Posture in context-
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about posture in terms of good and bad. If you look in any dressage forum, you’ll see people critiquing a horse and rider’s posture to death. Knowing where you can go is important – having a good idea of what the end goal is is the only way to get there. But it is essential to not lose sight of the context-
What does the horse look like currently? Their posture can only change so much at once. A horse might go from carrying themselves tight and inverted, and as they loosen, stretch their neck out and down. Some folks might argue long and low is putting the horse on the forehand- but this was a horse already on the forehand. Going from tight and on the forehand to loose and on the forehand is an improvement. And an important one at that.
A horse isn’t going to get to an Olympic level carriage all at once. Let’s celebrate all the small steps they take along the way- just as you won’t go from an unfit couch potato to a triathlete, a horse needs small steps. So posture can’t really be categorized as good or bad – its more nuanced, and it’s important to see where the horse came from, where they are, and where they’re going.