The Power of Walk


Sit down with a nice cup of tea and have a read of Diana's latest horsey posts.

Slow the tempo

Jul 29, 2023

To begin with, I’ll just define what I mean when I say “tempo”, because I realised there are a few different definitions. When I talk about tempo, I mean beats per minute, so a slower tempo has less beats per minute – if the horse’s footfalls were in time with a metronome, slowing the metronome slows the tempo.  

In order to slow the tempo, at first it helps to slow the speed (how fast the horse is travelling through space) 

As the horse settles into slower tempo, the speed may eventually increase again, even if the tempo stays slow, by virtue of the horse beginning to take longer steps. However, I don’t push the horse into this – it is something that happens naturally as a result of being given more space between the footfalls to fill. 

I realised – it is the same with violin playing. I can play louder, smoother, more expressive, more accurately, more freely when I slow the tempo. At first it sounds worse.. because the larger space between the notes make faults more obvious, but bringing these faults to the surface in plain sight, not covered up by speed, means that I can unravel and correct them. 

I had a little play in the paddock. I hope it helps you visualise what I mean in the context of horses. Slow the tempo and give the horse space to find his balance, freedom and expression. 

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