I have heard some people say that the horse should be straight, no real bend either way, but move the shoulders over when getting to E...which sounded weird to me.
So, horse should be bent to the right, hit the rail just before E and leave it just after the letter then?
(Sorry for all the questions and thanks for your help BTDT!)
To achieve the correct inside bend through the turn, think about having the hind legs step deeper into the turn than the forelegs.
I wouldn't/don't worry about showing any more bend than that at this level. I don't concern myself with inside bend in the free walk. It should appear very straight. Half halts into and out of the medium walk are on the outside rein, so in that sense there is briefly some inside bend. Maybe the slightest shoulder fore prior to picking up the trot.
Their primary concern is with the rhythm and march of the walks and the quality of the gait. Do the directives even mention bend? I don't have access to a test sheet right now but that's worth checking.
Yes. Sorry. I wasn't getting how you could get an outside bend. Just think of doing a half circle to make that turn. Don't try to make a sharp turn. Like Silverbridge said, don't worry so much about bend, but keeping active.
As an "L" judge, watching these tests one of the biggest issues you see is wrong bend. So, just make sure you're bending in the direction you are going. I would not mark you off UNLESS I see you're obviously bent in the wrong direction, which is an issue.