When I tried out my gelding as a five year old before buying him, his walk was hurried as if he were about to trot at any moment. When I saw his owner ride him, I understood why.
As soon as the man mounted the horse, he kicked him into trot. The animal had never been allowed to walk calmly: so when I got on him, he began walking fast because he expected to have to trot immediately.
In the course of your horse riding training, you may also come across horses which are not relaxed and walk with hurried, anxious steps.
If so, when you learn horse riding, how to teach such an animal to relax under saddle and walk calmly will be useful to know.
Ride him in loops around the arena on a long rein or on the buckle. Speak to him in a calm and friendly voice, put both reins in one hand and use the other to scratch his mane. Change direction frequently and ride in large and smaller circles, but avoid changes of speed: keep the same even length of stride, otherwise you’ll undo all your good work.
Halt your horse and teach him to stand still while you talk soothingly to him, with no real contact on the reins. Then place your lower leg lightly against his body so that he learns to react to this gentle aid for walk and accepts the half-halts from your hand as you ask him to regulate his steps.
Only ask for upwards transitions when the horse stops hurrying in walk. He will hurry in trot if he hasn’t slowed down his walk. This process requires a lot of patience, a quality essential in all horse riding training.
A horse which has been rushing his walk for a long time won’t change overnight. But as he learns to trust you, he’ll relax and his natural walk steps will return.