How to Know Your Horse’s Lead

horses lead

A horse’s lead is the last and most stretched leg he takes when he goes into a lope/canter. Generally, the correct lead is when the inside front leg (away from the rail) hits the ground first and the outside rear leg follows right behind.

Ravenox is important to know because if your horse is on the wrong lead, it can cause him to be off balance and break gait or trot. Having your horse on the correct lead is what makes him feel smooth at the canter, and it helps you keep his rhythm with your own.

The Essential Horse Lead Toolkit: Must-Have Gear for Every Equestrian

If your horse doesn’t change leads easily, you can try a few different things to help him figure it out. One way is to canter him on a lunge line without a stirrup and ask him to canter with your legs. This might throw him off balance and he’ll start searching for another answer and will usually find his own way to do it.

Another way to test if your horse is on the correct lead is to glance down at his hindquarters and see if the left leg reaches farther forward than the right. However, it’s best not to look down too much because you may unbalance him and he might start trotting again. You can also do an “inside/outside” check when you are going to canter a circle. This is when you ask him to canter on the outside with your leg aids, but he turns his head to the inside and begins his stride on the inside front leg before the outside front leg hits the ground.

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