Go Walk Your Horse

Go Walk Your Horse

I’m so glad to see people promoting one of the best things you can do with your horse — go for a long walk. It makes me feel virtuous and “in the know” as it’s one of my favorite things to do.

This Facebook post says:

Walking your horse
I spend a lot of time trail riding my horses at a walk. Especially when it’s hot out, I like to get them out but not get too hot.

Go walk your horse.

Saddle up and go walk your horse. Take time to do nothing more than just walk. Enjoy the view, the fresh air. Forget about your upcoming events, the win your chasing, or the mistakes you need to fix. Just walk on a loose rein… don’t bend, flex or seek perfection. Give your horse a moment to be an average horse going for a stroll. If you had to be perfect all day, everyday would you be able to keep it together? Today is just a walk, tomorrow you can resume the daily grind and hard work.

Do not forget to go walk your horse.

I agree 100%, but walking can do much more than giving you a nice moment to decompress and bond with your horse. There are lots of very practical reasons to walk your horse, as well.

  • Walking, especially brisk walking, is a great way to build a solid base of fitness without stressing your horse’s joints. If you have hills, even better! (Denny Emerson is a big proponent of this, as was my dressage instructor. She told me to make two days a week a brisk walk on the trails.)
  • Walking helps loosen up old joints before asking your horse to work harder
  • Walking helps calm the brain (your’s as well as your horse’s), which can be a great way to get the anxious horse to relax.

How much walking do I do on my horses?  A lot. Especially when it’s hot out, or I’ve been feeling stressed or I just want to have an adventure. The time spent riding doesn’t all need to be at Mach speed; there’s a lot you can accomplish while taking the time to enjoy the scenery.

Enjoy the scenery
My last trail ride was just a walk. You can enjoy the scenery a lot more when you’re not going fast.


2 thoughts on “Go Walk Your Horse

  1. Ah…at last, I have excuses for walking. I MOSTLY walk on Raven. I remember some folks telling me that every single moment spent on the horse’s back must involve making or asking him to do SOMETHING, be it leg yield or turn on haunches or give to the bit or what ever. I thought then, and now, when you were in school, did you do SOMETHING every single moment? Hell, no. AT least me, I did an awful lot of daydreaming to get through the day. Most of the time I get on Raven and just…walk. I’ll even drop the reins, another ‘no no’, so I’m told. Meh. We have fun and it hasn’t seemed to cause him to become less well trained.

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