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One thing he said that really hit home for me went something like this: 'the rider does not get to take a break during the free walk. The rider gets a break only after exiting at A.'
The point he was making was that it is the rider's job to show off her horse throughout the entire test, and that she should be fit enough to not need a break during the free walk. The audience laughed, of course, because we all must do the same thing!
This idea has really changed what the free walk means to me. I'll be honest, I really took it as an opportunity for me to regroup, rest, and prepare for the next element of the test. It never occurred to me that the free walk was also an element of the test and should be ridden with the same degree of focus as any other movement. What a concept!