Both the mares and geldings had specific leading challenges to conquer. The mares had to lead along an aisle where the only safe path was immediately adjacent to a fenceline - the aisle's about 10 feet wide but the only safe area was the narrow strip, about 18" wide, that was all the way to the right. I asked each mare to follow in my footsteps, directly behind me, at just the speed we needed to go. We actually had to push through some standing weeds and small bushes to do it. When I'm leading this way, with my back to the horse and a loose lead, I don't do anything else to control them - as we started to go up the aisle, I directed each horse to follow me, and each horse did - they were all stars! No one crowded, if I had to stop, they stopped, and when we got to the gate they waited. The gate itself was a challenge - it would only open a narrow horse-width - it was blocked by some stuff that had melted and then refrozen yesterday. Each mare led carefully and precisely through this very narrow opening.
The geldings had a different challenge - they had to wait in a fairly icy area for me to open the gate, and due to how the gate opens and where the ice was inside the gate, I had to send each horse by me to almost the end of the 10' lead, where they had to stop without turning back towards me and wait for me to close the gate and walk to their head. Once again, they were a bunch of stars! I was even more delighted because this was a bunch of horses who got little or no turnout yesterday, so they were very eager to get out. They all listened, and we got the job done safely.
We're supposed to have temperatures just at or above freezing, and we're supposed to get a little bit of snow today and tonight - with luck the footing will improve a bit before tomorrow when we go back into the deep freeze.