Hi alll :)
I'd really like to hear what you think of my 4yr old paint mare and I. First, some background info -
She was my first horse, I got her in May of 2010 as an unbroke 2-yr-old. I did basic things with her, like grooming, desensitizing, etc. and then we sent her to a trainer for a month to be green broke. When I got her back, I could walk and trot on her, and lope but I was too much a beginner to go that fast.
She was perfect though, but then she started to realize that I really didn't know what I was doing, and she started bolting. She bolted several times with me, once we went down a steep hill and I had a bad fall. After that I was pretty scared to ride her, so she sat for a winter with hardly anything done to her.
I took her to a nearby trainer and she said even she was scared on her, and she'd been riding for 20+ years. Her advice was to take her to an auction and they'd find us a new horse, and boy did we get close to selling her.
I decided to keep trying, and that spring I sat on her for the first time in months - bareback - while my brother led me around the pen. I eventually got brave enough to start lunging her and gaining respect, and then riding her in the large arena. We did a ton of circles that first month, and I made absolute sure I'd be able to stop her if she tried bolting again.
Wow, that was a lot. xD Anyways, Roxy has so much personality, she always makes me laugh after I've had a bad day.. sometimes it's like we can read each other's minds. ♥ I taught her to lower her head on command last year, and this past summer I worked more on collection. Lately I've been wondering.. is she really collecting herself and engaging her hindquarters? Or is she merely lowering her head and slowing down?
I can feel when she really does engage herself, but she's not completely consistent with that. I'm still learning how to tell myself, too!
I've never used a tie/pull down, noseband, etc.
So the first "song" is from this morning.. I have three coats on so I look like a poofball xD
The next clips are from a few weeks ago, probably one of our best rides.
The final few are from earlier this summer.. have we improved at all?
I'm only able to ride once or twice a week now, due to weather..
It took too long to upload here, so I uploaded to google docs - https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0G...DBEd2ZYV25jZ2M
Also, I'm starting English this spring (hopefully with the help of a trainer) and I'm not sure if I want to learn with her or with my other gelding.. do you think she'd do alright? Let me know on your thoughts! (on both of us!)
Oh, and any tips for her canter? I try to sit deeply and collect her, but then my chair position gets way worse.
Thanks! Critique me too ;)