Dressage Today OnDemand Review: Janet Foy – Rhythm and Tempo with a Forward Horse

Sharing my experience as I explore Dressage Today OnDemand!

The Dressage Today OnDemand Ambassador Experience

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My husband and I are currently driving from Kentucky to Pennsylvania for an annual Friendsgiving. This tradition has been one I look forward to every year as my college friends and I take the weekend after Thanksgiving to catch up on our lives, cook, ride, and enjoy our friendships that have lasted over the years.

The 9 hour long drive is not one to look forward to, however this year I’m streaming Dressage Today OnDemand videos! Usually my husband is subjected to my eclectic music selections while I sing along. Poor guy.

My computer died part way through the trip. Ugh. Back to my playlist? A quick thought entered my mind: I wonder if Dressage Today has an app? I pulled up my trusty iPhone and searched the app store. What do you know? There IS an app for that! While I much prefer to stream on my computer, I was able to easily find any favorites I had marked online or search for new videos. I found a few that I will be watching later!

My goal with access to a portal of dressage content is to find videos relevant to my current level of training with Josie and to watch pairs that present the results I am aiming for. The mind is a powerful tool. Modeling correct riding can lead to correct riding!

A video that caught my eye was a 20-minute clip with Janet Foy coaching a rider on how to maintain the correct rhythm and balance in a forward-thinking horse. That could be helpful! Josie is very forward and sensitive. Her little brain will go into overdrive and start spewing answers left and right in anticipation of what I might ask for. I spend most of my rides asking her to wait for me and to breathe. I love a forward horse though. Give me something that you can breathe down versus constantly reminding to go forward any day!

My Review: Janet Foy – Rhythm and Tempo with a Forward Horse

“FEI 5* Judge Janet Foy works with a rider on a strong, forward thinking horse. Janet emphasizes being “boring” so that the horse relaxes. It’s important for the horse to have energy, but it has to stay balanced. The rider’s leg keeps the tempo but shouldn’t push him too much as that can make the horse go downhill.” 

Click here to watch this video.


The horse and rider were lovely to watch and I really enjoyed Janet’s teaching style. She motivated the rider to challenge the horse in a way that was easy to understand. I felt that I could carry many of these concepts over to my riding at home.

Janet complimented the rider on how well she had done with the developing the trot, but noted that the horse needed to find that same balance in the canter. I’m listening Janet! We are also working on this!

She encouraged the rider to shorten her reins which would allow her to take the horse’s energy and power back onto the hind legs. There were visible differences in the horse’s carriage just by making a few small adjustments. This is what I love about dressage. Through simple adjustments and careful building of the horse, we can create harmony.

Here were my take home points from this video:

  • Keep it boring with a forward thinking horse.
  • In the giving moment after a half-halt, the horse should maintain the same self carriage.
  • Use your inside leg like a rhythm stick when riding shoulder in.
  • Keep your elbows in front of your hips. If your elbows have to come back, your reins are too long.
  • In travers you should aim to have the same amount of bend in front of the saddle as behind the saddle. (Good to know! Tori just mentioned in my lesson that we should begin asking for this at walk.)
  • If you’re having trouble in an exercise, don’t keep doing that exercise. Do another exercise that will create a solution to the problem.
  • The horse should be in the outside rein because his hind leg is stepping into it, not because you are pulling on it.

Follow Me!!

I hope you enjoyed this review of one of the many videos available on the the Dressage Today OnDemand website! Check back for weekly reviews as I share my experience as a Dressage Today OnDemand Ambassador, post updates on training with Josie, and blog my story on It’s My Life!

Happy riding!

Sara

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