So TSB and I went and rode ponies and took pictures and videos last night. :) In the cold. And I got to see her new digs -- very nice! Definitely nicer, if farther away from my barn, than the last place.
I worked Rev in our new draw reins. I'd ridden Saturday, but before Saturday it'd been a week since I'd ridden ... which means that we had rather a fighty, stiff ride. She'll insist on counterbending, only bend in the walk, avoid the outside rein, avoid my inside leg ... just about argue anything. It wasn't our greatest ride, but then again, at least we've (knock on wood) left the bucking phase when she's feeling fighty.
As usual, getting her to move forward and keep contact is priority one. Beyond that I'm interested in getting her into a submissive frame. And bending -- lateral submission.
Thus the draw reins. Teaching tool, not forcing tool!! I think we're improving, so far. We definitely have things to work on, but that's what the dressage lessons are for, eh?
All this to preface this video. :) It's an extremely accurate picture of where we are in our training right now: starts awkwardly, I look bigger than I am, has some really nice moments, and then one or both of us loses balance, and we lose our contact and roundness. I'm actually pretty happy about my position in this video; I feel like my leg is solid, I don't fling myself out of the saddle to post, etc. I -- as I mentioned -- need practice with my hands and my elbows to be soft and elastic, to encourage contact. But overall, I don't find anything egregious with myself in this video. You can see that the draw reins are relatively loose, too. Which means you can look at the pretty bay horse. ;) She's got a nice active trot going, and she can really get a nice frame for several strides, too. We desperately need work on our corners; that's tonight's focus. I like the relaxed look she has through her back and tail, too. Even though she does keep trying to go with her nose out, like a pony.
Anyway, here's three and a half minutes of trot work, tracking left. You may very well find this astonishingly boring -- the best stuff is in the last 45 seconds. If I knew how to edit video, I'd cut it for you. :) However, I don't, so feel free to let it load, then skip to the end.