Walk Exercise

Uncategorized Feb 26, 2021

This weeks Top Tips are all about walk exercise, the benefits, and what a transformation you can actually make just with walking!

I use walk work at the beginning of all rehabilitation plans, for correction, strengthening, for warm up, cool down, mobilisation of body, so in lots of different ways!

In most rehabilitation plans I walk horses for 6 weeks, and have totally transformed the horses posture and strength in this time, just with a progressive hand walking plan!

Benefits:

There are so many benefits to walking!

  • Low impact
  • Good for mobilising body prior to schooling etc
  • Allow horses body time to warm up
  • Allows joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles time to move through their full range of movement while in low impact pace
  • Good for building stamina, cardiovascular strength and developing muscle tone
  • Posture can be corrected and improved with walk work
  • Your horse has time to process your requests at a slower pace

 

Non ridden walk exercise

I always recommend horses having some non ridden training in their regime, taking the weight of the saddle and rider off the horses back a few days per week allows the spine and core to work unweighted, which is great for postural improvement and core strengthening.

And it also allows you to stand back and look at how they are moving if on the lunge, and have a feel of what they are are doing if you’re long reining - benefits all round!

Some non ridden walk work to consider putting into your routine:

  • Hand walking, in arena, over poles, around your yard, walking out on the lanes
  • Long reining, again in arena, over poles, around yard or on lanes if safe!
  • Lunging in walk, you can work on transitions, posture, core engagement, control, bend, symmetry - lots to work on and achieve!

Ridden walk exercises

I have a series of walk ridden exercises that I use and recommend for core engagement that include simple lateral work and transitions within paces, all aimed at training your horse to engage his core and work in correct posture!

Spending time in walk when riding, whether you are hacking or schooling, you can be achieving so much!

  • Working on your long and low posture
  • Working on straightness and symmetry
  • Working on correct core engagement and correct posture
  • Correcting any crookedness, rushing, or holding in the neck

My ridden walk series exercises that I use are in my Kissing Spine and Arthritis Ebooks as they are beneficial for both of these conditions, but are relevant to any horse as they are low impact but super effective at training core engagement under saddle!

I hope this short article helps with understanding the benefits of working in a slower pace! If you would like to learn about my series of ridden walk exercises, they are in both my Kissing Spine and Arthritis ebooks...Ebooks page

And if you would like to dig into some training on posture and core strength for your horse, take a look at my 'Engage your horses core' training here...Training page

As always, do get in touch if I can help you with your horses...Jenny x

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