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Can’t Get My Horse To Walk

15 August 2011 No Comment

Can’t Get My Horse To Walk
We asked horse training expert Rhett Russell.
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Dear Rhett:
Hi. I have searched and searched the web for an answer to this question, I hope somebody can please help. I recently bought a gaming horse, a 12-year-old paint mare. She is beautiful and pleasant in a lot of ways. (I just love her). My Problem is when I test rode her she was a little dancy and I was told she had not been ridden in over a year, so I dismissed the “get up an go” that she has. She is spirited and has nice cutting moves, but how do I get her to walk? I can mount she stands nice and still, but any movement and it is go, go, go. I can’t keep pulling on her mouth to get her to stop and she doesn’t walk at all. I have trouble getting her to walk on a line too. Is there anything I can do to get her to walk? I have tried about four different bits and she will seem like she works better with one and then the next time I use it, no good. Please advise.

Thank you,
Robyn Sedan

Hi Robyn:
You don’t mention what type of rider you are, so I am going to assume that you are the average recreational rider who wants to go trail riding. You have a pretty common problem. Although it has nothing to do with the bit you are using.

Unfortunately, your horse doesn’t have many “training miles” under his belt. You may be riding the horse, but a horse that can’t stand still or walk without breaking into a trot doesn’t have the proper foundation to be riding.

Since you mentioned that you just bought the horse, you probably don’t really know what type of training or foundation the horse has had. Buying a horse is like buying a used car, sometimes you get a diamond – sometimes you don’t. I never assume that a supposedly “trained” horse is actually trained or has the proper foundation. This is something that I would test the horse on, and if necessary spend a lot of time to build the proper foundation, ground manners, and training before getting on and finding out like you have that the horse can’t stand still or walk.

My recommendation is to spend some time on the ground working on the basics like yielding, respecting space, patience, and respect. When you have these things working for you on the ground – you will have them in the saddle too. You’ll find many articles that should offer help in the www.TodaysHorse.com a”Article Library” under the Riding and Training section.

Good luck,

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