Getting horse to walk

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Getting horse to walk

This is a discussion on Getting horse to walk within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse forum walks slow on lead
  • Getting slow horse to walk faster

Like Tree4Likes
  • 3 Post By HippoLogic
  • 1 Post By Saddlebag

LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-24-2012, 10:23 AM
Getting horse to walk

Hi I have a saddleseat friesian that prances instead of walking. I have been working with her and I try to do patterns and go over ground poles and just try to change it up a bit.
Does any body have a horse like this? What do you do to try and calm them down?
Sponsored Links
    08-24-2012, 11:55 AM
The most impact is the rider. ;) Most riders become stiff because they 'lock' their joints in order to keep the horse from getting faster. If a rider becomes stiff somewhere in the body, all the joints have more tension and as a result the rider cannot move in rhythm with their horse anymore.

So stay 'elastic' in your body. If you want to slow down the horse you can influence his pace by moving a little bit behind the movement to slow him down. In order to achieve that, you must stay flexible yourself.

How to stay flexible and relaxed?
A good first step is to stay conscious of your own breathing. We, people in general, are tented to hold our breath if we do something excited or make an effort. Holding your breathe makes you strained, so keep breathing. Be aware of the flexibility of your joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles etc)

Then follow your horses movement FIRST, before you can slow them down with your seat.

Horses do listen well to the riders seat. If you exhale and relax, most horses will respond by slowing down because the rider relaxes. Make halfhalts with your body.

If you use the rein (a bit), make only a half halt and don't "pull" (I don't know an more subtle word in English at the moment, sorry for that) until the horse has slowed down. The half halt is a signal to communicate to the horse, the reins are no brakes. So harder pulling does not mean hitting the brake harder.

Frisians have a tendency to go against pressure. So pulling the rein will not stop or slow down the horse, it will make them go against your pressure. Use halfs halts instead and reward for the slightest try!

So, if your horse is responding by slowing down just a fraction, reward! Then ask again untill you can let him walk. You can reward the horse by relaxing your body and move in the same rhythm. Then ask the question ("slow down a bit please") again.

I notice that is it quite a challenge to put this in writing, in English. I just immigrated to Canada and my Dutch is still a little better than my English. ;)

Besides that, it is also hard to give advise through the internet if you have not seen a rider. But the above is the most common solution to (start to) resolve the problem. Other reasons for this behaviour could be: saddle doesn't fit, teeth are hurting (most Frisians have not so good teeth because of the small gene pool), bit is hurting, too much energy due to diet/lack of exercise and more.
Tianimalz, Kayty and Catdog88 like this.
    08-24-2012, 12:03 PM
My trainer says to "walk with the horse". When you are riding, move your legs in rhythm with the horse. The faster you "walk" the faster the horse should move, and vice versa....the slower you "walk" the slower he should walk. Takes a LOT of practice. I do agree with the above post about the rider, but it doesn't work with all horses. I actually had a horse one time that pranced constantly. You couldn't use leg pressure with him at all as that was a signal to RUN. I learned to balance and ride with him, but it was hell on my knees. Bareback was easier on the knees and I could and did ride him that way a LOT. Diablo just wanted to run all the time, if you didn't let him he pranced and snapped his teeth constantly. He was an older horse, so the with age comes calm wasn't even a consideration. Good luck.
    08-25-2012, 07:54 PM
I hugely agree with all that's been said already, just an additional tip.
A number of my students have trouble with sitting trots because they don't breathe while they're riding. This, I feel, would help you too.
As an instructor in the middle of the ring I can't see if my student is breathing or not, I can just see if they're bouncing around or not. Soooo if they're too bouncy/stiff I make them sing they're ABCs or any other song they feel like singing. Normally they're laughing before they finish they're ABCs but that works too, because their seat becomes MUCH softer when they laugh!
    08-27-2012, 07:35 AM
PunksTank, I had a wonderful arabian that was great at showing a rider when it was tensed. They got on bareback, with just a halter and lead and were not to touch the lead. The horse was allowed to meander at will as the rider was not allowed to influence him. What was interesting is that both he and the rider were relaxed. I'd then put the bit in his mouth and as soon as the rider picked up the reins, I could see the tension in her back and the horse was no longer relaxed. It often took a few sessions but as the rider made a conscious effort to remain relaxed then so too would the horse.
PunksTank likes this.
    08-29-2012, 09:12 PM
Thank you for all the helpful advice
she's doing beter
    08-29-2012, 09:14 PM
HippoLogic, the dentist is hear regularly and we tried plenty different bits but I think that she s worried and not in pain we also just had her saddle fitted
But I aggree with every thing you said
    09-01-2012, 03:51 PM
Originally Posted by luv my horse hinke    
HippoLogic, the dentist is hear regularly and we tried plenty different bits but I think that she s worried and not in pain we also just had her saddle fitted
But I aggree with every thing you said
Thank you. I just hope that it is going better and that you will solve it.
    09-01-2012, 04:40 PM
She is bein btter and were almost over it

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help!My horse won't Walk! I LOVE PAINTS 101 Horse Training 11 04-09-2012 12:04 AM
How can I get my horse to WALK?? Erfellie Horse Training 22 11-10-2011 10:43 AM
flat walk vs running walk QHDragon Gaited Horses 13 09-26-2011 03:05 PM
Horse won't walk ErikaLynn Horse Training 5 06-06-2011 03:01 PM
Western-Walk,Jog,Lope,gallop-English- Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop...RIGHT?! thunderhooves Horse Riding 10 05-07-2010 06:26 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0