The Walk

1. The walk is a marching pace in a regular and well-marked four (4) times beat with equal intervals between each beat. This regularity combined with full relaxation must be maintained throughout all walk movements.
2. When the foreleg and the hind leg on the same side move almost on the same beat, the walk tends to become an almost lateral movement. This irregularity, which might become an ambling movement, is a serious deterioration of the pace.
3. The following walks are recognised: Medium walk, Collected walk, Extended walk and Free walk. There should always be a clear difference in the attitude and overtracking in these variations.
3.1. Medium walk. A clear, regular and unconstrained walk of moderate lengthening. The Horse, remaining “on the bit”, walks energetically but relaxed with even and determined steps, the hind feet touching the ground in front of the hoof prints of the fore feet. The Athlete maintains a light, soft and steady contact with the mouth, allowing the natural movement of the Horse’s head and neck.
3.2. Collected walk. The Horse, remains “on the bit”, moves resolutely forward, with its neck raised and arched and showing a clear self-carriage. The head approaches the vertical position and a light contact is maintained with the mouth. The hind legs are engaged with good hock action. The pace should remain marching and vigorous, the feet being placed in regular sequence. The steps cover less ground and are higher than at the medium walk,
because all the joints bend more markedly. The Collected walk is shorter than the Medium walk, although showing greater activity.
3.3. Extended walk. The Horse covers as much ground as possible, without haste and without losing the regularity of the steps. The hind feet touch the ground clearly in front of the hoof prints of the fore feet. The Athlete allows the Horse to stretch out the head and neck (forward and downwards) without losing contact with the mouth and control of the poll. The nose must be clearly in front of the vertical.
3.4. Free Walk. The free walk is a pace of relaxation in which the Horse is allowed complete freedom to lower and stretch out his head and neck. The degree of ground cover and length of strides, with hind feet stepping clearly in front of the footprints of the front feet, are essential to the quality of the free walk.
The Walk
The walk is a pace in four (4)-beat rhythm with eight (8) phases (numbers in circles indicate the beat).
3.5. Stretching on a long rein. This exercise gives a clear impression of the “throughness” of the Horse and proves its balance, suppleness, obedience and relaxation. In order to execute the exercise “stretching on a long rein” correctly, the Athlete must lengthen the reins as the Horse stretches gradually forward and downward. As the neck stretches forwards and downwards, the mouth should reach more or less to the horizontal line corresponding with the point of the shoulder. An elastic and consistent contact with the Athlete’s hands must be maintained. The pace must maintain its rhythm, and the Horse should remain light in the shoulders with the hindlegs well engaged. During the retake of the reins the Horse must accept the contact without resistance in the mouth or poll.

Leave a Reply