Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
The second picture, personally, is my least favourite. It shows a very weak rider position.
As this is a horse that already knows its job, whatever you do will directly effect the horse.
You look pitched forward and slightly wonky in the second picture. Try thinking tall, straight, and that your hips and shoulders should be following your horse's shoulders.
I have been riding dressage for the past 5 years, riding in total for 8. I have broken in my own youngster, brought a school master back in to shape and ridden at a very good level (unsure what it is for you guys!) but the hardest thing I find.. is riding someone elses horse. I currently have a horse to ride twice a week, and the darn thing KNOWS and tests me.
It may be less to do with your riding ability, and more to do with that so don't be hard on yourself!
Think less on where the horse has its head. Think more on your own position. Your legs are a tad too far back, you need to sit taller and engage the small of your back and get your hands out of his withers.
As for your legs... after YOU and the horse are warm enough... flip your stirrups up on to his neck. If you can't balance your own hands in a sitting trot, however, I would advise you get a saddle strap put on for the sake of his mouth.
And also, drop your stirrups a couple of holes.. but one hole at a time. You look a bit bunched up!
Remember.. a horse needs to come round from seat and legs, not hands. Correct your seat and legs, and I am sure things will come a lot easier for you.