Forward Fixes Everything

Welcome to Team Rider Equine LLC!

So many people who really know me have always said, “You should write a book!” (It may have something to do with I like to talk…ha!) Well, this blog is a way for me to share some of my discoveries and beliefs about riding that I’ve acquired by teaching so long.

My friends also know how much of a foodie I am. I love to eat good food, cook good food and share where I found good food. So, there may be a couple foodie blurbs from time to time also.

I want to start at the very beginning with the biggest solution to many problems….forward fixes everything.

What is forward??

Forward, as it pertains to this, is defined as “the direction that one is facing or traveling and also onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion”.

So forward is not necessarily speed, it is a direction and it requires energy.

With horses, forward is the action of asking the horse to have carriage while moving ahead. Ahead can be to the bit, a turn, a circle or a transition. Without forward movement the horse will tend to lag, hollow out, lose impulsion, or even rear.

The rider’s seat is the constant that keeps rhythm and balance, for the rider as well as the horse. The rider’s legs tell the horse the who, what and where that’s needed to go forward. Finally, a rider provides a good encouraging feel to the horse by opening their hands at the proper time to go forward to the bit which confirms the who, what and where.

Enter the rider that tends to “hold on” with their reins or legs by pinching at the knees or hanging with their calves. What happens? A horse won’t move freely forward, is hollow in the back and neck on transitions or even becomes a problem to pick up the canter.

Solution? Seek balance with a relaxed leg, wide shoulders and nicely secured seat. Once you’re in balance and sitting over the horse’s center you can help the horse do its job and LET it go forward.

The relaxed leg sometimes is harder to get to because of old bad habits, fear and weak legs. Come on let’s face it. Who didn’t grow up riding bareback with their legs wrapped tightly around their steed as the only way to stay on? A bad fall or experience can always incite feelings of insecurity thru the legs or hands because it is about regaining confidence in control.

This is a sport, so it is critical that you have built up strength, coordination and stamina in your legs. Because you know what? When you get tired, you grip and hold with your hands. Boom…forward is extinguished.

I have riders who have argued, quite convincingly I might add, that “I’m not gripping with my legs!” “I’m using my seat!” “Look, I’m not holding the reins!” But truth be told…you horse is telling me otherwise.

Well folks, it’s a process of patience, repetition and most importantly ALLOWING yourself to feel the horse moving forward. I have an eye for this, to be able to see what’s at the cause and effect scale and with some coaching many times a simple solution can be a huge breakthrough.

Now the fun “horses enrich our lives” part…if you learn to make a 1200 pound animal go forward, what’s stopping you in your life to do the same with your goals and dreams? Hmm. Confidence from making a step forward. YES!!!!

Your ultimate goal is to become one with your horse whether you show or pleasure ride, each enjoying their partner…are you a Team Rider?

“At Team Rider I help people to discover how to become the best team player their horse can have.”