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SWR Blog: Struggling with “Forward”

Many of us often hear this phrase: “You need more forward!” However, developing “forward” in the arena can be both difficult and frustrating, as you work on your daily horsemanship goals.

While entering the Cowboy Dressage court for competition, my horse and I have struggled with this exact problem. Yet, the same horse that showed no forward on the way in has so much forward when I am leaving the arena, that I hardly know what to do with it. But what I found was, that drilling with the same maneuvers, no matter how much you switch them up, can contribute to a loss of forward purely out of boredom.

So, get out of the arena from time to time. Find outside spaces to trail ride with lots of room to move forward. It is here that I have continued to develop my free walk, jog and lope. Both my equestrian partner and I find new scenery fun and interesting. And when I return to the arena at the end of the ride, we are able resume our working on our maneuvers, both of us feeling revived, with renewed sense of forward.

This makes for a happy horse and a happy rider.



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