Originally Posted by tinyliny
I see a horse at the walk who is hesitant to walk out, due to him knowing exactly where the boundaries of that device are, and your seat being a bit stiff. I bet he is capable of so much more walk.
At the trot you are balanced side to side quite well, have a reasonabley quiet leg, but your hands are "bouncing" on the rein, and thus on his mouth. Probably due to a stiff elbow.
At Canter, again, I see the horse in a markedly cautious way of moving due to him not wanting to hit the boundary of the tie down.
CAn you ride out in the open? Can you ride without the comfort of the rail?
When you can walk and trot and canter without the rail or the arena, then you get into "good rider" territory. You do certainly have a very good start.
I explained the tie down up above. I hold the draw reins in my hand just like a double bridle, so I control the tension in them. That walk was just after a spook, so she was a little bit stiff. What can I do to keep her more supple even with the draw reins? She's ridden with them constantly, except for a few advanced riders and when we jump. I've ridden her without them and she's much more tense and sticks her neck out and ends up sore and unhappy after the ride. Any tips? How does the tie down affect her?
I do have a bad habit of riding on the rail. In the warmer months we have a huge sand ring and a gigantic hunt field so it's easier. I guess I should try to take up more space and ride in different patterns? In my lessons we do tons of serpentines, etc but when I ride on my own I get so focused on working on my hands, seat, etc that I just ride the rail because it's easier then working on all those things and planning where to go! Also, any tips for my unsteady hands? I know they flop around too much but I get so stiff when I try to keep them still that my whole body stiffens up.