Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
Okay, first thing I'm going to say - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE switch that Kimberwicke to a snaffle, and if you keep the Kimberwicke, don't use a flash!!! I thought Kimberwickes were illegal for dressage, but at any rate, I would advise putting in the time to get your horses going really nicely in a snaffle - if you need a little extra leverage cross-country, invest in a WonderBit.
Onto the critique :) The first picture is quite nice, overall; your horse looks relaxed and nicely forward, and your position is essentially good. Your shoulders are hunched, though, and one is slightly dropped - work on rolling them back and, if you can, ride in a mirrored arena so you can see and correct the shoulder-dropping. Oh, and look up! :)
In the jumping pictures, you consistently jump ahead. In a couple of them you set your lower leg and then threw your upper body ahead of the pommel, and in the last picture you gripped with your knee and pivoted off of it. Work on small, easy lines and grids on a sensible horse so you can trot/canter in and work on maintaining your position throughout. Come in in a light, forward seat, stretch down into your heels, and let your horse jump while you do nothing but release. Keep your legs 'talking' if your horse drifts, but other than that, just focus on doing nada! As usual, dropping the stirrups will help you here. It's impossible to jump ahead without stirrups, as jumping ahead is all about being dependent on them.
In that second jumping shot of the bay, that is not a happy pony! Presumably he's a little miffed because your leg has rolled back into a VERY active position, unintentionally punishing him for being a good boy. I like the consistent release and your flat back - very nice.
The second flat shot of the bay reiterates my initial statement. He looks like he's uncomfortable, and focusing more on his mouth than on you. The harsh bit isn't doing either of you any favors - he is downhill and on-the-forehand, with a too-tight rein and unengaged, mincy steps. Let go of his face and work on getting his hind end underneath him - only when he's truly engaged should you begin to introduce contact, and then, only an elastic, forgiving contact with a mild bit and an educated half-halt. Right now your horse is curling behind the bit, which, once habitual, is one of the hardest issues to correct.
Overall, you look good on a horse and comfortable with the challenges posed, but both your life and your horse's lives will be much easier with some adjustments. :)
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.