Getting horse to walk
 
 

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Getting horse to walk

This is a discussion on Getting horse to walk within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Getting a colt to walk
  • How to train and exercise a horse at the walk

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  • 3 Post By HippoLogic
  • 1 Post By Saddlebag

 
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    08-24-2012, 09:23 AM
  #1
Foal
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?
     
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    08-24-2012, 10:55 AM
  #2
Foal
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, 11:03 AM
  #3
Foal
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, 06:54 PM
  #4
Started
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, 06:35 AM
  #5
Showing
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, 08:12 PM
  #6
Foal
Thank you for all the helpful advice
she's doing beter
     
    08-29-2012, 08:14 PM
  #7
Foal
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, 02:51 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
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, 03:40 PM
  #9
Foal
She is bein btter and were almost over it
     

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