Free Walk and Halt
I have a 4yo TB mare. I'm getting ready to do our first show, and I need some help with the dressage test. For the free walk, she will stretch down and out, but she won't keep a good forward walk. If I ask her to go forwards more, she just stretches out, not down. I've tried squeezing my reins like sponges, but it has no effect on her. Also, in the halt, I can't get her to be straight. She always swings a hip out or takes a step at the last second. If I really try to squeeze her straight and into the halt, she tosses her head to avoid the "wall" that I made.
Is there anything I can do to help her stay forwards, and stretching down and out at the free walk? Is there a special way to ask for the halt so she HAS to stay straight?
Is this a matter of time and practice, or am I not asking her correctly?
4 is so very young. I think it is a matter of time and practice, in a general sense.
For free walk, don't "fiddle" with the reins too much. I understand what you mean by squeezing as sponges. But, if it comes down to a choice between the horse reacting to that with anxiety and head up , vs, horse walking freely with neck more out than down, take the second of those choices.
Ok thank you!
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