Standardbred Horse Gait Training: Flat Walk

Begin riding at the normal walk. After your horse is supple and moves off easily from your leg, move him up to the flat walk. The flat walk is more energetic; it has more collection and a prominent head nod that originates from the base of the neck.  The horse should be able to move with ease at about 3-5 mph. The footfall remains a distinct four-beat rhythm. To advance the gait, maintain light contact on the bit while pushing your horse forward with your legs.

From Flat Walk to Running Walk

Refining the skill takes time and practice. Keep your horse straight and when ready, ask for more tempo elevate the gait into the running walk. The running walk has the same basic footfall and carriage as the flat walk, is a smooth, efficient and ground covering at an average speed of 7-10 mph. Should your horse decide to transition to the side-to-side pace instead, use half halts to immediately slow it back down to the proper 4-beat gait and keep practicing over various different terrain until the horse understands what your are asking.

Read WORKING The WALK Using The Walk To Improve All Gaits by Beverly Whittington.


Disclaimer: I am a horse owner who occasionally trains an outside  horse.
I’ve studied various horse training methods extensively, but do not claim
to be an expert in the field.

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