Relentless Remuda

Fix-It: Right Lead-Dominant Green Horses
Miles Baker roping

You’ve heard Trevor Brazile say that right lead-dominant horses are dangerous. Here’s how we address the issue early on in the Relentless Remuda program. —Miles Baker

From the Start

I spend a lot of time pen-roping or tracking to just get colts used to spending that time in their left lead in an environment that I can control. That instills a foundation in them that I can go back to and builds the left-leaded muscle memory.  

[READ MORE: The Process of Developing Your Futurity Prospect]

Out of the Box

You can leave the box slowly and get them in their left lead for a while, and a lot of times that keeps it right from the beginning. Walk-starting one and helping them pick up the left lead can be enough of a foundation to keep a lot of young horses in that left lead. 

Kickstart

When you go from standing really still to accelerating instantly, a horse will often resort to whatever is most natural, which can be the right lead. If they’re bent on being in the right lead, you can use your right leg and kick them off into the left lead. That can work for a while, but when the gate bangs, you’re pushing them with your right leg, which pushes them AWAY from the chute and away from the cow by doing that. You absolutely don’t want that. 

[READ MORE: The Perfect Run]

Solution

Trial and error teaches me that, at that point in their training, I want them to go find the cow first and foremost. A lot of times, I’ll let a 3-year-old run to the cow in the right lead. If he goes and finds the cow but he’s in the right lead, I’ll stick it on the horns with a breakaway, step out, control the corner like I would if I were handling a cow. As we’re approaching the cow and my horse is thinking he’s going to have to widen and step to the left, he’s going to start hunting that left lead because he knows what the next step is. Sometimes you can pick a fight that there’s more to lose than there is to gain when you start trying to overtrain the left lead. You’re better to throw them little hints that they’ll need to be in the left lead so they figure it out on their own. TRJ

Watch Trevor Brazile’s training drills for right-leaded horses:

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