Moving It Up Top

We have been working on the Spanish walk for a good year now. Lately it’s just to warm up, a good way to make sure his cinch is fit properly and that he is listening. I should be working on perfecting it, I guess we are adding to it bit by bit. In the beginning I didn’t work on it while riding because he has such a strong tendency to paw whenever he gets frustrated, I didn’t want it to get in the way of riding. He is coming along so nicely now that I decided to try to transfer it to the saddle.

For the first try we worked on it lots from the ground. We strongly refreshed his vocal cue instead of physical. Soon he was offering his Spanish walk, we’ll be generous and not just call it enthusiastic pawing, every time I moved. It was now the default behavior. The goal was to get on and have him offer it just as readily. It could then be put on cue and there we have it, Spanish walk.

On his back, it worked! Just as planned! Mostly. From the ground he can do several steps in a row, with good forward motion, and some actual semblance to a true Spanish walk. From his back he can paw with great height and enthusiasm, with one foot at a time, standing still. He picked up a new cue for it easily, vocal still and a tap on the shoulder to ask for a side. Maybe he’s mostly offering enthusiastically and working from the vocal cue but close enough.

We will keep working at it and hopefully reach the point we are at on the ground. Until then it going to be fun practicing!

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