Everything Else Training

Exercise of the Day: Walk zig-zags

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 06.49.20This may not seem a very exciting exercise, but it’s very good for the horse, getting it to wait, listen, and respond immediately, and also for improving the rider’s reactions (because you have to keep completely changing your aids.)
It is quite difficult to do spot-on!
You simply zig-zag in and out, to and from the track, changing bend at the end of every part of the movement.

Young horses usually find it easy to step across towards the perimeter boards/fence but aren’t always so willing to step away from it at first.

I often count how many zigs and zags I can do before reaching the other end, so that I gradually increase the difficulty.

About the author



  • Hi Sally,
    Yes, of course this is a great one to do out hacking. Very good for really getting control of the horse’s body in case of inconsiderate drivers too!
    Point taken, I’ll work on some more exercises that don’t require an arena! Thanks for the feedback.

  • haha i’m only poking fun

    i’ve a million books full of wonderful exercises, sadly if you’ve only access to hacking there’s very few of them you can do. But damn we’re amazing at leg yielding, and i’m noticing horse does a perfect halt the second he hears the phone ring in my pocket. hmmmm that one isn’t in the books though.

  • Thank you for putting this exercise up! Used it today while schooling my mare who has been in season and it was a great way to start the session. It really helped me to get her concentrating without putting too much pressure on her which she often resists when she’s hormonal! It also helped me to get her working around my inside leg which can often be difficult when she is being a bit touchy. It also benefited me as I was thinking much more quickly from the outset and being really concious of what aids I was using.