These are from just a week ago. We're working on accepting the bit and not leaning/bracing against it. But let me know anything you see! It's not often I have any eyes watching me when I ride anymore. :(
You have a wee bit of a chair seat. Bring your lower leg back, so that there's a straight line from your head to your hip to your heel. I'd also bring your stirrups down a hole or two. There are a couple pictures in which your shoulders are a bit slumped, but others in which they're back, so I'll assume that you're working on that on a consistent basis. Also, bring your elbows in. In a couple pictures, they're out like chicken wings! ;) You look like a good, confident, and experienced rider.
A little tip for the leaning on the bit madness (Mudpie had a big problem with this) – When he leans on the bit, drop him. Just for a moment, and then re-establish contact. That way he learns that he cannot lean against you. Just push your hands forward briefly. He may lose his balance, but that's the point. He doesn't rely on your hands for balance, just like you don't rely on his mouth for balance! :)
As for your boy, I think you should work on collection a bit. It would help a lot. ;)
I will definitely try lowering my stirrups, thanks for that!
Yes, my shoulders have been a big struggle, especially my left one - it always falls forward, and I blame that on 11 years of flute playing. And since I've made music my career, that's something I'll probably always struggle with. I'm trying to find some exercises to work on fixing that. But yeah, I'm usually very aware of my shoulders because of that, so I usually try to keep them back. Never noticed my elbows flapping around though, haha! I'll keep an eye on that next time. :)
And I'll also try that tip whenever Navigator leans on the bit. He has been getting better, but sometimes we just have days where he sticks his head and nose up and just runs!
Thank you for everything! I've been working with him on and off for 2 years (pretty regularly for just the last year), and we've come a long way in that time.
I think you're doing fine though :) Just once you get your position right then riding will become much more fluid. Make sure you aren't pulling back at all. Hold the bridle for your horse, and push them into it.
Doing lots of figures will help your horse loosen up as long as you do them effectively.
Just popped back in to glance at this thread, and I just had to say wow, you have an excellent... foot position. ;) You keep your heel down and toe forward consistently in all of those pictures –*great job! :) Keep us updated!