I have been given the opportunity to show a super cute mare in a few local WP competitions. I've ridden her twice. She is very well trained, but after being bred twice she is very out of practice. We have a little over a week til the first show, so I am going to try and have several more practice rides in between!
By our second ride together, I feel like we were much better at the "jog." (The first ride had a LOT of TROTTING and by the end some jogging) We also practiced a lot of transitions from W/T and backing up. Things have cleaned up a bunch between those, but now the biggest obstacle is the CANTER!! She has very good departs, but they are fast. After a lap or two, we are at a slower pace, and I have felt a few of those peanut rolling lope strides in-between. For me, they honestly feel very strange! I am used to a VERY forward quarter pony and normally ride english. When her head goes down and she is going so slow, I feel like she is getting ready to stop. (I have to remind myself that slow in this case is a good thing... don't add too much leg, lol!)
I would love and appreciate any tips that anyone has to offer! What confuses me the most is headset and using the reins. At the jog, she drops her neck and I have a looser rein. For the canter, I shorten the reins and have been giving and taking with the reins to try and rate her speed. She is only straight reined, and responds moderately well to leg pressure. I feel like that with more riding practice she will become more receptive to leg and seat.
Anyways, below is a video taken from our second ride. Maybe I can update with more as we keep practicing!!
I apologize for the picture quality, it was from my cell. The main things are the headset (how can I improve it?) and rating the canter.