How Do I Do Awesome Walk Transitions?

Hey Superstar, we are about to discuss how to do an awesome collected walk, extended walk to ace your dressage test!

In really crude terms – the extended walk the head is down and the poll is below the withers. You still have a connection with the reins. In the collected walk, the poll is the highest point of the horse so it is above the withers.

You need to practice the transition from collected walk to extended walk and back for 5 minutes at the end of every ride, and make sure you are focusing on maintaining the connection the whole time (the horse isn’t allowed to jog either) and look at where the poll is sitting.

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey Riding Superstars! Today’s question is “how do you do an awesome collected walk, extended walk to ace your dressage test?”

Every dressage test you do there is normally some walk movements. At the early levels it’s medium walk to free walk on a long rein and in the high levels it’s collected walk into extended trot.

So what that is in really crude terms:
1. Horses head is up.
2. Then we put the horses head down, lengthen our reins – we want the horse to give us a really big march.

So you want to think, it’s like the horse is coming home or coming into the stable at feed time or the horse is going home on a trail ride. That big marching walk they give and then at the marker you have to be back up with the head. Now that’s so crude, but you know, like when you’re walking, if the walk is not an extended walk or free walk on the long rein, the horses head should be on the vertical, the poll at the highest point and medium walk is obviously a little bit freer and the collected walk is a little bit more collected, because you might go into a pirouette or you might do something else with it. The extended walk to free walk is the same.

The extended walk still has the same connection. With the free walk, you’d probably get away with putting loops in the reins, but the extended walk you don’t want any loops in the reins. You just want to show to the judge when I give the horse the space, the horse takes the space, and then at my marker, the horse comes back into the frame that I want, and of course now what normally happens in an extended walk or a collected walk when you collect it up, the horse jogs.

So really, really easy way to make sure that you get really good marks is every, every, every, every, every single time you ride, you do five of them at the end of the ride.

This is. I’m done with my ride, my horse goes, we’re done. He shakes. It’s all over. I wouldn’t want them to shake like that in an extended walk, so the horse has to learn the difference between I’m on the buckle, I’m off duty as such, and I can do whatever I want within reason – as opposed to an extended walk where you still have a job to do. You’ve got to march, you’ve got to stay with the connection. And you can see it’s a little bit hard for them because they go, oh, hang on, is it free time? Oh No, it’s not. Mommy told me off. So it’s all about getting that march.

The poll does need to be below the withers, so it’s all about the poll. The poll is the point between the two horses ears so that you can see that’s just a millisecond below the withers and then when you’re in collection, the poll has to be the highest point, which can be tricky, especially with stallions when their crest is so big.

So you can see now the poll is not the highest point. There we go and he’s going to stay on the vertical. Good boy. So practice that, do five of them every time you ride, and it will really improve.