I first came across the idea of walking your horse as a part/foundation of formal training in Gawani Pony Boy’s book, Horse Follow Closely. Ponyboy gives a story that an Indian brave would tie a rope around the horse, another around the waist of the Indian and the two would go on walkabout that would last for days.
The next time I read about walking your horse as part of training was in Klaus Hempflings’ book, Dancing with Horses. Here is a beautiful video of Klaus walking Rico:
Next I came across it as Companion Walking at Carolyn Resnick’s Method blog, book and DVD.
Here are some things (off the top of my head) that Companion Walking could help with:
2.) Building Trust especially if the horse is exposed to stimuli that he is unsure of (i.e. cars, deer, water etc…)
3.) Ground manners;
4.) Stimulates the barn sour, bored or zoned out horse;
5.) Change of pace for the horse who has an extensive ridden routine;
6.) Working through real life as presented along the walk.
7.) Helps the horse look to the Human as Leader.
I think the key component in the training and bond building between you and your horse has to be time spent doing nothing. Horses live on a different plane of time then we do. We have to bring ourselves into their world.
P.S. I’m sure there are many other examples. Post your own thoughts and links.