I am settling into a nice long winter of most flatwork(our jump area will get frozen solid) and im pretty excited to improve my horses dressage. He is quite green but smart and in good shape.
1. What are some good exercises to encourage bend on the long side? I have some trouble holding my bend and not letting it turn into "fake-bend".
2. Tips for a nice leg-yield? We have mastered the turn on the forehand and I would really like to improve our leg-yield. He tends to lead with his shoulder and rush when I begin to cue him
3.the free walk. Kills me. I have never seen my horse stretch his neck down, ever. Well, except for grazing. His natural relaxed head carriage is even with his withers. How can I push him long and low? He gets the nice swinging back and the long strides, but his head never seems to drop and we have never gotten above a 5 on it during a test.
4. Best pole/cavaletti exercises to strengthen his back? Its quite long and loses muscle very fast
5.these last two are the hardest: my horse has a 4 beat canter. On a really good day it will be three and comfortable, but he tends togets long and on his forehand most days. How can I encourage the proper 3 beat canter and keep him relaxed at the same time?
6. Recently I have been really confused about one thing. How to I get my horses back to raise? Through videos and pictures I see people when they get their horse round the back comes up. My horse doesn't do this. His tail will be swinging, tracking up if not over tracking, connected, with good equal weight in each of my hands and moving forward, but his back doesn't raise?! Is that bad? Could it possibly be that he is a bit bum high and even if its happening its not extreme enough to notice?
Sorry for my long list of problems, I really admire dressage and strive to be better at it and work harder on it. I do have a wonderful dressage trainer but I like to get other ideas too. Please excuse any ignorance or insults you may find in this post.Thanks in advance!