Thank you both!
I have a huggeee tendancy to look down, but it's not for leads or diagonals--I can feel those without looking. I look down all the time, but I never know why....force of habit, I suppose.
I was replicating how she'd been working for me lately with my reins; at the previous show I threw her reins to her in the practice arena and controlled her pace with my seat, and her head fell to where it should be naturally while I gradually picked her up again. She didn't seem to be working the same at this show, though.
Lol, actually she's not a pony...she's 15.3/16hh. I make most horses look small
. About the only time I look like I'm riding an actual horse is when I ride Lenox, my big ol' Percheron.
She has slowed down sooo much since I got her. She was an absolute wreck a year ago. Off the track she was beautifully trained in dressage; half passes, flying changes, collection...the whole nine yards. Then she was sold to a maniac who kicked her when she misbehaved. Owner got scared, sold her to another owner who soon got scared and sold her to me. I found her dressage trainer and she helped her back to herself for a month, and I've had her since last April.
ETA: I've always heard to keep to the outside whenever possible, that's interesting you mention being on the inside....I've been told that the rail is best for keeping horses at a slower pace with decreasing the tendancy to rush.