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View Full Version : Critique/advice **Show results in post 34 AND now pics**



VTHokie
Sep. 15, 2009, 10:21 PM
We (my 5 yr. old mare and I) have our first dressage show this weekend. Today we had our worst school so far. I had someone videoing today, so I might as well post while I have a few days left to school.
We are doing intro. B and Training 1. She is spooking in the video at yard work going on behind the person videoing. I am now pretty sure she will be spooking at the judges stand etc. if she is this easily distracted.

Any advice on what I can work on this week would be greatly appreciated. I've reverted to some bad habits today since I was so focused on the spooking. No excuses I know... it was a learning experience for sure.

Intro. B http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiJIMqhl3g8

Training 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usUPBdspV68

HenryisBlaisin'
Sep. 15, 2009, 10:40 PM
IDK, it seems that whenever I have a couple of lousy schools the week before the show, the show goes better than if he schools GREAT all week. Lower expectations=less pressure, maybe.

Just ride the rest of the week as if today never happened, and no matter what happens at the show, remember that you will never have to endure your first test in your first show again.

joiedevie99
Sep. 15, 2009, 10:43 PM
I didn't see any naughty behavior in the intro B video- your horse is just curious and wants to look at whats making the noise. Just remember to put your inside leg on and push the horse towards anything they want to look at. You can use your inside rein as well to create a little bit of inside bend. In order to practice the aids, turn a little early in the corners- as if you were going to cut them just a little. Then push the horse out into the corner with your inside leg. Thats the feeling you need to create when the horse wants to look at the scary monster at C. Turn the head in/away, and push the body towards the monster.

Your horse is adorable and I'm sure the show will be fine. Some horses just need mileage, so if it doesn't go as well as you hoped- chalk it up as "one for the team" that had to happen eventually and know the next one will only get better.

twofatponies
Sep. 15, 2009, 10:46 PM
That's your worst ever? I thought it was quite decent for that level.

I did worry about the video person getting run over by that mower or whatever in the background, though. It sounded like it was coming closer! :D

Your straight lines are pretty darn straight, the circles appear to be round, etc.. The horse keeps a nice steady rhythm 99% of the time, and corrects quickly when you ask. The "spook" was barely a glance (a little wiggly wiggly with your finger on the inside rein to keep her attention before she starts looking would probably be enough). Where the transition walk to trot is a little rough, (I only watched the first video), it's just a matter of softening your arms and using your seat/leg in a gradually increasing way, perhaps? Like you asked her a little too suddenly, and then she raised her head because it was a little uncoordinated between your seat/leg and hands.

Overall I think you ride a little bit "rolled forward" with your hands a little low, but I've seen worse. It's helped me to think about the reins running all the way up my arms to my shoulders and beyond into my back, rather than something I hold in my hands. Or some people find it useful to think of sitting like a princess, a little more raised up in the chest, upper body floating, hands carrying two glasses of wine. It's perhaps an exaggeration (and if you overdo it then it's just stiff and silly looking), but I've found it useful. Perhaps between now and your show is not the time to worry about overall position - that takes time and video/mirrors to work on.

She looks like a comfortable horse to ride and a cutey-pie, and quite happy in her work. Good luck!

J-Lu
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:00 PM
OK, allow me to call you out on something. I watched your videos.

Your mare looked at the machinery behind the videographer a couple of times. Your mare spooked once when you started the canter work. You brought her back very nicely. Ummmmm, what are you worried about? :) You guys look great and you have done your homework.

Clearly, you and your mare are on the same page. She listens to you. I'm guessing that the judges stand will be peanuts compared to loud and noisy farm machinery. If you feel nervous, she will feel nervous. If you ride her as if to say "Awww, come on, that's nothing" she will likely think "hmmm, it's probably nothing".

Also, if you get there the day before or before the show starts, you can hand walk her around the ring and show her the judges stand before you have to ride in the ring. I have put sugar cubes or pepperments on the judges table or inside the stand for nervous horses and let them grab them. I have stood in the stand or asked others to stand in the stand while walking the horse by and assuring that there's not a big deal. I have stood in the judges stand for other people's hot horses (even for strangers) and dispensed treats when they got used to the box enough to stick the nose in. Associating a dark scary stand with treats or pats or scratches really changes a horse's attitude when they are new to the whole scene. I never underestimate the power of treats. Before-the-show preparation like this can make all the difference in the world. But I must say that your girl really seems to trust you already. So have faith in her!

I rode a OTTB mare who was very hot during pecan farming around our ring. She was nervous about it...but after that she really believed that it WOULD be OK if I said it was OK. Pecan harvesting machinery is very odd looking.

Good luck this weekend and have a good time with your mare. You guys will be fine!

J.

Ambrey
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:01 PM
VT, just watched your intro video- it looked lovely and very relaxed! I think you'll do great :)

quietann
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:07 PM
Awwwww. She's adorable! So wide!

I am not the one to "critique" as I am at about the same level as you are -- but keep in mind, Intro tests are for the young and the new :) Many people would say the same of Training, especially T1 and T2.

I didn't watch each video all the way through, but I think you handled the spook in T1, at the trot-canter transition towards the end, very well. You kept your leg on and kept her forward, even though she'd jumped sideways. I think that when they spook, especially a spook like this where it's over pretty quickly, you just keep going.

If she gets "looky" -- keep her going forward and if you can, turn her head away from what she's looking at. Yes, it will likely lower your score, but it's a good teaching experience for her.

I did exactly this with my mare -- who can be quite hot and spooky and is much more of a "sports car" than your mare -- today, passing some trash cans on the road. Turned her head away, kept her moving forward, accepted some sideways along with the forward. Coming back, she was much better -- still looky, but we had more forward and less sideways.

You'll hear from a lot of people -- and I agree -- get her out, take her places, let her see a lot of stuff so she learns there is not so much to worry about. I had a lot of help from a trainer for this and am very satisfied with our progress.

It's about your confidence as much as hers.

Here's a recent thread about spooky horses: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=219966

And one I started, about my horse being very very bad at a clinic with a big name trainer:
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=209746

Good luck!

VTHokie
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:10 PM
Also, if you get there the day before or before the show starts, you can hand walk her around the ring and show her the judges stand before you have to ride in the ring. I have put sugar cubes or pepperments on the judges table or inside the stand for nervous horses and let them grab them. I have stood in the stand or asked others to stand in the stand while walking the horse by and assuring that there's not a big deal. I have stood in the judges stand for other people's hot horses (even for strangers) and dispensed treats when they got used to the box enough to stick the nose in. Associating a dark scary stand with treats or pats or scratches really changes a horse's attitude when they are new to the whole scene. I never underestimate the power of treats. Before-the-show preparation like this can make all the difference in the world. But I must say that your girl really seems to trust you already. So have faith in her!
.

Hmm..I hadn't thought of what happens before the show starts. Is it usually allowed for riders to go in the arena before it starts? The treat thing could work..... :D

NCSue
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:14 PM
What? No bucking? No jumping around because a horse eating monster is coming after her? NO flipping around with one leg up over her head trying to get a biting fly? LOL! That was my ride today. And believe me that isn't distracted . You've got a precious gem. You will do absolutely fine. Since your mare is used to riding by herself she probably won't be looking for other horses in the ring, but that does bother some right at first.

VTHokie
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:18 PM
The bigger spook in the Training 1 video is actually not even machinery at that point. Someone is going in and out of the bushes with a weed spayer. :rolleyes:
It's just been a bad couple of days for riding with an unusual amount of yard work.
Yesterday we stopped schooling all together when someone was out in the garden with a machete (sp?). Totally blew her mind, and wasn't worth risking my safety when no one else was around.

I agree though that it doesn't look that bad when I went back and watched it. It just felt really bad I guess.

spotted mustang
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:20 PM
I didn't think it was all that bad :)

All in all, I'd say she'd need more forward and impulsion. Right now she looks a bit too laid back, particularly at the trot. However, she's very cute (though a judge may point out that she's a teeny lil' bit, well, chubby;)) and she seems to respond well to you.

You do look a bit tipped forward at times and your lower leg goes too far back when you do. Is she a bit on the lazy side maybe, and are you using your lower leg a lot?

The spook is nothing; that happens at every level. You got her right back under control, that's what counts. Still, if she went a bit more forward, she might actually be less likely to spook.

Good luck for your show!

VTHokie
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:23 PM
What? No bucking? No jumping around because a horse eating monster is coming after her? NO flipping around with one leg up over her head trying to get a biting fly? LOL! That was my ride today. And believe me that isn't distracted . You've got a precious gem. You will do absolutely fine. Since your mare is used to riding by herself she probably won't be looking for other horses in the ring, but that does bother some right at first.

hehe we've done the biting fly buck a couple times. I've got a good arsenal of fly spray and fly repellent lotion now. :winkgrin:

VTHokie
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:27 PM
she's very cute (though a judge may point out that she's a teeny lil' bit, well, chubby;))


She's 3/4 Belgian so she is naturally wide. She's actually in pretty decent weight now. You can feel but not see ribs slightly.

spotted mustang
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:31 PM
She's 3/4 Belgian so she is naturally wide. She's actually in pretty decent weight now. You can feel but not see ribs slightly.

lol Uh oh. I should know better than to comment on a lady's weight. I might have seen it wrong on my tiny lil' screen. If so, please pass on my humble apologies to Ms. Ginger, along with a kiss and a carrot.

dainty do
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:31 PM
Awwww,

Cute, cute, cute, not at all what I was expecting based on your description. Sorry, can't criticize you or your very cute horse. Good luck and have fun!!

J-Lu
Sep. 15, 2009, 11:47 PM
Hmm..I hadn't thought of what happens before the show starts. Is it usually allowed for riders to go in the arena before it starts? The treat thing could work..... :D

Yes yes yes! You will find lots of people walking their horses around the ring before the show officially starts at recognized and schooling shows. At recognized shows, lots of people school in the ring the day/night before. Sometimes shows open the ring area for hand walking or even riding during lunch or breaks. You may not want to ride but you can certainly hand walk your horse all around the arena before the show starts. I *ALWAYS* show horses the ring area and judges stand prior to a show if at all possible. If the show is out in the open you can sometimes longe behind the judges stand, too. It is really worth taking the time if you can. Your gal looks like she'll appreciate it and really work with you. Like I said, some might cringe, but I never underestimate the power of treats. It has yet to let me down... :)

VTHokie
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:00 AM
Wondering if I should drop my stirrups back down a hole. Put them up today, because I felt like I was reaching and couldn't keep my heel down at all. The saddle is new to me as of last week (it is a used Rembrant - well broken in). I was riding in an all-purpose Wintec so pretty big change. Re-learning how to post with such a deep seat.

Liz
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:15 AM
Sometimes a horse will be more likely to spook at something at home that has "changed" than going to someplace where everything is new (hope this makes sense). You will be fine. Good luck.

VTHokie
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:20 AM
Sometimes a horse will be more likely to spook at something at home that has "changed" than going to someplace where everything is new (hope this makes sense). You will be fine. Good luck.

True!

Zevida
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:21 AM
I watched the intro test and it was very pleasant. Consistent, steady and quiet, just what they want in intro. The spooking a little bit was no big deal, especially for a young horse. When you are approaching something that is scary, think a little shoulder-in feel or shoulder-fore. Even if the mare doesn't actually know how to do that movement, if you put yourself in that mindset, it will really move her off your inside leg which will help keep her from spooking in.

On the intro test, remember that the movement for the halt specifically says to halt through the walk. So make sure you walk before X and then walk for a few clear strides before you halt. Your first halt was very nice, but there were no walk steps so a judge could fault you for that.

dwblover
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:36 AM
It ALWAYS feels worse than it looks! Just remember that. Not a nasty spook by any means, horse is cute and looks sweet. Just remember to keep that inside leg on at the show. If she seems nervous than keep a slight inside bend so she won't see any goblins outside the ring. You'll do great!! I'm taking my six year old OTTB to our first hunter pace next weekend, so if I can do that, you can do this, LOL. :D

VTHokie
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:43 AM
Thanks for all the encouraging words!
Zevida - thanks for the reminder about the walk steps. I could have swore I did, but when I went back and watched all I did was a couple steps to line up her feet. Definitely didn't do walking strides.

