Originally Posted by Elana
Looking at the one photo of her doing dressage she is on the right track but in that photo she is on her forehand (go to the article I linked to). She needs to better utilize her ring of muscles.
In the jumping she has the same issue in all photos. Her knees are not up and they are uneven. There is NOTHING you can do about that. It is her comformation.. she has a closed angle at the point of shoulder. She physically cannot even her knees OR bring them up. It just means she must jump a bit higher and make up for it by folding her front a bit more which she is doing in every one of these photos.
You are doing what you can to help her. She is a nice horse but (like every other horse out there) not perfect. You have taken her where she can go.. and more dressage.. more getting her to work her "ring" will only help her go as far as she can physically!
Thank you Elana, at her stage (in that photo) I was not as worried about her being a little on her forehand we had to overcome a lot of mouth issues and backing off from the bit and she wasn't ready to rock back much more than that. I was just happy she was going forward and starting to be a little more even in the reins and lifting her back and working over her topline (instead of throwing her head up in the air, arching her back, and running trying to avoid what she thought I might do).
Like many Eventers, Dressage is not her favorite thing, although she LOVES lateral work and we spend a lot of time on that. I fear she might be a bit confused about how far under herself I really want her hind legs (and when she gets confused she gets upset :/). I also might think it's a little hard for her, conformationally wise because her back is a bit long. With her elevator bit I've achieved a full-on FEI quality medium trot where she's up and forward and even in the bridle (I've been riding bareback, which seems to be helping her immensely), but I don't want to overuse that bit because I need it to be effective when we jump... So I've been contemplating the idea of getting her a double bridle (with a happy mouth weymoth and bradoon because she doesn't like metal bits) and use it more as a teaching tool once or twice a week. (I'll be posting a thread on this under Horse Tack and Equiptment later tonight to get suggestions.)
We probably work 4-5 days a week on dressage and she might get jumped or conditioned or lunged once a week, and then a girl takes her on 30 to 45 min trails on the weekends at the walk (whether or not I have already ridden her because I believe a horse can never be walked too much). So she works 6 days a week, most of which are dressage. :)