How to keep your horse in walk during a dressage test

Creating and maintaining a good walk in a dressage test is sometimes easier said than done. Five-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…

Unaffiliated evening dressage

Date: 11 October
Venue: Urchinwood Manor Riding and Event Centre, Bristol
Details: “This evening competition has classes from intro to novice.”
Enter now

British Dressage

Date: 12 October
Venue: Forest Edge Arena, Swaffham
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes ranging between prelim and advanced medium with qualifiers.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated dressage

Date: 12 October
Venue: Moulton College Equestrian Centre, Northampton
Details: “This competition has classes ranging between intro and novice.”
Enter now

Stress-less dressage

Date: 13 October
Venue: Ladyleys, Oldmeldrum
Details: “This unaffiliated competition involves warming up in an indoor school for 20 minutes, then after picking a dressage test, you ride the test in the same arena you have warmed up in.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated dressage

Date: 13 October
Venue: Netherton Equestrian Centre, Perth
Details: “This competition has classes ranging between intro and advanced medium.”
Enter now

British Dressage

Date: 17 October
Venue: Field House, Staffordshire
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes ranging between prelim and inter II.”
Enter now

Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings