Is the Forward Seat Still Relevant? Peter Wylde on Riding Style and Evolution of Position

Is the Forward Seat Still Relevant? Peter Wylde on Riding Style and Evolution of Position

Americans are known for their smooth, forward position on the horse, so much so that it became known as the 'American Forward Seat'. But how has it evolved over the years as our light, sensitive Thoroughbreds have blended with the heavier horses of Europe? Does it still provide the same effective foundation today, or is it less relevant?

In this episode, host Caroline Culbertson sits down with Olympic Gold Medalist and former top show jumping rider, Peter Wylde. Peter, whose depth and breadth of experience also includes coaching top eventing like Boyd Martin and Liz Halliday Sharp, digs into all of the above questions, and so much more. The amount of knowledge covered in this special episode is truly astounding, and includes topics such as:

  • How the American “Forward Seat” originated, and how it’s blended with the European style of riding to create a more modern, effective version

  • The effects of globalization of the sport on rider position

  • Why modern course design has had a direct impact on how riders position themselves in the saddle

  • A list of riders who Peter believe are excellent riders to study and emulate

  • Defining what “riding style” actually means and encompasses

  • The role that confidence plays in developing (and keeping) a positive riding style

  • The differences in both environment and rider culture between top 3 Day Eventing and Show Jumping competitions. 

  • The nuances of coaching elite level riders

It’s worth noting that if you like what you hear, Peter Wylde has an Equestrian Masterclass available now that’s all about how to become an effective, smooth rider. You can get $50 off an annual membership by going to

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