The Russian president was shown cantering on horseback alongside female police officers in footage broadcast across the country.
He was visiting a mounted police regiment at a training facility in Moscow on the eve of International Women's Day.
Flanked by women on white horses, Putin rode a brown one, before he took centre stage as the officers surrounded him in rows.
However, his horse would not stay in formation and walked backwards, with the helpless leader seemingly unable to stop it.
Guards eventually coaxed the creature back into line.
Mr Putin has carefully cultivated a macho image during his 19 years in power and has been pictured riding a horse bare-chested in Siberia and taking a dip in icy water.
The Russian leader reportedly gave the police officers a horse named Golden Ray after the event.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, Mr Putin said women were increasingly taking an interest in working in law enforcement agencies and that just over a quarter of employees at the Interior Ministry were now women.
The 66-year-old's approval ratings have fallen recently due to years of lower real incomes and an unpopular move by the government last year to raise the retirement age.
Additional reporting by agencies