Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
The fundamentals of your position are quite nice, but it looks like you're trying to do too much with your hands, and not enough with your legs. You mentioned that she's green, and so I agree with the comment that in some situations it'll be very helpful to have wide hands (with straight wrists). However, you talked about what you have to do to get her head down - which is where your approach is off.
A horse that learns that they must put their head down or into a "frame" based on rein-aids is learning to ignore their hind end and eventually, come behind the bit or 'curl up.' That's no fun to fix. What you want to do is get her coming from behind into your contact, and learn to sit on her haunches. This will naturally put her into the nice round 'frame' (I hate that wordddd) that we all like so much.
To do this, you need to have an independent seat, leg, and hand. Establish an amount of contact that is NOT pulling, just a constant stability. Don't worry about where her head is, just maintain that straight line from elbow to bit wherever it is. Activate your leg, getting her really moving that hind end. It won't all come together in one ride, but the second she moves up a little and yields to your hand even a tiny bit, you need to give with your inside rein. Eventually, she'll learn to track up behind, arc her neck, and follow the contact.
Good luck :)
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.