The walk is a quiet smooth gait. It has a 4 beat count, just like certain musical scores, 1., 2,3,4,1,2,3,4,… It is the first gate that a young or newly trained horse finds its rhythm and balance. It is the first and last gait a horseman will use during any training session. One of the few golden rules of horsemanship is always walk your horse back to the barn. The other is, ‘if you can’t do it at a walk, you have no business trotting or cantering at all.
Any good horse trainer understands the importance of integrating the walk throughout his/her athlete’s training program. This is done specifically to produce endurance, stamina and resilience as opposed to fatigue. Another golden rule is that always walk your horse back to the barn, to go any faster will only sourer him.
My favorite retort for those who are impatient with the walk is that cowboys did not gallop their horse across the country. They walked a lot! In fact, they loved that walk. Any...