A Good Grounding

Part 13: Lead Rope

Please read and heed Rules of Engagement before trying this exercise.

This will probably be your most frequently used desensitization exercise, if only because you always have the required equipment — a lead rope — in hand when you're conducting ground work.

In this exercise you gently toss the end of the lead rope over and around your horse. Remember to use passive body language: hip cocked, indirect gaze, and don't face him squarely. Always begin with the top line, and once he's standing quietly for that move on to the rump, back legs, and front legs. Be careful not to toss the end of the rope so hard that it swings around and smacks him hard on his other side. This will take some practice on your part. Keep with it. Stay relaxed yourself, follow him if he moves away, and take the rope away when he stops moving his feet and relaxes. Repeat from the other side.