I almost didn't post this considering it is nearly two months over due. But I really like these posts to keep track of our progress, so enjoy (or skip over it). It is also funny writing this up when we have progressed so much since then, but it is a good reminder.
05.09.16 Video Lesson
The trot work felt better than it looks. He felt like he was actually reaching for the contact instead of tucking into the false contact. At the end I did some turns on the forehand/haunches and leg yields. This is the first video where I really felt like I was struggling with my balance at the trot.
I need to relax and ride my horse. I am locking in my lower back and regressing back to when I was first figuring out how to ride him and was super defensive. I need to remember to breathe and let go (true on so many levels).
The walk is looking really good and I am doing a good job of managing him in the walk, which is funny because D thought the walk is what we would struggle the most with. Now I just need to transfer that mindset to the trot because the walk is our happy place right now.
I am doing a better job with the trot (above). D thinks that the majority of our problems are because I am too tense and he is now in the neutral, so I need to meet him there. I need to get out of my head and stop worrying so much.
Our lateral work is improving, but I need to stop once I get the correct response and not push for more. I need to go for baby steps instead of trying to go for everything (29:07).
05.15.16 Video Lesson
I was fairly happy with this video. I felt like most of the issues were due to me. I was waiting for some new stirrup leathers to come in, so I could shorten them a hole. We had done a fair amount of walk before the video starts and I really think that helps him to loosen up and relax.
Our first trot transition is one of the best we have done and the trot work is the best it has been since we removed the side reins. I was looking much more relaxed in the trot. We had a nice diagonal until I flubbed the corner (I remembered that there is a dip in that corner at the last minute and turned him abruptly). In general, I need to use my aids better in the corners.
05.24.16 Video Lesson
I was pretty happy with this video. It was after I had a couple lessons with my favorite dressage judge, so I was a bit disappointed that the leg yields weren't as good as they had been. I was having some trouble to the right, and I think it was because he was locking up in the poll and I couldn't quite get him to give and I think that is why he was twisting his nose.
Right from the beginning, I took his neck away. I did have a bobble and ask for too much when I did the turn on the forehand. I shouldn't be afraid to let him trot when he starts to get worked up (I don't totally agree with this, because I have a system that is working for us, but it is good to keep in mind).
One interesting thing that D said was when I feel that tightness in the poll is it is actually his hind that is the problem. I need to really push the hind leg up under him and really emphasize the bend to get the release I want. She also feels that he tends to jam himself up in his shoulder, because he has really figured out how to bring the energy up from his hind.
Overall, D was really happy with how things are progressing.
05.29.16 Video Lesson
I kept this one short, because it was hot (little did I know that it was just getting started). I wasn't super happy with the trot work, because it felt like he was pulling with his front instead of pushing from behind. Also, he was blowing through my half halt attempts. I also played with the shoulder in (baby ones) and leg yields (they made him anxious, so I didn't do much). Overall, I was happy with the ride and he felt balanced and didn't take as long of a walk warm up to start stretching.
D was happy with the shoulder in. The one to the right wasn't as good, but it was a good starting place. The trot work at 7:00 looked really good. When I am doing the turn on the forehand, I was trying to hold him in it too long and now I need to make sure his feet are planted. He is wiggling too much and I need to get him planted and then ask. I also figured out that I was cueing for the turn on the haunches incorrectly.