You guys are being so very helpful. Thank you.
Just to clarify, I do not use an overcheck, side check, side reins, or anything similar, and I never have. I believe that a horse's frame carries through, starting at the butt and traveling up into its head. Its just a matter of getting her to that point that is the problem xD
Stepping into her footprints. That sounds like a great way to measure how well she's using herself. As of right now, I'm not sure that she's even doing that at a free walk, much less at a trot. She seems to have a rather weak hind end so I'll definitely talk a step back and do quite a bit of lunge work and ground driving with her before we try any of them in the cart.
Yes, I usually attach the lungeline to the outer buckle, over her poll, and through the bit on the inside when I lunge her, though there have been times when I was lazy and just clipped it to the inside bit. Not a good idea since it weighed down her mouth on one side and made her lean in too far. I also have tried lunging her harnessed and having her lines attached to the saddle. Lunge to the left walk-trot, then when I ask for a turn instead of spinning on her haunches asking her to make a small trot circle and loop around ground-driving to lunge to the right around me. Figure eights and back into circles as well. Somedays she is balanced enough to do it, some days she isn't. :/
Michael- yes, sometimes her head comes up but she usually hollows her back first then her neck and head naturally rise up. When she's using herself she does much better. I've found that ground driving her over calvettis and ground poles helps her pay attention better and lift her back. Is that a good exercise to be using?
Also you asked how old she is. She's a coming five year old, so 4 years and 10 months. She'll be 5 in April. She's always been badly balanced but she has improved some. I would have thought by now though that she'd be able to use herself a bit better. I guess that's where I come in though xD
She drives in a single tree saddle, breast collar, breeching, and her blinder bridle. I think they fit but I could be incorrect...I've readjusted multiple times. The breast collar sits straight across above her point of shoulder but below her neck, her saddle is right behind the withers and sits perpendicular to the breast collar, and the breaching sits above her loins , pretty much following a single line with the breast collar. The breaching is a tad bit big for her but we have flat land so I didnt bother to buy a new one.
These are some bad examples since she was in her driving bridle (again, dumb idea >.> I'll definitely make sure she's in an open bridle next time) and these are kids who don't know how to lunge so she's responding to their mixed signals by turning around or slowing sometimes, but its the only real footage I have of her. This was about 7 months ago when she first went into cart. Pardon my blabbering at the kids.
I can't get them to embed, sorry. Just click.
trotting photo, same day as that canter picture.
ground driving at a walk. This isn't me, its a friend who wanted to try ground driving, so the reins are being held quite correctly but hopefully you get the idea.