Barging horse? Horse lacking respect for you on the ground? Horse in your personal space?
Do you have a horse that barges you around on the ground? Does your horse tow you along when your lead him to the field? Does your horse walk “over the top” of you when leading? Then this cracking little exercise is for you!
This exercise makes your rope do the work… You need to use a long leadrope with this exercise. All the ropes I work with are 12′, so I can do groundwork exercises such as lunging, as and when I need to (see https://yourhorsemanship.com/product/jw-rope-12ft/).
First make sure that your horse is desensitised to the rope. You can do this by leaving it clipped to the halter for an hour or two when your horse is in the stable or small turnout paddock or round pen. Your horse will get used to the rope dangling round his legs and will get used to stepping off it when then tread on it. Do this in a space where they can’t get caught up and when you are around to keep an eye on them.
Try this leading exercise!
Hold the rope near the end, so it drags along the ground. Start leading your horse. If he gets too close to you, starts barging past you or tries to walk over you, he will tread on the rope. This stops him in his tracks as it creates poll pressure from the halter. To release this pressure he needs to step backwards off the rope, and in turn, he step out of your space.
Very soon, he will equate getting too close to you to poll pressure and that backwards step. Your horse’s focus will switch from his environment to watching the rope, and as a result will be much more respectful of your space.
It is a very simple, but hugely affective exercise… I love it, check it out!