I posted for a critique about a month ago and have been working on the comments I received. Just as a reminder, he is 4 yrs old, off the track since late last year. I haven't been in training for a little over a year now, I haven't had a lesson for over 8 or so months, and he has not been in any "professional" training other than two weeks working with another boarder to help with some issues. I hadn't had anymore videos taken of us since our last critique, but glad I now have these, as I can still point out things we need to work on. We have been working on contact, transitions (not falling onto his forehand), forwardness, and more on his canter.-- While his canter is still a big work in progress, he has gotten better at calming back down quickly after we go from canter to trot, which is great.
I know I need to keep working on keeping weight in my heels (due to my back/leg issue), work a little more on my elbows, and watch my hands/wrists. He needs to work on more transitions (my seat can get a little ugly/heavy during them at times), listening 100% when I ask to turn or slow down (you will see issues of this in the video), and work on his canter (especially to the left!). I also noticed in the videos that after cantering when we go back to trot work he tends to fall behind the vertical, so we will definitely be working on that!
In term of the trot pole video, you may critique it, but I was not asking him to do anything special (move forward, etc.) as we have just been working on being relaxed riding around the standards, over the poles, etc. We started him over fences just a tad bit (very rarely) a while ago and he got into the habit of freaking out about the poles, especially when he hit/tapped them, so we have gone back to only trot poles and learning it is okay to tap them and not freak out about touching them (I was pleased how he reacted to tripping over the first one in the video-- acted like it didn't even happen!). He has been super brave, and he just recently (the past week) started working over poles between standards (like in the video). He is pretty much back to normal now and is not afraid, so we will keep with trot poles for a while.
We picked a bad day to video as his canter was at his worse, mainly due to all the other horses out and about. He bolted once when asked to pick up the left canter, and would try to bolt when on the side of the arena near the playing horses. I normally do NOT pull so hard on the reins (as you can see from my normal contact), but we are still in the process of learning not to bolt and run WITH other horses and to listen when asked the first time (i.e. being asked to do something and not try to ignore the rider and pull the other direction). He can be strong at times and he knows his strength very well! That being said, I would appreciate that not being a part of your critique. When he is listening, he has gotten much softer/lighter in his mouth/contact since the last set of critique videos, which I am also very happy about.
I also know my upper body is still a little stiff at the canter. Any critique about our transitions or tips for his canter would be great too.-- You can also see how he sometimes anticipates the canter in the corner, whether I plan to ask him for it or not.
I might upload another video or two tomorrow.