By Jennifer Klitzke
Have you ever had a special ride with your naturally gaited horse that remains in your memory as one of those “dream rides”?
I had one of those “dream rides” today. Yes, it happened to be on a sunny, spring day after a week of gray rainy, no-ride days.
Never-the-less, my naturally gaited Tennessee walking horse, Makana, was as happy to be ridden as I was riding her.
She had all of the ingredients for a dream ride: naturally balanced, relaxed, forward, with rhythm, and we had harmony. Makana felt soft and supple; relaxed yet energetic, maneuverable and responsive to my leg and seat. She felt lifted in the head, neck,and withers, yet rounded in the back, and deep striding under her body beneath me.
I embraced every euphoric moment.
Yet, the exquisite steps didn’t last forever. No worry, each time I felt Makana lose her balance, I would regroup with a half halt by slowing down the tempo, lifting her head and neck with my hands by massaging upward, engaging her from behind and in the belly to lift her back in the frame of balance, and sending her off into a proud flat-footed walk.
What an amazing feeling!
Video: Flat-footed Walk