I took my horses out for another field trip last week. More on that in a later post, but I thought I’d share this photo. Its story serves as a warning.
My tale begins over Winter when I got one of those subscription horse boxes as a gift. It came with a lead rope. The lead rope color didn’t match any of my tack (cause matching-color is what is most important in a lead rope :-)), but I thought I’d use it for the horse trailer.
When I held the snap on this new lead rope, I remember thinking it seemed kind of light weight, but I otherwise didn’t give it much thought.
After arriving on location to last week’s riding destination, Shiloh stood quietly while tied to the trailer as I tacked him up for our ride. He turned his head, not sure why, maybe to snap a fly on his chest? I then saw something out of the corner of my eye while I was getting the next piece of tack out of the trailer.
It was the lead rope dangling and no longer attached to Shiloh! Fortunately, I don’t think he even realized he was free. He continued to stand there while I quickly switched out lead ropes (I routinely carry a spare or two in the trailer).
While Shiloh was calm, cool and collected during this particular outing, I shudder to think what would have happened if the snap broke during our previous outing where Shiloh was more fire breathing dragon than his typical presentation as backyard-friendly horse. I can see him galloping off into potential danger in that scenario- yikes!
So here is my advice based on my recent experience:
*Use lead ropes with heavy duty snaps (my initial misgiving, that I ignored, should have been my clue to the potential hardiness of the lead rope)
*Periodically check your lead rope snaps for wear (maybe I would have noticed the snap was coming loose from itself if I had given it a visual/tactile inspection earlier?)
*Always carry at least one spare lead rope per horse when you travel (you don’t want to be off your property with your horse without a way to secure him or her)
Thanks to Alli from the HeartHorseHoof Blog for the inspiration for this post. Recently, Alli shared a post entitled “Check Your Bits Sis” about a mistake the author realized she made and then corrected with regard to her horse tack.
Read her post at https://hearthorseandhoof.com/2020/06/24/check-your-bit-sis/.
Since all of us horse folks are human, all of us horse folks make errors. Sometimes in sharing those errors, we allow others to learn from our mistakes and hopefully avoid the same. It is one way we can support each other in our respective journeys to be better horse people.