I just have to say I LOVE Sky! I do love a round paint...you both look great together.
You have wonderful hands, but like Duffy said: a bit more bend in the elbows will help you maintain contact better with his mouth. I know this because this is one of my biggest flaws, hard to do! You do a great job of keeping your hands still (even at the sitting trot, I know some trainers that have trouble with that!), but a few times it seemed you were fighting the piano hand syndrome. My dressage trainer had me do lunge lessons at the sitting/posting trot where I had to hold two cups of water in my hands and not spill a drop. Oh, with no stirrups sometimes, too. Why do we pay so much for pain?
At the sitting trot you can visibily see your body stiffen. Totally a normal reflex to the bouncing motion- we so badly don't want to fall off that we tend to pinch with our knees and stiffen up. Really the opposite is true-pinching and stiffening will "aid" you in falling off, while relaxing and absorbing the motion will keep you steady and balanced. It just takes so much practice and again, no stirrup work will totally help with this.
Are you working with a trainer or taking lessons? Another thing I noticed was when you went to go pick up the posting trot, you started on the wrong diagonal, looked down at his shoulder, and then corrected it. I'm asking about the trainer because many instructors teach their students to post by looking at the shoulder instead of feeling the diagonal. If you don't already know how to feel for the diagonal, just when you're sitting the trot, pay attention to which hip is swinging backwards and forwards. When your outside hip swings forward, that's when you should rise. Easier said than done, and it takes lots of practice. You may already know all that already, so if you do, ignore me!
The last thing is something else I struggle with- roll your shoulders back and you have a slight chair seat! Your posture in the saddle really has a major effect on the way our horses respond to us, so we want to make sure it is as perfect as possible. Many times I've looked at pictures & videos of me riding and shudder- I look like a freakin' hunchback!
Awesome job though, you guys really do look like you have a great bond. He looks so happy and carefree. What do you eventually want to do with him?
Thanks for your critique :)
Yeah I get very nervous at the sitting trot because he used to bolt really bad with me and I never want to slam down on him so I'll work on that. I'm afraid to do no stirrup work.. maybe I'll ask my trainer to have me on a lungeline.
I wasn't formally trained to post or to sit.. I just kind of developed a way and no one said for me to change a thing. I do still need to check diagonals but I will feel for my outside hip going forward. I'm surprised I didn't look down as much in the video.. I'm notorious for checking to see if Sky is round or not.. I can feel when he becomes supple in his back and lifts.. but he likes to be silly on the front end. Green horse
And yes I do have a trainer! I've been taking lessons from her for about... a month now? Before then on and off with riding lesson horses while I was practicing what I learned from the school masters.. on my greenie.
I'm so aware of the chair seat.. :P my instructor wants me to work more on 2 point to stretch my legs down and learn to use my legs instead of my heels. Another bad habit. And my toes point out like I'm trying to click my heels together
It'll come! But yeah all that to say she shortened my stirrups 2 holes so I'm still getting used to the feel of it.
What do I plan to do with him... hmm, I want to show him just so he can get used to all the hustle and bustle and I can experience it with him. I want to learn English and then start western with him.. so he'll be an all around-er. But I love Dressage and I'm really keen on Hunters so that's probably where we'll be for now.
I have a huge problem with hiding my chest and sinking my shoulders.. I'll work hard on rolling them back and sitting up (I am so lazy hehe.)
I have a question about bending the elbows.. I know the contact from the bit to your hands should be in one straight line.. so how would I do that with more bend in my elbows.. can I get like a visual or something?
Thanks again! I'll let Sky know that he has a new fan ;)