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.
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.