He looks like he enjoys his job, so congrats! I also saw a rider that left the horse alone and let him do his job. Again, big congrats.
However, the horse is mainly on the forehand and a little strung out. This is what's making the trot poles so hard for him, as several times he lifts his head (to lift the forehand... to lift the front legs). I would like to see his hind end more engaged to lift the back--then he'll be able to move the shoulders up and out of the way.
This really shows up at the canter, where it has kept the beats, 1-2-3, but lost the rhythm as most WP horses do. I would work him forward more, collect him. Possibly use lope-over poles, hills, etc. And when he collects, he'll then be able to go slower with less of a scramble.
Definitely work on Trot AND jog poles too.
Overall, I really DO like him because it's not often I find WP horses with such pleasant expressions and such good riders. He has a lot of potential with a very nice stride... just have to get those hocks working more! (Which is right where I am with my paint too!)
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P