lessons &
horse boarding

Ali Calkins, USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist, Bronze Bar recipient, and owner of Forward Strides, LLC, operates her boarding and training business with her husband Mike, at RF Horse Farm located off route 26 in Mount Airy, Maryland.

all-in-one best care for your horse

Dressage Training

Offering training to horses of all breeds, ages, and levels, and instruction to riders of all ages and levels.

Dressage Lessons

Private dressage lessons catered to each rider’s level to advance and achieve personal goals.

Horse Boarding

Ali believes in offering only the highest quality of care for her clients’ horses, supplying top quality feed, sawdust bedding, free choice high quality hay, ample turnout, and tending to all day to day needs.


Forward Strides offers layup and short term rehab for injured horses. We can offer a stall in a quiet environment, medical care, hand walking, bodywork from our rehab specialist and chiropractor/acupuncturist, and small paddock turnout.

building the foundation

Training programs catered to every horse’s individualized needs based on their fitness, education, and reasonable goals set by the owner.

 Private dressage lessons catered to each rider’s level to advance and achieve personal goals.

private boarding facility

The peaceful 68-acre facility boasts a 25-stall barn with an 80’x 200′ attached indoor arena with sand/fiber footing, a brand new 100’ x 200’ outdoor arena with sand/rubber footing, and great areas for hacking. In the barn we have a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled boarder tack room with lockers and an observation room adjacent to the indoor with heating and AC for your comfort while enjoying lessons and training rides.

why board & train

All barns run differently, but some barns offer only the basic needs for the horse. Anything outside of that such as wound care, vaccinations, farrier, dentist, etc, may be the owner’s responsibility to manage.

At Forward Strides, we believe in the importance of individualized care for our horses. We have a team of vets, farriers, body workers, dentists, and saddle fitters that we have developed a long-term relationship with to offer the best services possible to our clients. Ali oversees everything from the management, care, training, and lessons which creates a much more organized facility. This allows our clients to put everything in our hands and trust that their horse is getting the best possible care and more.

what people say

"Ali put me at ease immediately. She started out reacquainting me with tacking and grooming safely giving me confidence starting from the ground up."
"The horse care is phenomenal and I never have to worry when I’m not there; everything is always taken care of and communicated clearly to me. Great barn atmosphere with lovely horses and riders. You won’t find a better group of people and horses!"
"I continue to learn every day whether it is on horseback or on the ground and have become more confident than I ever thought I could."
"My mare, who is quickly approaching FEI levels, has been in training the last few years as well and has been produced slowly and correctly with kindness and compassion. Lessons with Ali are also very valuable and tailored to each individual with clear and easy to understand instruction."
"Most trainers are focused on the end result, whereas with Ali, she emphasizes not the goal but the correct road in order to achieve those goals. Not only have I improved and grown as a rider, but she has helped Tigger and I improve and grow as a team. With every dressage test we enter, we always improve our scores, which may not mean much to some, but it means the world to me."
Ali has shown me a whole new side to what it means to ride a horse. She helped re-educate me after years out of the saddle and takes the time to explain everything in a way I can understand. After months of taking lessons with her, I knew she would be the right trainer to help me find the right (first) horse for me and he would be in the best care possible at Forward Strides.
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