ANY IDIOT CAN DO Dressage in Walk!

I like dressage in walk.

dressage in walkI can sit beautifully (!), I can establish whatever movement I want to do in Walk, I can actually do laterals properly – shoulder in, travers, half pass in Walk.  And, I’m good at it … 😉   Moving up to trot and then canter is a different matter.

I remember an instructor of mine many years ago saying “any idiot can do it in walk” – nice! dressage in walk

Try this exercise in walk to improve your co-ordination and supple your horse.
  • On a circle establish the bend
  • Ask for shoulder-fore  on the circle
    • by bringing the inside leg forward a little to move the shoulder out
    • capture the movement of the shoulder with the outside rein
    • the inside hand should be a fraction higher than the outside
    • look 3 metres in front of you across the circle
    • it is essential that your shoulders are level with those of the horse
    • you are looking for a little more bend than you would normally see on the circle
  • Allow a quarter of the circle in shoulder fore and then release the shoulder and continue on the circle
  • Next, you should ask for quarters-in
    • by bringing the outside leg back a little
    • again hold everything with the outside rein
    • weight into the inside seat-bone
    • shoulders level with the horses
    • looking 3 metres in front of you across the circle
    • again, just a shift in is sufficient, a little more bend than you would normally see on the circle

dressage in walk

Alternate between shoulder-fore and quarters-in on the circle for about 6 circles, then go straight and give your horse the rein to have a good stretch. Perhaps pop into a stretchy trot to loosen and free everything up, before you go again on the opposite rein.

[Tweet “Never under-estimate the power of establishing your aids are correct and you are in balance in walk”]
Then you can move up to the trot and canter exercises, knowing that your horse is capable of the flexibility required for the movement.
It’s just a matter of perfect practice to get it in the faster gaits.  If you struggle, come back to walk, go through the movement again and give it another go and remember, your horse must put in as much effort as you.  A clean, active, forward thinking walk is a must if you are using it to strengthen your progression.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster
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