Working the Walk

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Working the Walk

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:36 pm

I have heard the phrase 'work the walk' applied to gaited horse training. I want to incorporate that into my riding, but I'm not sure what it means. Can you explain it?
~Ashleigh, KY
avatar
Sunny Admin

Posts : 45
Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Georgia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Working the Walk

Post by Susan Brown on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:31 pm

SUSAN: What a great starting question, as it is a great starting exercise for training the gaited horse.

One of the essential keys for any horse to carry himself in a well balanced, athletic manner is for them to utilize the muscles in the hindquarters to push themselves forward, as opposed to lazily leaning on the front end, and pulling themselves forward. An exercise in “working the walk”, when executed correctly, can teach a horse to engage the hindquarters and develop the proper balance, drive and musculature, as well as muscle memory to later develop the faster gaits correctly.

For this exercise, you will hold light contact in the mouth, with the poll below the withers, and the neck outstretched and relaxed. Make sure you are sitting tall and upright, with your weight in your seat bones. You want to drive with your seat into your hands, squeeze with your legs, and push the horse gradually to a faster and faster regular walk. You should feel the horse’s push from his back end into your seat bones. When you feel he has performed well with a good effort for a short time, reward him by allowing him to stop and rest so he knows he has given the desired response. Then do it again. If he breaks gait while you are speeding up the walk, you want to immediately and firmly bring him back to the regular walk. Then release any pressure on him to create comfort and reward. Again start working him back to a faster walk. Do this for increasingly longer stretches of time, at an increasingly faster walk with breaks in between. Over time, your horse will begin to understand what you want, which is a strong drive from the haunches to propel himself forward from behind with good rhythm and timing. You can especially build your horse’s back end by performing this exercise while going up hills and inclines.

The working walk is one of the essential skills your horse will need in order to perform an athletic, smooth, four-beat gait correctly. It requires patience, repetition and many hours of hard work for both you and the horse. This is a wonderful way to build the proper foundation for YOUR horse, and will pay off for many miles to come.
avatar
Susan Brown

Posts : 22
Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Gilberts, IL

View user profile http://www.ridewithpleasure.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Working the Walk

Post by Caroline Siegel-Hoffman on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:57 pm

CAROLINE: I think when most people are referring to "working the walk" to you they mean use your body to engage the horse front and back. "Riding is a verb" is one of my favorite reminders to students when taking lessons. I like to use dressage techniques of a working walk, collected, or extended walk to teach my horses. You and your horse can improve teamwork and sensitivity with your body weight shifts encouraging all of these types of walks. As a natural aid I feel body weight is the most important in changing extension and movement of of horse in gaiting and working walk. Using your hips and seat bones to push the horse forward into an extended walk you can improve their stride, and head shake while riding the working walk.
avatar
Caroline Siegel-Hoffman

Posts : 13
Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Odessa, MO

View user profile http://www.findyourgait.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Working the Walk

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum