Let's start with the halt. Both of these pictures are taken at the final halt in the test, but I want to look at them first as an overall snapshot of Courage's condition/tack at the time as well as my riding.
Which is to say he's had a complete tack overhaul and I didn't buy new clothes.
More importantly, look at how he's filled out and filled in--the whole picture is longer in the second photo as Courage continues to develop a sporthorse body. My position has started to become less defensive and more dressage-ish. I'm intrigued that his color is actually somewhat different as well.
Then we walk:
You may notice that my reins are habitually too long. I don't think either picture is bad, but Courage looks so much soft and pleasant in the second shot. Why is my left hand doing that? BECAUSE REASONS.
For a little reference, in 2014, Courage was closing in on a year off the track. Now we're full-steam-ahead towards two. I think the derby was the only show we actually went to last year? We talked about others, but life circumstances were not permitting.
These angles are a little harder to just compare straight across, but I love how much more Courage is moving across the ground now, rather than up and down over it. It's hard to see if you don't zoom in, but his mouth is open and resisting in picture 1, while he's actually started to close it
most some of the time now.
Yes, my position is different in part because of the dressage saddle, but more importantly, dressage lessons have been HUGE for both of us.
So... Progress has been crazy slow and uninspiring, but look! We're getting somewhere. Eventually.