Haha the little chestnut in the first video looked like he had a bit of spunk, he was hooting around the arena at a million miles an hour!
Rather than thinking of pulling your shoulders back all the time, which will more than likely result in making you stiff, think of raising your chest. Imagine you have a little bow on the front of your bra, you want to lift that bow skywards. Your shoulders will fall back naturally without the tension you experience from constantly shoving your shoulders back and down ;) You're a lovely soft rider, it would be a shame to introduce tension to your upper body.
ahaha Jimmy? He's adorable, isn't he?
huh, I never thought of that. I'll definitely have to try that out on Friday.
Now, notice that male riders very VERY rarely tip forward onto their pubic bone? As much as I hate to say it, that does tend to make them sit much better on a horse than female riders. When you lose our balance, we tip onto our pubic bone. Pretend you're a boy, every time you tip forward onto that pubic bone it's going to hurt!
ahahahaha. Great visual...should be interesting to try.
Your outside foot seems to be turned out in a lot of the video. Really concentrate on turning that toe forward to face the front. If you start wearing spurs and jab her with that outside foot all the time, you'll run into resistance problems.
I'm actually one of very few people who don't ride her in spurs, so she can get a little dead to the leg sometimes. But yeah, i do need to fix my feet. It's funny...when I first started riding I was told to turn my toes out because they were too far forward
The changes you are doing are simple changes, not flying changes.. but you look to be doing them very well! A flying change is a lead change in canter without breaking gait to change, so the horse continues to canter and 'jumps' from one lead to another.
We actually did 2 simple changes and then 2 flying changes. The first flying change we failed on and I ended up doing a simple change to get her on the right lead, and the second one we did okay but it's kind of hard to see it.
Your hands are quite good, just try to turn them a little more so your thumb is at the highest point, they are a little more towards 'piano' hands at the moment. Having your thumb on top isn't just because 'my instructor says so', carrying the thumb as the highest part of the hand is an FEI rule, and allows the best, direct contact with the horse's mouth. You can't expect a horse to travel straight if you have your hands turned inwards ;) As for the height you want to carry them, the rule of thumb is to always maintain a straight line from your elbow, to your wrist, hand and through to the bit.
I can get a good line without any problem on Leo, and I have better hands, too. I think it's cause he carries his head higher so it's just where my hands fall. With Brooke, I gotta try!
Overall, these are minor issues and you look good! A very relaxed, loose rider which is what I really like to see. You don't want to force any aspect of your position, that will put tension into your body and you'll find you will run into other problems, and struggle to hold that position anyway.
Concentrate all the time while you're off the horses, typing on the computer, eating your dinner etc. you want to always imagine your lifting the bow on the front of your bra. This will open your chest, relax your shoulders and alleviate tension and back pain, plus carry through to your riding.
Thank you so much!