Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Benefits of a Walk

"Have you listened to horses walking on concrete?" They have a distint footfall pattern, Sarah explained, "1 2 3 4, but sometimes you hear 1 2 34, 1 2 34."

"Yes, I've heard that last one a lot. Is that common?" I questioned.

"It is. It means a horse is crooked, and it is very common to hear that."

Hmm, I thought. I should listen to my own horse's footfalls when walking him in the aisle now, and compare it to others and the correct beat I know in my head.

This conversation was sparked in my lesson with Sarah Thursday night when I was getting frustrated that my horse wouldnt move out in the way I wanted at a walk. He was on the bit, and straight, but not walking off briskly from my leg.

Sarah reminded me that Milo is a pleasure horse, he is bred to go slow. He doesnt really want to get anywhere in a hurry. But he does have a nice pace and a good rhythym.

"This is true," I agreed. "The first forty seconds of our reining videos are of us walking into the arena."

"A judge knows a good moving horse by the way they walk into the arena," Sarah advised.

So a judge can determine who their "favorite" is or which horse they know will be a good mover based on their even cadenced walk. Interesting. But makes sense. Suddenly, I wasnt so displeased with my horse's slow yet even walk. Suddenly, I liked my horse's walk.

1 comment:

in2paints said...

I haven't paid much attention to Lilly's foot fall since we did all that hand walking last year. And then, of course, it was off because she was off. I need to find some concrete!!

By the way, you have an award waiting at my blog! :)