I am a hunter rider but a frequent lurker on this board because I like to read and learn.
I was hoping you could please give me some exercises to help me learn to ride the walk better.
I have large but reasonably well proportioned tb, who understands forward, straight, give to pressure, etc. I find our trot and our canter can be really lovely and round, but I cannot figure out the walk.
I can get a lovely free walk, head bobbing, overtracking by a whole hoof, but as soon as I pick up contact he wants to shorten his stride.
I watched a Jane Savoie video about following through with the elbows and I practiced that, and with driving reins, and with and without stirrups AND with eyes closed (to feel the movement) and I still get the same reaction: collecting the reins = shortening the stride, only at the walk.
Leg on hard results in one or two better strides, only to either shorten again or break into a shuffle trot. My usual reaction when he shortens is to soften my hands completely and move him up again, establish a nice free walk, and try again.
After much experimentation, I believe it may be my seat, that when I collect the reins I stop moving my hips and he reacts to that.
If anyone has exercises or videos, I would very much appreciate it.