The free walk demonstrates long strides, a relaxed back and a lowering and stretching of the head and neck illustrating complete relaxation. It can be ridden with little or no contact. The horse is encouraged to carry his head and neck as low as he chooses.
How to Execute the Free Walk
Start in the a working walk.
Allow the reins to slide through your hands gradually.
Sit balanced and quiet using passive aids.
Gradually take the reins up until contact is achieved again.
If the previous work is correct, the horse
– will reach for the ground stretching the muscles on the top fo the neck
– will mouths the bit softly
– will exhales and blows through his nose
– swings through the back
Purpose of the Free Walk
To check that previous work has been correct.
To reward the horse for good work.
The horse uses the muscles on the underside of his neck to raise his head and neck.
The horse holds his breath.
The horse clamps rigidly on the bit or chews in nervously.
The horse is tense and his back is rigid.