By JOAN WILLIAMS – “Ride your horse forward and straighten it” and “Freely Forward” are just two well known dressage and pony club adages.
Riding our mounts forward is a tried and true training tool that has been around thousands of years.
Safety – Horses can rear or become balky when behind the leg. It is difficult for a horse to rear if he is forward, they must first stop if only for a split second to go up. A good fix for bucking horses is also to ride them forward…the horse will put its head down to bring his hindquarters up. If you ride him forward, the head comes up, the strides become longer and the bucking evens out into a canter.
Improving the gaits – A trot with a slow tempo, no over-track, and not much energy will be greatly improved by consistently keeping the horse “in front of the leg”. The strides will begin to lengthen, and the rider can use their posting timing to quicken the tempo to a desired bpm and the energy will improve. That same correction will take a horse that is hollow or unsteady in the contact and help push the horse into a more consistent frame and help him learn to use his back. A lazy or unenergetic walk and canter can be improved as well.
Correctness – Riding the horse forward will push him towards the bit. Pushing the horse with your driving aids into an elastic contact with your arms and back will help get him connected. Utilizing regulating aids will help straighten, balance and keep a steady tempo while riding the horse forward. Riding the horse forward is one of the components to achieve throughness and cadence
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