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jazzyrider 04-09-2008 05:44 AM

walking your horse like a dog
with all the issues people have been having of late in here with their horses, including myself, and groundwork has been mentioned a lot so i did some searching around the net and came upon this article. its quite interesting

Yes, I did say walk your horse like a dog. By that I mean lead your horse by the halter and take him for a walk like you would your dog. I have done this over the years with my horses and I think it is one the best ways to bond with your horse.

The first time I did this was way back when, when I got my first horse and I didnít even have tack to ride her. I decided I was going to take her for a walk around the neighborhood. I did this just about every time I visited her. The main reason we bonded so quickly was probably because of the quality time I was spending with her but I also think that the trust came with me leading her. She was unfamiliar with her surroundings and looked to me for security. I was the lead horse essentially.

When I got my second horse I did the same thing even though I did have tack to ride her. I did this so she would familiarize herself with me and her new surroundings I took her for a walk around the neighborhood. I did this often and even walked her when I was pregnant with my baby daughter.

I believe that taking my horses for walks is what accelerated the bonding process. I was able to be on the ground and read them better. I could find out what spooked them while I was on the ground. I was also able to reassure them because I wasnít afraid of getting dumped. My horses learned to trust me as the lead horse on the ground so when itís riding time everything goes a lot smoother.

Not all horses are easy to lead though. When I first got my Diamond she was a bit clumsy and didnít always respect my space. In other words she stepped on my feet a lot. Our walks fixed that issue and I was able to teach her to respect my space and save my feet.

I recommend everyone trying this and see how it changes the relationship between you and your horse. I especially recommend this for the horses that are always expected to ride when taken out of the stall. Change things up a bit and walk your horse like a dog.

i think im going to give this a try :) sure cant hurt ;)

Bitless 04-09-2008 06:26 AM


I think its also a great way to get yourself fit. You can run along side while ya horse is troting :D double wammy in fittness :wink:

Stubborn1 04-09-2008 06:54 AM

This is a great idea. We did this with our horse. Took him for a walk around the streets, when he shyed at things we stopped and let him sniff and check out what it was he was scared of then he realised it was nothing and continued on the walk. Only after a short time of doing this he became confident when cars went passed, now he rides no problems on the roads. I would recommend this to anyone with a new horse, great way to get to know him and he you.

SonnyWimps 04-09-2008 10:02 AM

it's a great idea! I do it all the time with Sonny...not only is it good for both of us, but he really enjoys it. All horses like to spend their time with someone they know and love.

Me and Sonny always do it after we finish working...I take him down to the lower pasture and walk him around...and after we are done I let him run around and have fun.

PoptartShop 04-09-2008 10:19 AM

13 Attachment(s)
I do that all the time with Lexi as well.
It's also good if she's hot or sweaty, to walk her to cool her down. :D

Dumas'_Grrrl 04-09-2008 11:52 AM

WE do that ALL the time...To be perfectly honest I think I'd rather do that then ride sometimes. Its a long way from Dumas' back to the ground and I'm not getting any younger :roll: I'll grab my hubby after dinner and we'll go grab the horses and take a walk. Its such a good time for us to enjoy each other and to include the horses in a non- work relaxed situation just bonding.

El Gato 04-09-2008 04:51 PM

My horse loves going for a walk, especially when I let him of the lead, where possible...

love-a-hero 04-09-2008 05:13 PM

I do a similar thing. Except I teach all the show ponies and the Hacks to lead by their mane.
At a show once, a friend of mum, her horse pulled back from the truck, broke the halter and was running through the show. It ran into a corner, she catched him although she didnt think to bring a halter so she tried leading it with its mane, the horse wouldnt, it got a fright, ran out on the road....while a car was coming... and broke its neck.

I know this is off the topic of horsemanship, although I think its essential to lead and bond with your horse, in a more natural way.

KANSAS_TWISTER 04-10-2008 02:19 AM

i do that a lot with abby, although being in the county i/m limitted to our property....if i cross my road in front our farm it's city in to trouble once for taking my horse for a walk to the mail box

shorty 04-11-2008 06:57 AM

Yesm I walk my boys. It's mainly because one's a mini x shetland and the other one a pure shetty. The fact that they can't be ridden doesn't change the fact that they need and enjoy excersise and I too enjoy our little adventures.

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