The key to performing this movement well is fluency. Clearly the horse needs to have obtained a trot in the movement before this that’s engaged and ‘well balanced’ with the horse remaining round in outline and accepting the contact whilst thinking forwards and through.
What I like to see…
The horse should pass H heading deep into the corner with freedom and positivity, then a seamless and well balanced transition to walk just before making the turn to walk. With the horse’s body bending clearly to the right, the walk steps need to be long (at least tracking up) with the hind feet following the tracks of the front feet. Then after 3 or 4 steps of walk (not 1 or 2 and also not 5 or 6), the horse should fluently go forwards in trot remaining round, connected and in front of the leg.
Typical errors include…
Against the hand (resisting) to walk.
Hollowing and losing connection.
Unbalanced with weight tending to the forehand / stumbling.
Lacking straightness / quarters swinging.
Poor quality walk.
Not enough walk / too much walk.
Losing fluency and forward desire.
Half halt to balance the trot effectively whilst passing H.
Think ‘forwards to walk’ instead of ‘back to walk’.
Encourage the stride length with your seat during the walk steps.
Ride the corner especially deep and accurate as this will stand out from others that don’t.
Breathe out in both transitions to lower your centre of gravity.
Keep your eyes on his ears and ensure they give a soft and focused feeling to the judge (not flat back or pricked.
Look confident with a long leg, an even and elastic contact, a deep seat and a tall body.
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