F – IS FOR FORWARD
What else? My favourite F word!
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
I’m loving the A-Z…
It’s my equine “Pause for thought”. I cannot ride every day, but I can think about myself and my influence on my horses’ way of going every day and this really helps! Keep them coming….
All very well, and I agree entirely. But – you haven’t addressed the issue, which is: HOW DO YOU GET THE LAZY HORSE TO GO FORWARD ??? i.e. IN AN ENERGETIC WAY !!
There has to be a way, without resorting to whips and spurs, etc. , or making the horse dead to the leg.
Your suggestions please.
Hey, Gillian. I will write a blog specifically on this for you, there are tips throughout the blog but I’ll bring the all together I one place for ease of reference. Thanks for the comment. Px
Two things come to mind. Firstly your body posture and whether you are holding back your horse without knowing it and secondly, transitions.
There are a number of blogs on the site that might help with this. Take a look : https://likecrystal.com/t-is-for-transitions/
Hope this helps – Patricia