To be totally honest, your horse should be able to flat walk in a round pen easily. Speeding up and getting that faster 4beat gait while going in a circle will absolutely take time and you will have to work to correct the gait, but it can be done -and actually, I think it is very good for them. While you can really get your speed and rhythm on a straight away and that is where you showcase the most, I have always found that circles with my mare are very beneficial if you work to keep them in gait. I have worked with Sable enough that she runwalks on a shorter long line or free lunged in a round pen. It supples them up, stretches them out, and allows them to get better use of their back end -circles and straight aways compliment one another if done properly to create a well rounded horse.
If you just have that area to ride in, if I were you, I would go around at whatever speed he can stay in gait for and just keep to that and slowly increase speed as your training sessions progress and his muscling increases. Your horse will build the msucles as he goes and when youre ready you can hit the trails. Its like speed walking for a human, eventually you max out at a speed walk and want to break into a jog, or lift your feet higher etc...but if you were to speed walk every day eventually you would see your speed increase and you would find yourself able to go faster in the same form. :)
Last edited by bellagris; 04-10-2012 at 12:13 PM.