maintaining a slow walk

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maintaining a slow walk

This is a discussion on maintaining a slow walk within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse slow walk

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  • 1 Post By Ladytrails

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    03-19-2012, 09:29 PM
maintaining a slow walk

I'm working with our 7y/o Rocky, on the grand scale of problems my problem is pretty small but I want to ask for advice. The problem is he continues to try to pick up his pace and transition into a gait. I want him to maintain a walk until I tell him otherwise but once I ask him to gait, then slow him to a walk he try to speed back up. I use a shift in body wait, a verbal command "easy" and if that don't work a little bit pressure. I hate to stay in his mouth but sometimes I need to. He's not trying to run off or anything close to that, he's just speeds up on his own. My commands are clear, I believe that he understands what I'm asking he's just ignoring me and that ain't going to cut it.

When the basic commands don't work, he get's some bit pressure (pressure and release) when he repeatedly tries to pick up the pace he doesn't get much release. Sometimes I'll just stop him, one and two rein stop, or change directions. I normally use a smooth snaffle bit, today I used a harsher bit so he would feel more release when he did good, the result was not that great, but this was really his first exposure to this bit.

My other Rocky completely understands the drill, all I need to do with him is just say "easy", he breaks his stride and starts to walk. The other bubba and got me scratching my head.

Any ideas are welcome.
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    03-19-2012, 09:39 PM
I have this same problem and here's what I do (learned it from a Larry Whitesell clinic - he's a great gaited clinician and trainer). First, I sit really deep and heavy - kind of feels like spreading out in the seat of the saddle. Most of the time that is all it takes to slow down. If that doesn't work, I squeeze my fingers on one hand at a time, when the front foot on that side is moving forward. Larry called this "milking" the rein. It doesn't take much pressure, and you're not 'in their mouth' but they slow themselves down with this technique while staying relaxed.
sjwrightauthor likes this.
    03-21-2012, 06:50 AM
Thank you.

Any other suggestions.

    03-21-2012, 06:24 PM
I took him out today and really had a good ride, I started out by making sure that the problem wasn't me and sure enough it might have been. When I ask my guys to gait I carry some tension in my legs and core, I was very conscious of loosing that when I asked him to walk. When I told him "easy" I also consciously exhaled deeply to relax myself plus one other thing that really seemed to make a difference. I slightly moved my legs as if taking small steps to remove the tension in my legs, as soon as I did this his head dropped. We had a excellent ride, I'll keep playing with this but so far it looks like I might have found the problem.
    03-21-2012, 09:02 PM
Awesome! This is great news! I didn't think about the tension but you're absolutely right - the least bit of tension will be noticed by the horse and off we go!

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