on the led horse and attach a third one to it like they do in Iceland.
 

Spotherisk

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Always use a neck strap for those interesting moments when the led horse stops dead and you could end up going backwards!

Mine were very road savvy and would organise themselves into single file when they heard a car and them come up alongside again straight after.
 

Brownmare

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I’ve never been brave enough to try ride and lead, I’d be bound to get in a muddle.

I did just come across this photo, though. How many horses do you have, OP? Only 5? Easy peasy :D.

View attachment 66286
Haha, I have ridden one and led 4 when I was a polo groom. The trick was to pick the fastest ones to go next to the ridden horse and the slowest ones on the outsides so they fought each other and not you. It was kind of like piloting a juggernaut though!
 

LEC

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I have two who won’t hack by themselves so I spend hours and hours riding and leading. I always ride the good one and lead the naughtiest. Much, much easier long term. They are taught voice signals normally on woah to slow or stop. Tbh stopping is easy making sure they are up is what you need to be strict about. I ride with a schooling whip so I can tap the lead horse if they are being slack.

Personally, I lead in a rope halter and with a 10ft line. They are much more resentful in bridles and I have much better communication in a rope halter. I can half halt them in a rope halter. If they drop behind a quick tug works much better than pulling on the bit. The 10ft line is great in case something happens - spooking, narrow gap etc as I find a normal rope or reins too short.
 

Caol Ila

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How do you guys find it to pony on roads? Back in CO, I regularly ponied my youngster and other horses off Gypsum, but we had direct access to trails. No road work needed. I would love to be able to pony Gypsum and the youngster (provided Gypsum stays sound enough), but there's a fairly busy, narrow road between us and the park. When I'm hacking with mates, we fall into single file when cars come so they can get around us more easily. I'm wary of ponying on this, and I'm thinking I will be handwalking the 3-year old in the park while other people ride.
 
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