I'm planning on taking my trainer's pony, Bandit, to a Hunter Derby. I will likely be entering the Hunter Over Fences at 2', and a Hunter Handy.
My current plans to help him turn into a Show Hunter is to teach him to get into a better frame. Currently his holds his head high and often enough he has muscles under his neck. His trot currently is a very low frame after working with him, but I'm unsure how to get this in the canter. His current canter is rather fast paced and not very constant. I believe this may be because he is slightly out of shape. I have ordered a pair of side reins and a martingale for him, please tell how I can use them to the greatest effect!
Next to help him with his form over fences I plan on doing gymnastics with cross-rails, verticals and oxers. I hear oxers are good for getting them into a good frame.
I need to work on opening gaits as whenever I lean down to open the gait, he moves backwards from my changing weight. Is there any methods I can use to teach him to stand completely still?
Then flying lead canters, I plan on teaching him to do a flying lead change on command over a canter pole and move to on the flat and over fences.
For myself, as I am no hunter rider by all means, could someone please tell me the proper position for the hunter over fences rider in-between fences and over them? Also any tips for getting a nice half-seat. Also should I ride, in the show, in a loose ring or dee ring. I heard dee rings are the popular choice, and I have both, but wasn't sure if one or another would be better. Should I just go in the one he rides better in?
This is a very low level, local hunter show. I've been riding for 6 years in the eventing seat (or whatever you wish to call it) but I have only recently done hunt seat.
Anything else is well appreciated! Any comments on my plans- please speak up! Thank you!!