Sunday, March 27, 2011

The walk: some advice from the clinic

Here Riley is taking a bit of a walk break, and Linda Zang is talking generally about the walk.  I like  what she says about not restricting the head -- now if she only tells us how to collect a walk while allowing this freedom! The walk is often taken for granted so it's good that she mentions it here...


  1. OK, the big trick to the walk, for me, is to get the horse to step to the bit. I want, at the walk, to feel the horse on my hand. He must push a little into the rein, and in the free or extended walk, take that rein out and down from my hand.

    Walk is actually the most difficult gait as there is the least impulsion and the least drive from behind. If you lose the contact in the front, you can't make the walk more active and forward as there is nothing for the horse to push into.

    And that's my theory. I've gotten really good scores on walks...especially the walk on a long rein.

  2. The key to a good energetic walk is using your leg aids in such a way that it reinforces the walk rhythm. Apply pressure with your right leg when you feel your horse's back swing right, and your left leg when it swings left. Doing this along with following the horse's balancing gesture with your hands will allow you to ask for more energy while reminding your horse that the gait you want is walk.

  3. I agree with Jean: the walk is the most difficult gait. I like how she described it as well.

    Walking small circles on the bit followed by straight lines stretching forward and down has helped my horse actively reach for the bit in walk. I also like to use lateral work to supple his hips and improve his swing, but this is not something that he does as effortlessly as Riley. His walk is lovely!


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