How to Train a Horse to Pull a Harrow

Written by kellyb
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How to Train a Horse to Pull a Harrow
Horses have enough strength to pull a harrow. (postier Breton image by Dominique LUZY from

A harrow is a classification of farming tool that is used to till and cultivate the land it is dragged over. Preparing the ground in this way is necessary for the healthy production of produce, but it is also a labour-intensive task that can be tiring and lengthy. An effective way to reduce the effort and time you put into the cultivating process is to have your horses drag the harrow behind them and prep the ground. In order to get the horse to pull the harrow though, you will have to train it first.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Lariat
  • Rubber tire
  • Saddle
  • Ropes
  • Harrow

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  1. 1

    Tie the end of a lariat around a rubber tire. Using the tire will help the horse acclimate to pulling, without working with something that could be dangerous if the training goes badly.

  2. 2

    Saddle up your horse and walk it around the tied-up tire. Let the horse sniff, inspect and investigate the tire, until it is no longer interested in the tire.

  3. 3

    Drape ropes along either side of your horse in a similar manner as you would the harrow harness. Having the ropes touching its body will help your horse get used to having something next to it.

  4. 4

    Attach the loose end of the tire lariat to the saddle of an older, trained horse and have it start to pull the tire around.

  5. 5

    Sit on the training horse and have it follow the pulling horse. Start off far from the pulling horse and slowly increase your speed until you are riding alongside the other horse.

  6. 6

    Remove the tire lariat from the trained horse and tie it onto the saddle of the training horse. Let the training horse inspect the tire again, until it is comfortable and relaxed.

  7. 7

    Have the training horse start to walk forward, which will cause the tire lariat to get pulled along. Be careful because your horse may get startled when it starts to actually move the tire.

  8. 8

    Stop making the horse move if it gets aggravated at all. Be patient with your horse and try as many times as you have to until the horse becomes totally at ease with pulling the tire without any hesitation.

  9. 9

    Introduce the harrow in the same way you exposed the tire and gradually move the horse over to it. Remove the harrow if the horse becomes upset.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use a more gradual method of introduction to the harrow by using a slightly larger object from the tire until you work up to the harrow.
  • Do not hit or force to the horse to pull anything once they become agitated, or they may have a violent reaction.

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