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lateral walk in free walk on long rein....WHY?

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  • lateral walk in free walk on long rein....WHY?

    What causes a lateral walk. Is it genetic? training? muscling. Will it go away or stay forever?

    The 2 young horses that I am looking at show a lateral walk. The first is a 5yo WB mare. Video of dressage test shows lateral walk in part of, but not all of the free walk on the long rein portion of a test. Once the rein is picked up the walk is 4 beat.

    Second horse is 4yo. She has 4 beat pure walk under saddle but the walk is pokey.... trainer says that when she really moves out at the walk it becomes big but lateral.edit to add now that I've re-watched a recent vid I see lateral tendacies in her walk as well.

    Both of these horses have thier heads down when the lateral walk occurs.... most LW i've seen previously was in a high headed, giraffe moment on a WB mare.

    wondering why does the LW happen in this instance and will either of these 2 horses continue the LW when further in training?
    Last edited by NRB; Jun. 2, 2011, 09:30 PM.

  • #2
    i would look at teh walk when the horse is free and not being pushed.

    a young horse is still trying to figure out how to move with a rider, and any horse can loose a pure walk from incorrect riding.

    i have seen youngsters go from nothing to write home about walks to lovely, loose, articulated walks as they get older.


    • #3
      Ditto- it's very easy to mess up a horse's walk while riding. See how the horse looks at liberty.


      • #4
        My horse had a HUGE overstep and was very lateral as a youngster. Now with more strength and training he very rarely becomes lateral unless pushed too much.

        I've heard that this is a common problem with a large overstep in the walk.
        I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


        • #5
          I have learned to stay away from very
          large walks in young horses. My last purchase was a horse with a correct rhythm and not so long a walk stride. However, his walk is sometimes his best score. It seems as his suppleness and strength increased, his walk covered more ground, but the rhythm never was changed. Perhaps the OP is looking at horses with very big walks that are prone to losing rhythm?


          • Original Poster

            what I need to figure out is Once the walk is ruined and becomes lateral is there any hope of getting a pure walk Back?

            I've spoken to one trainer who said she'd never even look at a horse that has a lateral walk on video. That it is so hard to correct.


            • #7
              A couple trainers I know say the same
              it is so hard to correct
              so why buy it ...
              Buy the best natural walk & canter you can afford


              • #8
                Col. Lindgren once told a story about the Swedish WB stallion Hercules. He had ridden Hercules, who went to at least obe Olympics for dressage, when he was younger. He stated that the horse had a lateral walk.

                So at this clinic there was a grand filly from the Hercules line who also had a lateral walk. Col. Lindgren noted that it appeared that Hercules did throw (i.e. genetic) this characteristic. He noted that #1 - don't over practice the walk don't lunge at the walk and always ride the walk in a shoulder fore or shoulder in position, which tends to break up the lateral tendencies.

                If you teach the W/T and C on a long rein you can also teach SF on a long rein, so I'd start using that advice to see if you can alleviate that issue. A tense (fast) horse can also walk more laterally and once they settle it can be eliminated, so perhaps getting the horse out to multiple "show type" atmosphere's to reduce that tendency.
                Now in Kentucky


                • Original Poster

                  I might be in denial...

                  ok so the 5yo that shows a LW in her free walk on video could probably be ruled out. I've got one friend who shows I1 who's seen her video agree that she's got a LW that is "almost unfixable".

                  But I'm having a hard time writting off the 4yo who I've never seen LW. I've just had her trainer tell me that the mare will LW if pushed out at the walk, that she did that early on in her training and that it's either gone away or going away.... I've watched her go with the trainer, I've ridden her at walk for like 20 min (most on video) and she never shows LW the day I was there.... she was in season the day that I rode her and super pokey. I can watch her go at a show and see if I see any LW when she's in a more tense environment...

                  edited to add I've seen her edge towards lateralness in one of her vids.
                  Last edited by NRB; Jun. 2, 2011, 09:31 PM.


                  • #10
                    a pokey walk can be due to a slow hind leg (one of the causes) and a slow hind leg will often translate to a lateral walk in the collected walk- the hind leg cannot keep up with the front legs, and it is really really really hard to improve. What does the mare do when you take up contact and try to "collect" the walk (obviously not a Grand Prix collection, but can you shorten the steps yet still keep the hind leg active so it is not lateral?)


                    • #11
                      A walk becomes lateral when it the horse is slowed/held by the hand and the legs say go/hurry. Remember walk's beat is: ie rh/rf/lh/lf....so the progression IS lateral, but it is not apparently lateral rh/rf lh/lf unless it is hurried. Putting the horse to shoulder in can help 'purify' it, as can slowing/doing counted walk. Shortening the steps is not what makes a walk lateral, but holding and then pushing can.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda


                      • #12
                        born that way?

                        It has been my experience that most LWs are born that way; as are horses with a large "loose overstep. How is the canter of these horses?
                        breeder of Mercury!

                        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                          A walk becomes lateral when it the horse is slowed/held by the hand and the legs say go/hurry. Remember walk's beat is: ie rh/rf/lh/lf....so the progression IS lateral, but it is not apparently lateral rh/rf lh/lf unless it is hurried. Putting the horse to shoulder in can help 'purify' it, as can slowing/doing counted walk. Shortening the steps is not what makes a walk lateral, but holding and then pushing can.
                          I get this, but both mares are showing lateral walk on a long rein. when the head comes up the walk gets more lateral... I see that... but both horses are on a loose rein.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
                            It has been my experience that most LWs are born that way; as are horses with a large "loose overstep. How is the canter of these horses?
                            I thought that the canter of one was quite lovely... the other I've not seen in person but it looks like a fine canter.


                            • #15
                              Why go there? I would start with a horse with 3 pure gaits as basic minimum requirement. They are easier to work with and no retraining is needed. Horses have enough individual quirks without buying a noticeable issue.
                              Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014


                              • #16
                                A horse gets a lateral walk when you collect them up too much in the walk, but on a long rein I've never seen a horse do it. also when you are collecting your horse at the walk, make him go shoulder fore, not quite shoulder in, that way you keep a pure walk as well


                                • #17
                                  There is no reason a walk should get lateral when you collect it more, actually it should go toward diagonalization. It is the driving a collected walk that makes it diagonal.

                                  To the OP are these young mares??
                                  I.D.E.A. yoda


                                  • #18
                                    @ideayoda, thats exactly what I said, if you collect them up too much, (by collecting I mean, driving with your legs and saying whoa with your hands) thats when they get a lateral walk.


                                    • #19
                                      Collecting means a shortened and very articulated (with the joints) action (it can easily be changed to piaffe/big short steps).
                                      I.D.E.A. yoda


                                      • #20
                                        I have seen lateral in free walks when the rider is shoving with their seat looking for the big walk. Its easy to fix - sit still and stop shoving. Maybe you can ride them and see how they respond, if thats how they were being ridden. Just a thought, havent seen them...
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.