Well done, for having had a hiatus!!
On the flat, the horse needs to be much more forward!! Not faster, just more energetically forward. Definitely use the corners more. Corners are one of the hardest "movements" in this test. Every time a horse turns, they lose impulsion BIG time. You need much more leg driving through the corners (balanced by hand to keep it from becoming speed).
Don't lean forward on the canter depart. Many people think "galloping" position when they start the canter. By throwing your weight forward, you encourage the horse to weigh the forehand. Instead, sit back and use your seat to push the horse forward. You are dropping that inside shoulder a bit too much on the canter circle. This can encourage the horse to throw more weight onto HIS inside shoulder jeopardizing the bend.
Use that corner at the beginning of the walk. The judge won't appreciate cutting that easy corner off. Points will be lost there. At the end of the diagonal, do not think about the upcoming trot. You sent a clear signal of the upcoming trot that the horse felt, hence the jig. Quiet your mind until the transition point. This is one of the few places this test asks for accuracy and the judge will expect it.
Make sure that next trot circle is round. You spent too much time on the rail flattening the circle.
All in all, I am being very nit-picky as every point off can be a big deal. You actually did very well.
Jumping....The video was at such a distance, it was hard to see your equitation. I have the impression you are grabbing a bit with your knees. This will make it very hard to keep your lower leg on the horse, allowing it to swing back. This unbalances your upper body allowing it to topple a bit forward. Keep your lower leg at the girth and as you go forward with your upper body, make sure your leg stays forward (you will feel the stretch in the back of your leg).
My biggest impression was disorganized. You are jumping one jump at a time. Then, after the jump, you think about the next jump. Start thinking about a jump course like a chess game. You must think three moves ahead. The jump in front of you must be jumped in such a way as to set yourself up for the next jump, which is jumped in such a way as to approach the third well. The whole course will flow much better if you always think two or three jumps ahead. Always prepare the horse for whichever lead you need after the jump. If you land on the incorrect lead, quickly do a simple change to help the horse stay balanced. This horse is not flexible enough to do a good counter canter yet. If you prepare for the turn before the jump, you will be surprised how seldom (after you have practiced) the horse will land on the incorrect lead.
Well, the problem is that the jump ring had just been completely rearranged the day before and this was Buddy's first time back in there, in which situation Buddy has a tendency to try to duck out/stop at the jumps, so the ride becomes much more defensive and much less smooth and pretty. You'll notice that the second course was much smoother and didn't have the drifting and sucking back that was in the first. |
The horse must be willing to jump sight unseen. If he sucks back, don't go defensive, go OFFENSIVE!! Ride more aggressively! Let him know, in no uncertain terms, that sucking back and quitting is not an option. I would rather see you over ride the horse than under ride him.
Good job!! You are doing well, so keep it up!