Daily Practices to Avert Injuries: Leading

By Ruthann Smith
© 2011, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in Equine Journal

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Leading Ahead

While common, this is NOT safe. Always lead from beside the horse's shoulder.

You see it all the time. But, did you know that casually leading a horse improperly can lead to death? I don’t mean to be sensational. It’ is true.

I know two people who have been killed by leading in the latest fashion: with end of the lead rope tossed over the person’s left shoulder and walking in front of the horse. In each case, the quiet horse spooked. The lead rope hooked and hurled the person, breaking their neck. That’s: dead in an instant- just for being unaware.

Another seasonal favorite is grazing with a lead shank folded back on itself. The horse grazes and stomps at flies. When the hoof sneaks into the chain loop, it is all over. The horse breaks a neck or leg.

Proper leading involves both your body position and organization of the lead rope. Here are some tips for keeping safe:

Your Body Position


This configuration will help protect the eye from the halter sliding into it.

Managing The Lead

Keeping safe is a matter of consistently following simple rules. So, lead your horse properly to enjoy lots of safe and relaxing times together.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on LuckyBraids.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.