How to teach your horse to Spanish walk
The Spanish walk is a trained movement that is carried out by a horse. With a little bit of work, you can train your horse to walk in this manner. The horse, when doing the Spanish walk, will raise each foreleg off the ground in an exaggerated upward and forward manner.
The Spanish walk is loosely affiliated with dressage, however, it is often seen as more of a trick or circus movement, and is not included in any modern dressage tests. It is often taught to horses of the Andalusian and Lusitano breeds and is considered to be an important part of the horse culture in Spain. The action is said to benefit the horse by helping it learn to open up its shoulder movement.
Anyway, here's our guide to how to teach your horse to Spanish walk in five stages:
To start the Spanish walk you will want to begin in hand and ask the horse to lift up one leg at a time, like a jambet. You will do this, by tapping gently with the whip on the horse’s foreleg offering it a reward after it has done as you please.
When the horse shows some sign of lifting its leg, you will want to persist until it can lift each one and stretch it out.
You will then want to walk on, and repeat this process a few times. Once this is done you should then change onto the other foreleg and repeat the process again.
Once your horse is able to lift either leg, on command, and walk on, you will then want to ask for alternate legs. This is then the official Spanish walk.
- When this is achieved in hand, you will then want to move onto carrying out the walk whilst you are riding the horse. You do this by continuing in hand, however, you will have someone riding the horse also giving the commands. Then, you will simply want to allow the rider to gradually take over the commands, giving gentle rein and leg aids.
Advice courtesy of Pen Llyn Lusitano Stud and Riding Centre