Watch: The ultimate guide to paces – walk

Confuse extended walk with a free walk – or maybe you’d like to improve your medium canter? Whatever your aims, dressage rider and trainer Emma Woolley will help unveil your horse’s best paces.


  • Walk is a four-beat gait. When viewed from the side you should be able to see a distinct ‘V’ shape formed by the handle and the corresponding foreleg just before the fore hoof lifts.

  • The walk is a pace without suspension – there will always be at leat two hooves on the ground at any given point in the sequence.

Free walk is a movement included in all dressage tests up to medium level. This movement is ridden on a long rein, not a loose one. Your horse should march forwards and look as if he's going somewhere.

Extended walk is required from elementary tests upwards. Your horse is in a long frame, stretching out his head and neck and covering as much ground as possible.

Collected walk first appears in dressage tests at medium level. It isn’t an easy pace to ride and train, and it’s recommended that you wait until your horse can confidently collect his trot and canter before tackling collection in walk.

For more advice on paces, see the full article in issue 455.

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