First off, I don't ride in an arena, I have a small paddock-ish area with trees surrounding it, tree stumps, a bit of uneven ground and sometimes cattle. I can do, maybe..2 ish 15-20 (i think) metre circles...and theyre uneven sized..a bit like this Oo
So I have a few problems, im hoping to take shad to a training day the local dressage club is holding next month, ill get to use an arena and have either a 30 min lesson with a club instructor, or ride a test, get feedback from the judge then ride it again..
But untill then:
I've been working on leg yeilding lately, but im having trouble keeping him straight. He wont bring his hind over as much as his front, so he kinda pops his shoulder out a little, if that makes sense? I straightern him up then try again (which sometimes doesnt happen due to running out of room)
What can I do get him to move over more?
The way I was taught was to use inside leg, keeping bend to the inside and ask him to move over with the outside rein, however I read on another forum that you ask with the inside rein? So perhaps im asking him wrong and encouraging him to pop his shoulder out...
I havnt had a chance to try this inside rein thing yet as he's lame.
Long and low at trot: He needs to learn this better as its asked in a dressage test. He does it ok in walk, but up until recently id never asked it in trot, even when I used to have regular lessons in the most basic flatwork it was never mentioned.
I've tried it once last week, was a bit of an experiment since I've never done it as I mentioned before. So i'd give him a bit of a longer rein, still with contact though, push him foward and use my outside (i think I was using outside) rein. Eventually he kind of got the idea and would lower his head, just for a coupld of strides. I was carrying my hands quite low also as it seemed to help him get the idea. However, even though he would lower his neck he'd come behind the verticle a little, even though I was really soft. Is this just because he is new to it? Or am I doing it wrong? Because to me it felt like he was stretching into the contact a little but apparently on the ground it looked like he was coming under it...
Simple changes: He anticipates it quite badly. I will ask him to trot and he will pull into me, slow his canter down to the point where he's almost doing it on the spot, and then ill have to make him trot. Then he just tries to canter again and we have this skipping thing going on because im saying trot and he's saying canter. Its so hard to get those 3 trot strides out of him. A couple of times he's just been one step ahead of me and done a fly...
So, ill do lots of transitions and figure eights where one circle is canter the other trot and ill mix and match that up a bit, and ask for the transitions in different places (i can kinda do a another circle that's out the side of where I ride, have to dodge tree and small shrubs though)
Is there anything else I can do? Or is it just more transitions and patience?
He knows what im asking, and can do simple changes fine he just doesnt want to.
Sorry if that was kinda long. I've gotten to the stage where I can't really go much further without lessons, just work on what I do know. And I wont be able to have lessons for quite a while..