No one made me feel insecure, don't worry
. I tend to take critique pretty well, and would never get upset over someone questioning my internet safety. It was meant well, and I appreciate the concern.
Thanks for the critique on Excel and I. I agree I need more flexibility in my ankles, any tips for keeping those heels down and correct? I'm thinking more work in two-point on the flat, and trotting while standing in the stirrups to really try to feel that flexibility.
My hands, also, need lots of work. I tend to get grippy piano hands, a habit derived from Molly's crazy days, where I needed every ounce of strength to contain her! When I'm focusing on it they come upright, but they are still often way too low.
Does he look like he's using his back end more, and coming up off the forehand any? At our show earlier this month he was very heavy on the forehand, especially at the canter. I've been trying to push him up into the bit and off his front end, encouraging him to rock his weight back, and am surprised to see that the headset has come naturally through that.
ETA: His leads are coming along fantastic. When I set him up right with the correct bend and leg aids, he departs cleanly on the correct lead. We're still a ways away from flying changes, but we're getting there.