And on to the Western Pleaure photos. We were the entertainment in that ring but the photos turned out too great to pass up. I love how well Max did for me, but my riding just felt sloppy. I'm certainly the one who held us back. Our personal project this summer will be to see how 'WP' we can get. I have a difficult time letting go of my dressage attitude when riding, as you will see from the photos. Max does require a very active rider, but we've got to be able to figure this laid-back thing out.
I wasn't confident enough to neck rein, as he doesn't know it AT ALL and the traffic was ample. I decided it was better to stick with one form rather than swap back and forth. This alone could have written us off before the judge considered anything else, I have no clue. I do know that when I 'neck rein', I have a better WP seat/form.
Max actually did really well with his lopes, nailing each departure from a walk - something very new to him. He didn't race or run away at any time, but he'll never be a four-beater (thank goodness - I'd rather maintain our purity of gait and stay in low-level shows. It's all just for fun and exposure.).
On the most embarrasing side-note ever... notice my rein on this side? Yup, some dufass (me) clipped it at the TOP of the bit, rather than at the bottom of the shank. Whaaa? I was mortified when I went to untack! I even hung out and schmoozed with friends and aquaintences after our class, hanging out on him.
Oh. My. Gawd. He rode very well, inspite of my brain fissure!
Whosat posting?! ****. Total reflex. Not a WP rein, either... not throughout our entire ride - lol! He is starting to give me a gorgeous headset in our dressage lessons, but of course, we need to figure that out on a looser rein. It'll come.
In all, I like how he was turned out. The light tack and saddle pad are new to us. I saw SO many people with pads/blankets ridiculously long, running anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 way into the hip!! Given the level of showing we're doing, I think my pad is just fine, even if it's a working pad.
I'm not so keen on how I was turned out. I think I would have felt better had I done up my shirt and used the broach I had, tucked it in neater. Maybe tied my hair back. And of course, my posture in the first photo makes me cringe, lol! I've got to stop being so overtly obvious in my cues and trust my horse to use the knowledge I gave him! Every time I shift on the trail to fidget with something, he moves off my seat pressure. He know it, I just need to let him use it!
I'm totally open to opinions and critiques. I have a tough skin and appreciate anything that might help us. My Fjord Mutt and I will never be any fierce force in the ring, but I'd like to bring us to our best.