Last in the inspired by dressage judging set!
Free walk on a long rein.
This is another easy if you know what you are doing movement. But not everyone knows what the movement is really asking for. I saw a lot of dropped horses that collapsed and stopped working through from behind. There are double points for this movement for a reason 😉 We want to see stretch, carriage, overtrack, reach and engagement. None of this can happen if you drop the horse.
Instead of dropping the reins and mooching along on the buckle with no leg, you want to keep a contact and use your leg.
Relax your contact to allow your horse to stretch down. There should still be a contact, not floppy reins. By keeping the contact – albeit a long contact, you are helping your horse keep self carriage within the stretch. You must also keep the leg on to encourage your horse to swing through their back and really reach through from behind to increase the overtrack – this only comes from a really good self carried stretch.
You cannot get good marks without this, and this is a great and easy exercise to practice at home. You should even notice the walk improving when you do it properly.