I have this image of myself as a little old lady with cats. I am wondering round my yard mumbling – ‘forward, forward, forward’ then I march up to the ménage fence and yell out – FOOOORWAAAARD! Then the nurses come and take me away whilst bystanders whisper to each other … “she used to be a dressage trainer, you know” Hahahah
I am always banging on about getting your horse forward. It really is the first port of call for many, many issues. I have a Warmbloods, a Thoroughbred and a Lusitano and when I am asked which I prefer to ride and train my answer is this …
“ I really don’t mind what breed the horse is as long as he goes forward”
I have been known to say one thing in response to the pupil who has given me 10 minutes in depth analysis of what they consider to be their problems … FORWARD!
Without that urge to go forward from the leg; to be a forward thinker, the half-halt which is the cornerstone of balance, engagement and preparation for just about everything is just not effective. Forward is nothing to do with speed, if you are used to a short striding, slow gait it might feel “too fast” at first but a forward thinking horse which is attentive, active and has energy that can be channelled is a much better prospect than one that needs constant reminders.
There is nothing wrong with being a ‘lazy rider’ if what you are referring to is that you want the horse to do most of the work!
Here’s what to do … Ensure your horse is forward, Simples!
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster