My Initial Thoughts:
Things started off a little iffy. He was very amped up at the beginning (read it took me ~6 minutes of soothing to get him to calm enough to stand for me to mount). I hadn't ever ridden him in the rain, he was spooky on the lunge line, and right as I started to get on the horses in the pasture started running around. All of those things considered, we don't look as tense as I had expected.
One of the things that sticks out about my position is I am not getting my butt tucked under me. Part of this is due to the fact that I have a butt, but I could do better. It is miles better than when I first started with D. I have mostly lost the arch I used to have in the lower back, but as always there is room for improvement. I think if I could get it under me better, it would help with my balance issues.
I wasn't able to establish the bend as well or as quickly as I did yesterday, but I did feel like I did a decent job giving with my hands when he stretched. Yes, I missed some spots, but overall I think that is getting much better. He is still bracing in the under neck, but I feel like that has improved slightly and will take time and consistent work. It will probably always be an issue I have to keep an eye on.
In general, I need to use smaller circles. I keep forgetting my instructions to keep them small and always go back to the small circles. When I widen my hands, I need to keep my elbows at my side. It looks like I am trying to fly (oops). At one point (I couldn't identify it in the video), I realized that all my weight was to the inside and I need to keep myself more centered. I was losing the outside of his body and he was just scooting instead of bending.
Overall, I need to ask for more. At the time it felt like enough, but watching the video I realized I was backing off because of circumstances not because he gave me the answer I wanted. Darn confidence. I did stop and ask him to flex his head and he gave with a small amount of fuss. Sadly I did this off camera. When we came back onto camera he got stuck. I needed to put him on a smaller circle, get him in front of my leg, and loosen his neck. Instead I went back to the big circle and didn't use my leg like I should have.
One problem that occurred through out the video was letting his haunches swing. I needed to use my outside leg to keep them in line. He was avoiding the left bend by swinging them out and crossing his legs to move over, but not give in the shoulder like I wanted. My final circle was pretty good and then it thundered so I bailed.
Such a cute face (not mine its rather dweeby)
My homework for this week is trot poles. I need to get as many trot poles in a row as I can and make him go over and over them. When I go over the poles I need to press my hands forward and post over them. The goal is to let the pole relax and round him for me. Next when he locks up on the left side (the hard one...honestly I am not sure what the non hard one is but I will guess??), I am to leg yield off the right leg and then leg yield off the left leg. Overall, we are making progress and this is the best she has seen him and he is holding the good longer. Finally, I need to remember to work as much to the right as I am to the left (oops).
1:10 Best leg yield off the left leg you've ever done (Yeah...that was all him. I didn't ask for it. Excellent job Stinker!)
1:24 Good job working his neck. You controlled things when he wanted to get crazy and it was a decent upward transition. (Again not asked for, but go Stinks.)
1:30 Good work there.
1:46 This is the first time I've ever seen his nose go right and then left. (We have been working really hard on this.)
1:59 This is a push off the right leg, then attack that left side. Make him finish those circles, especially when he wants to resist it.
2:25 Nose left
2:34 It cracked me up when you knocked over the standard, but you kept your cool. (He was drifting and I wanted straight. I figured if he was going to drift I wasn't going to give and he could run over the thing.)
2:43 Nice long side.
3:12 Butt under. It was especially bad there. Remember butt out means his hind legs get out behind him.
3:31 Yep now make that left turn sharp.
3:37 Good girl.
3:45 OK OK I like where you wanted to go with your hands, but put them lower by your knees.
3:52 Good leg yield.
4:59 He got mad because you had it all together and you stayed there and he said, "Dammit I can't get out of this." Good girl!
5:28 Low hands (darn things keep creeping up)
6:18 So there take control get more aggressive! Or firm. He HAS to give left there.
PS I really like how his butt is looking.
Right before he spooks...
We have already filmed our next lesson, so I haven't done the trot poles and I didn't do a very good job balancing the left and the right. Overall, I am pleased with our progress and I am finally feeling confident about things. Between, him being a tough ride and bringing him back from the EPM, I was feeling lost there for awhile. I think we are on a good path right now and hopefully, it continues.
To Do List:
Equal work on both sides
One loop serpentines