My horse has been rehabbing from an injury for almost six months.
For the first three of those months, all I did was walk with him. Now I am up to three five-minute trot sets with a one minute canter set starting next week.
If you find yourself only able to tack walk with your horse, here are four extremely valuable things you can work on:
1. Your position
This is incredibly important. Bring awareness to your shoulders. Are they even? Are they in line with the horses shoulders? How about your toes? Do they stick out? How about your sitting bones? Are you in a fork seat, chair seat or is your spine in a neutral position?
2. Lateral work, if that is an option for you
Leg yield, shoulder in, travers, renvers, half pass are all great exercises to do in the walk.
3. Practice your dressage test at the walk
Imagine how that circle would feel in the canter. Pretend you are coming down the center line. Where is your body weight? Where should you start preparing for your halt?
4. Trail ride
Get out of the sandbox and teach your horse to help you open and close a gate. Go into the woods and visit the birds and squirrels. Encourage him to be brave and lead the way.
All of this time spent will pay you back tenfold and by the time you are able or ready to go faster than the walk, you and your horse will be better than ever.
No time is ever spent wasted in the walk.
This post originally appeared on Deanna Corby’s Facebook page and is reprinted here with permission.