EP.... I cannot think of any reason to look at your horses neck unless from the ground. Looking at it does not, cannot and will not make it 'soft and round', unless you have laser vision???
You should be able to ride with feel, not having to look. The horse's neck isn't going to change colours and sparkle all of a sudden, so you font need to look at it ;) Posted via Mobile Device
Hey everyone thanks for the comments and critiques...thought I would update you all on some things. Laddy just got his feet trimmed and a fresh set of shoes on. :)
I would also like to update you all on my lesson earlier. My trainer talked and showed me some things on bringing my shoulder blades down and instead of moving my shoulders back bringing my rib cage up to meet my shoulders. Bringing the rib cage up and letting my shoulder blades come down opens my chest up and stops the rounding in my posture. I can really feel an improvement in my posture already and I think Laddy loves the change! Now a few more million rides and this will become a habit!
Also I've always been told look at your horses neck almost like you're sneaking a peek with your eyes every now and again so you don't shift your head and throw off your horses balance. I have to look every now and again looking for frame and stretching. Its kind of hard to remember not to look all the way as you can tell I am in the pic but in horse riding there's always things to improve on :)
The only critiques I would give are to keep your elbows bent, hands up, head up and looking forward instead of down at the horse, and to open your chest by putting your shoulders back! A little more acceptance of the bit/roundness would be ideal, but it comes with time and lots of practice!
You two look great in my opinion for intro level hope you are enjoying it. I won't tell you how to ride as mixed directions from comments and your instructor can leave you confused as what to do but I would say that even at intro level I would try to pick up your pony. By that I do not neccesarily mean raise his head higher as often lower head carraige is better for the horse making them work their back and hind end. What I do mean is to try get him into your hand and not let all his energy and impulsion coming from behind run out his front.