Contact At The Walk

The walk with Valiosa has been more difficult than I ever thought it would be.

Especially when there are so many other, hard, things to work on. But she really wants to stay resistant in the walk.  Short stride, pushing back, strung out or more tense and upright.  Get the walk right, and she’ll feel fantastic.

Been lucky to be able to pull off a focused instruction period – 16 sessions, back-to-back, which is a huge change in consistency when you do most training on your own.

It’s awesome!  Halfway through now, can’t wait to see where we get in the next two weeks.

medium walk contact at first level

Getting her just a little more listening to the leg, quicker, straighter – this is the twistiest horse ever – and softer in everything.  But it’s the walk that tips off if she is between the aids in the beginning.  Or not.

contact when riding at the walk

Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get her to the same feel on my own when we go back to training alone most of the time…

Sure you’ve been there too – fantastic lessons where your horse feels fabulous.  Then we’ve got to figure out how to get back there.  I’ll show you pictures next week of how she’s coming along!



8 thoughts on “Contact At The Walk

  1. The walk is the one gait that you can’t fake- it shows all the flaws I. Contact, tension, suppleness, etc. There is nothing like regular lessons. I had a lesson yesterday that made me high all day.

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    1. Isn’t it awesome when it happens!!? Such great payback for working so hard with our horses, to finally have a lesson where we feel like it’s all clicking! Hope you get back to that spot again soon! 🙂


  2. Our mares have so much in common…sigh…Anyhow, mine starts dogging her stride as soon as she knows we’re going into the free walk. She has no problem stretching her neck and head forward and down, but refuses to keep a decent stride length and tempo. She’d rather poke along. One thing that seems to work is to really exaggerate my left and right hip movement with her movement–not really pushing her, but “following” way more than is necessary. You might give that a whirl and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, it’s just a sign that it’s not the particular fix for your horse. If the issue is the medium walk and not the free walk, you might try rubbing the inside of your heels (inside, not back side where a spur sits, and keep your leg long) in a tiny rhythmic forward motion as she takes each stride and see if that motivates her to reach a bit forward into the stride with her hind end.

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    1. The free walk is better than her medium, for sure! If she’s worked hard and really through, she’ll actually have a really great free walk, but yep, only if I keep the hips swinging, which may or may not happen in the showring, ghaaa 😉
      The medium, I think I sit too still, too. A little gentle heel would be helpful, I’ll test, any spur though, and we lose all harmony…
      I posted pictures of her working today, and she looks SO much better than a year ago. More to come!

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      1. Definitely no spur! I find that in any gait, walk, trot, canter, whatever–just rubbing her belly with the inside of my heel in a little circular forward motion motivates her to bring those hind legs under. And you are right, sitting still will inhibit forward. Be as supple as you want her to be!

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        1. Better today. I think she’s been allowed to just sort of “walk” for so long, that it’s been a shocker for her to have to do a proper Medium Walk for any amount of time. This will be a challenge for some time!


  3. I hate the walk hahaha. Each of the 4 beats is just an opportunity for the horse to lose the connection, rhythm and impulsion that are the cornerstones of Dressage. No advice. Just sympathy.

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