Spyder, thank you for your post. I wholeheartedly appreciate it!
I've watched the old video over and over and I see exactly what you are speaking of. I also see that my leathers are way to short and I am perching on his back - so I do agree with what you say about balance.
Thank you for your article - I had to print it out!! It is on my fridge right now, and will be on the cork board at the barn. I will definately work on the rein forward - but I have to ride him correctly as well.
Thank you again! I will try to get my Husband to record me to give a much more recent video of us.
My reins - I have a huge issue with that Sypder. I tend to tense up in my shoulders and my elbows - then my fingers follow. And then I see that I am holding him instead of moving with him. I have to remind myself to sofen up, so I do.....and then my fingers get too soft and my reins slide through. Frustrating!
I do have to lengthen my leathers - I've ridden with them that short for such a long time being an Eventer...they are solid and locked - but not functional. I've also grown accustomed to having them locked and loaded at the girth like that because I've ridden so many green n spunky horses - they keep me solid and secure in my tack.
So I have to retrain my legs to get under myself and become more functional for my needs.
There are a few different things you can try do make Nelson lighter. When you're riding along, and you relax your body and "quit" riding so to speak, does Nelson keep carrying you forward, or does he feel you stop riding and fall apart? Like you feel you have to keep nudging him forward with every stride or two? Before I go into that scenario, I'll wait until you say yes or no. lol
No, he stops. I constantly feel that I have to hold him with my legs and that outside rein.
When we go to the right - it's worse. He refuses to get on that outside rein...well, let me correct that. I am not efficiant enough to get him on that outside rein and I am more than likely riding him incorrectly and getting the response I am getting due to that.
But, I can get a few nice moments, and then loose it. He also loves to lean into my inside leg. It feels like - especially when we move around a bend, that we are at an angle \ lol.
You can start at the halt. In your body, have the energy like you are about to ask him forward, and lightly touch his sides with your legs. You want to feel him respond immediately. If he doesn't, and he is waiting for you to carry on and really nag him forwards, don't wait 2 seconds before the forward aid gets loud enough to send him forward, just in a moment. Bring him to a halt again, and repeat. Each time he feels you come in light, he will start to catch on that if he doesn't get on the job you are going to get loud and soon will decide that responding to the smallest aid is more pleasant. You then carry that on to the other gaits. You have to feel what he is responding to and deliver the aid accordingly. If he responds quicker one time, the next time you may not need to be so loud. If he responds less, you ask more. Don't allow him to sucker you into nagging or asking with too much or for too long.
Thank you for that! I will definately do this today when I ride!!
I was given one of George Morris' lines - because I love him so much and highly respect him....
Ask, Cluck, Spur, Whip.
That hit home for me too :) So ask softly, then get louder - gotcha!
Thank you for your responses!
Let me try to get a recent video of us. I hope I can convince Hubby to get some shots for me today so that I can get a better idea to you of where we are right now a year later.