In case you guys don't know, I've been riding Thumper since the spring of 2009. I started leasing him in October/November (sometime around then haha) and we were pretty much painful to watch, I'm sure :). I had horrible position (not saying I don't still LOL), he was tense, and didn't accept the bit AT ALL. Now we're both just beginning to really get the basics of good riding and relaxation (for both of us), that sort of stuff. I had people telling me to take a look at the training scale, and then I finally did. It helped so much! Now he's more relaxed, consistent, and is beginning to accept the bit and reach for the contact. We've been improving so much! Anyway, here are some pictures of us from when I had just started riding him:
^This used to be the only way I could get him to stop cantering in circles :S. And just a side note- one of the reasons we've improved so much is because my riding has improved- I'm not crediting all of our bad rides to him- I'm sure that I definitely contributed (IMMENSELEY) to the issues we've had.
^Our first schooling show... pretty painful to look at haha. I was tense, he was tense, it was a disaster. Inconsistent tempos... pretty much a nightmare :P.
Anyway, here's where we are now. It may not look like much, but we've both improved so much through clinics, my instructor, my reading up on different things, and Horse Forum- I've learned a lot here :).We've both improved so much! At 0:11 in the video, you can see him beginning to accept the contact. Here it is: