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Walk This Way

Is the walk your weakest link? Justin Ridgewell, an FEI competitor and Equine Canada certified “B” dressage judge based in Collingwood, ON, says the walk is one of the most difficult gaits due to its lack of natural forward movement. Without that natural forwardness, any irregularity in the walk rhythm becomes visible to even the untrained eye. As the only gait which carries a coefficient of 2 in every test from training level right through to grand prix, the walk is worthy of attention within your regular schooling routine. “Walk breaks should still be considered work within your training program,” says Ridgewell. “Maintain a slight contact with the horse’s mouth and create a marching walk while taking a break, rather than just throwing your reins to the buckle and relaxing your core. Continuing to pay attention to the quality of the gait, even while taking a break, will help improve…

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