Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Proper Walk Protocol

What is the right way to walk?

I walk. I walk a lot. Mostly around our field. Three+ laps is approximately a mile. My goal is four laps daily [My Two Horses]. I walk for exercise and for sanity [Field Walks]. I usually take a dog or a horse with me [By George]. While I walk, I ponder many things, among them whether the horse and I should be side-by-side or single file.

Side-by-Side

Safety gurus say the horse should be at the rider’s side. When I used to lose Rodney, it happened when he’d slip behind me. It just took a moment. He’d drop back, freak out, pull away, and gallop off. Not necessarily in that order. OTOH, Milton was next to me when he crashed into me and took off [Remediation].

Note: although behavior is much improved, Milton still wears a chain as he gets pushy about who walks on the path and who walks in the grass next to the path.

Single File

Watch horses. This is how they walk. This is the position they naturally assume with me when all is calm and right with the world, Constant insistence on marching alongside would be counter to the relaxed spirit of our strolls.

How do you walk your horses?

In case you were wondering: My shirt says Don’t Panic and Carry a Towel [T-Shirts for the Barn], which led to a shaggy dog tale [Spotted at the Dog Show].

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Comments on: "Proper Walk Protocol" (2)

  1. I trail ride in a part of New England that has mixed terrain with minimal wide open space, so having to lead from beside goes right out the window PDQ. So we can do both gracefully, but we mostly use slightly to the side (when room provides) and 3/4 of the lead rope behind. When I step forward, they step forward. When I stop, they stop. When I step one foot back, they step one foot back. Dancing pairs, but shadowed from slightly behind.

  2. Cool.

    You’re right. We are at home, in an enclosed space. The discussion is mainly theoretical. If we were out & about, I’d have to be more rigorous.

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