I will say I have a lovely instructor, who was on the German Young Rider team a couple years back (so she is definitely a wonderful rider) and we work very well together.
I would love to get some feedback and hear some exercises that might help us. Again, we're just working on the basics.
1. Straightness - When I first started to ride him, he was soooo straight. Too straight - and stiff. So we've worked on suppling him and getting him to bend around my inside leg. But now we've run into the problem that he won't move straight. I know this is something I'm doing wrong (as are probably all these problems). What should I do to help him move straight? Oh and its not while he is tracking on the rail and doing figures - its just centerline and quarterlines.
2. Tripping - Okay I think I know the cause for this, but when he's moving in a frame and I ask him for a transition (this happens more often in downward transitions) he ends up tripping. It's not a real trip, more just that he gets his feet tangled up. He is able to hold himself in a frame still, but his feet fall out. And this doesn't worry me very much, as it happens probably once every ride, so not a big deal, but I'd hate to have it happen in the dressage test.
3. Right Lead Canter - His left lead canter has gotten beautiful. He is able to sit back on his hind end and move forward and fluidly. He naturally holds his head well and uses his neck. He lets me sit deep and wrap my legs around him. But right is another story. When I bought him, he was unable to correctly canter on the right lead. So I'm not expecting it to be as good as his left, but I want it to be better than it is right now. He won't let me sit down on his back until I let him do a long and loose (and faster paced) canter in a half-seat. (I always warm him up long and low, stretchy W/T/C with a light seat, but he requires much more of this for the right side.) Even then, I have to have a lighter seat right than left. When he canters right, he feels a little unbalanced. He doesn't move straight (its like his hind is trailing about a foot to the left). Overall, his canter isn't bad. It's far better than a lot of horses I've been working with. But I still feel like it should be better.
4. Dreaded OTTB Camel - It. Has. Returned. And I hate it. When I first got him, we spent tons of time working on stretchy walks and trots, lifting his back to avoid the whole head up-hallowed back-short strided-choppy stuff. It actually pretty much went away! But all of a sudden (now that I've started showing him some) he keeps getting really excited. When he gets excited (usually when we are trotting after a downward transition from the canter - when he wants to keep cantering), he loses his frame for a sec. We're able to get the frame back easily, and as we trot more he realizes that we are trotting and not cantering. Then he is able to stay in his frame.
Thank you guys for any help or feedback you can give! I understand that all these things are probably my fault, so I would love to hear what I can do differently. Please don't reccomend anything too challenging because we are both new to dressage. And on that note, explaining is always good to make sure I understand haha.
Thanks! I'll see if I can dig out a video that shows some of these things. If not, I'll get some on Friday.
Here are some pictures.
After first month:
After second month:
And then these are all recent (after 3 months):