Thank you both for your informative replies! I am always impressed by an experienced eye and appreciate your time! Upper Body Tension:
Guilty as charged. I do have upper body tension. (Mainly because I suffered a violent fall off of this mare a month ago, at a canter.) The mental recovery appears to take longer than the physical one, in this case. When I ride, I have to think about breathing quite a bit. This is something I can fix and it helps when I ride with others. We distract each other with conversation. lol Horse Tracking and Softening Poll
I have spent a great deal of time asking people to explain this to me. I have ridden other schooling horses that do drop at the poll, have good collection and engage their hind. I was able to make one horse do this for a short period of time. It required so much calf pressure, I collapsed into the saddle from exhaustion! =) I will try to lift my hands and utilize the "carry the tray" position (thumbs on top). Lastly, I will slide leg forward and apply more pressure, as suggested with calves.
I just found this site
and it was helpful. I also found a really helpful image
on another post that helps me see the difference between heavy front end and hind quarter "engagement".
Now, when I look at the photo that I linked to my original post, I see how my horse is heavy on the front end and light in the hind!
(Yes, the saddle is a Pessoa, btw! My jaw dropped when I saw that you could just tell from the photograph!! Good eye! Good eye!) lol I do love the saddle. Very comfortable. Lower Leg Positioning
I purposely set my lower leg where you observed it in the photo. I normally have a "straighter" leg. I made an effort to bend more at the knee because my instructor asked me to. I will play around with adjusting it and have more pictures taken to see which is best. Deepening my Seat
It was mentioned that I "deepen my seat". I admit that I have been told to do this in the past. I am unsure the action I should take to achieve this. What would you suggest?
Thank you again! I will work on these items over the next few days and have my daughter or friend photograph me. If you would be willing to stop back, I will post the new pictures soon! :)