Ive seen videos you've posted on here before, how's he doing compared to those? In the older one, he looked very tense and cramped, not really moving forward much. Have you had the opportunity to ride a real trained horse and get the feeling of what you're going for? The image I got from prior videos was that your 'image' of how he should look was skipping steps, like you were watching the collected trot of a grand prix horse and trying to imitate that, but you can't have collected suspenseful strides without first having length and implosion. Again, that's just what I saw, in a few short videos, and it sounds like you're still working on those problems. (and honestly, even if it's fixed, that tension will probably always be his 'go-to' confused or resistant reaction)
I think it sounds like he needs some long and low stretching in all gaits, really teaching him to stretch down and long through his back, almost exaggerated at first, to what probably feels like peanut pusher low to you, just so he understands what you're asking for (you can always tone down the response when he understands what you want). Even if he is rushing through it, post, let him rush and settle into a long frame as long as he's pushing forward.
The jogging through the walk is pretty bad I think, in dressage I don't think you'll ever ask for something like that, if you ask for a free walk he really needs to learn what that is. Its hard to correct tense short strides when youre giving him mixed signals that 'sometimes it's ok to do'. When he jogs, bring him to a walk immediately, really push him forward with your seat, I almost feel like I'm riding a camel, really roll each of yours hips forward with each stride forward, and let yourself sort of 'roll' with the fluid walk. (to feel it, swing each arm forward in a big circle, each arm going forward as the other goes back. If you involve your whole body in the circles, your shoulders and hips swing forward with the corresponding arms' circle. At the free walk, I feel like each half of my body is rolling forward with his long strides forward and down, its ok if its looks a little silly at first, lol.). Same thing with the trot, when he gets short, push him with your seat, post slower with longer air time and make him meet your pace. Work on the long and low stretching circles they have in first level, it needs to be something you can ask and immediately get at any stride, any time.
A new video would be nice to watch if you get the chance at some point, I love seeing progress :)
Last edited by SaraM; 03-30-2014 at 04:11 PM.