Creating and maintaining a good walk in a dressage test is sometimes easier said than done. Four-star event rider Georgie Strang has some helpful advice on how to achieve a good, relaxed but active walk. Then, don’t miss our selection of competitions for you to showcase what you’ve learnt…
1. Practise — It is important a horse learns to stretch and relax in walk at home first — even out hacking you want to teach them to take the rein forward and down, so when you get into a competition environment they are used to the feeling.
2. Leg — Keep your leg on — if your horse jogs, do not take the leg off as they can learn to use this as an evasion.
3. Relax — Stay relaxed and soft. Try to move your hips with the movement of the horse.
4. Take it steady — Ease out the rein gradually so the horse doesn’t suddenly feel insecure. When collecting the reins back up, make sure you also do this steadily.
5. Encourage — Practice at home by using your voice and giving your horse a pat and scratch on the neck.
6. Variety — When training, vary the movement after you have collected the rein, so you horse doesn’t always anticipate walk to trot or canter, and they wait on your aids.
Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these events and competitions available to enter where you can show off what you’ve learnt…
Date: 30 December
Venue: Field House, Staffordshire
Details: “There are classes from intro to elementary with Trailblazers qualifiers. There are also Pony Club Dengie qualifiers too. All classes are open to juniors and seniors.”
Date: 4 January
Venue: Moreton Equestrian Centre, Dorchester
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes ranging between prelim and prix st georges, plus para tests too. There are two all weather outdoor sand and fibre arenas and a new 80x65m wax/fibre outdoor arena, running up to four tests concurrently. There is ample hard standing parking and on-site catering, providing a variety of hot and cold food and drink.”
Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings