March was a bit rough, because we had a two weeks off due to the thrush (which is doing much better). Without further ado, here are the four videos.
Video 1: 03.06.16
I thought this one was a decent ride. I did feel like I was getting dumped off to the left and I never really got him straight, which is why I was struggling to get him balanced.
When D watched this video she told me it was time to lose the draw reins (I had already taken the other one). Basically, we are getting boringly consistent and it is time to lose the crutch.
Video 2: 03.13.16
This video was a little short and weird (soloshot had a glitch and I cut five minutes of sky out) and it was getting dark, so the quality is crappy.
He started out tense, because he was being an asshole at the mounting block and I got after him (so obviously the world is going to end). I was trying to walk him forward and he decided that forward was not ok (aka the halts were not asked for or encouraged). The halt at 1:40ish was the first one I asked for. Also he felt a little off and I think I see something. Despite the appearances, I was trying to get him to lower his head, but I think we were both on the struggle bus.
You did a nice job through the walk and even once you started trotting of managing him. Give the guy some props his feet hurt but he was still trying.
Video 3: 03.28.16
This is the one where I freaked out about him being lame and the reality was he was just sticky and a bit crooked since he had two weeks off (face palm). I also didn't take the draw reins off until the very end (I meant to take them off half way through).
D's take on his hind stepping short is that he is actually trying to step longer, but I am not capturing the front enough, so he is driving out not up and that makes it feel shot. Basically, I need steadier rein contact to box the energy slight more (I start doing this better at 13:26).
He is looking better every video (YAY!!), but I need to make sure I have control over the outside. I am still losing it a bit and he spins out on the circle (mainly to the left). At 17:54 I get a good correction.
D suggested that I shorten my stirrups a hole (I tried that for an April video). She also suggested that I start squaring off my turns. So I move the front end in front of this hind end. And also to do some dramatic counter bending. I need to be more dramatic about it, so I get a quicker response. Also, when he tightens up in the trot, hollows, and brings his head up I need to start pushing him up and over. No more halting. I have to think leg on and forward but grab the energy with my hands and make the neck let go. It is going to be chaotic for a while, but he needs to learn.
Video 4: 03.31.16
I forgot to take the draw reins off, but I did make an effort to keep them really loopy and not actually use them. I think I used them about twice. He was leaning really hard on my left leg (theme of the ride), so I tried leg yielding him off the left. Then we spiraled in and out at the walk (both directions). I am still not getting him as straight as I want him. The haunches are still right and the left shoulder is braced and leaning.
When we were going right, he was fussy because I was trying to counter bend him to get him to step the left over to the right and actually get him straight instead of braced. I also thin I am sitting unevenly or collapsing my right side. Ahh the end I tried playing with some leg yields, but he started getting fussy and was trying to pull to the rail. He had to walk straight down the quarter line and just settle.
He is well aware the draw reins are loose and is taking advantage. It is going to feel like you are going back to square one, but you still need to have the same rules apply. It gets better at 12:00, and the trot is better than the walk. The walk will be hard but it is good to see more relaxation.
At 14:00 we get much straighter and my position is more correct. Sometimes he is resisting the straightness, but I am staying consistent so he gives. He never gets all out of whack. She says I am riding really well and he is mad because I have the shoulders in check. 16:32 I took too much to the inside and we got a bit backwards. 17:36, I counter bent him and got him straight again.
This is the best straightness she has seen from us (he is just grumpy about having to be straight). I need to rewatch this video. She also commented that my riding is much better on the difficult days than it is when he is behaving, so that is something I need to work on.