I am translating a video game into German and I have many lines which in English use the gerund (-ing form) of a verb. If I understand correctly, in German the present participle (-nd form of a verb) is used much less often than we might use the gerund in English. Lingolia (https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/verbs/participles) says it can be used in various cases for "simultaneous actions or actions that are in progress at or around the moment of speaking," but this is a broad category and it seems to me it would not be appropriate to use a participle in every such case. Are there any clear rules beyond that for when it should or should not be used?
For example, in English I might have a sentence like
Two fine-looking horses stand at the edge of the forest, one drinking water and the other idly nibbling some leaves.
I could translate this as
Zwei gut aussehende Pferde stehen am Waldrand, das eine Wasser trinkend und das andere träge auf einigen Blätter knabbernd.
These actions all happen at the same time, but I believe this is not proper style in German, so I need to change it to something like this:
... das eine trinkt Wasser und das andere knabbert träge auf einigen Blätter.
To give another example,
Using a chair and the carvings around the door for support, you deftly make your way up to the window.
If I translate the -ing form of the verb into the participle in German it would be something like
Sich mit einem Stuhl und der Schnitzerei um der Tür herum stützend, kommst du geschickt zum Fenster an.
But I get this sense that this is wrong, and that I would have to instead say something which changes the sense of the text slightly, like
Du stützt dich mit einem Stuhl und der Schnitzerei um der Tür herum, um geschickt zum Fenster anzukommen.
Is there anything beyond my own instinct as to what sounds wrong that can guide me here?