NCSue
Sep. 16, 2009, 09:15 AM
Wondering if I should drop my stirrups back down a hole. Put them up today, because I felt like I was reaching and couldn't keep my heel down at all. The saddle is new to me as of last week (it is a used Rembrant - well broken in). I was riding in an all-purpose Wintec so pretty big change. Re-learning how to post with such a deep seat.

Its a big transition from your hunter equitation. You're doing it. One step at a time. If saddle is pitching you forward somewhat you may find that you'll need saddle fitter (he'll be in Williamston in November) to add more flocking at the front of the saddle.

This is a schooling show so you may not be able to walk Ginger inside the ring.

I know you have memorized your tests but you might like a caller for security/confidence. It's not a sign of being ill prepared.

ideayoda
Sep. 16, 2009, 11:04 AM
It is a perfectly decent school for that level, and a very kind horse with a steady (but slow) tempo. But do not concentrate on the spooking, concentrate on keeping the horse slightly more active/longer strides (not faster per se) and moving more (rather than just letting her go), keep her more between the inside leg and the outside rein and the horse will not have the time to think about other things. When showing you get to go around the outside of the arena once. Look toward the inside, do not look at whatever the horse starts to do (if they lose concentration) or you are agreeing with them about what is different. PULSE the (inside) aids and do not grab (with hand or leg) as an over reaction.

Rival
Sep. 16, 2009, 11:37 AM
I would try dropping your stirrups a hole. The problem is with a young horse who doesn't consistantly have its back up a shorter stirrup can be beneficial and a long one can leave you hanging. I did notice that you tended to let your right leg slide back to far behind the girth when it was your inside leg. The other thing I noticed is that in your halt I could see air between the horse and your legs. While you won't be able to fix this by the show, I would work on straightening out your toes and working on keeping your legs softly around the horse that way when you use your legs you don't surprise your horse. Overall though for a five year old going around with all that distraction I think you did very well. Just remember schooling shows are supposed to be fun and mistakes are expected. Good luck!

FancyFree
Sep. 16, 2009, 01:21 PM
I was expecting so much worse. Except for a few little blips, you both looked great! Good luck!

mickeydoodle
Sep. 16, 2009, 02:21 PM
You are doing just fine. I know it can feel scary when they puff up to spook, but really she just barely blinks. Think of Anky when her horse took off and would not stop.

You are going to be fine, trust her to keep her brain in her head. She looks like a doll. After you get a few shows under your belt you can work on being much more forward and develop some impulsion. For now just breathe, grab your pommel or the strap on the front ( you have a grab strap? they are very helpful) and kick her forward when you feel the "puff up" feeling.

doccer
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:31 PM
a bad school is a bad school. Forget it, love your horse and go to the show without expectations. Follow the routine ur horse knows when you get to the show. Try and have some fun and enjoy the partnership you have.

a show is just a show, and a horse is horse.

canadiandressagediva
Sep. 20, 2009, 11:33 AM
It makes me happy when I have at least one horrible schooling session the week before the show. If everything goes wrong when you're schooling that means it should all work at the show, right? I have an OTTB Mare. We're showing Intro B this summer. We're not really big into showing at this point but I did two shows this summer. The week before the first one we had three bad rides and three good rides. Show day: Test was beautiful! 79%. The week before the second show she was an angel! Six great rides. Show day: Halt at X, jump two feet side ways, re-halt near X...continue to lean on right rein and ignore half halts. She even kicked one of the blocks of the dressage fence. Thankfully no one else noticed and it just looked like she threw her head up...Oooppsss!!! They're horses, they have bad days too! You guys look very ready so don't stress about it just go and have fun!!! :D Good luck!

Ambrey
Sep. 20, 2009, 11:44 AM
So how'd it go?

angel
Sep. 20, 2009, 02:07 PM
Let your reins out about two inches, and then quit trying to post faster than your horse's natural way of going. Open your chest and post up, not forward. Watch that your right leg does not get so far back. When you are traveling clockwise, your left leg should not be so far forward. Let the weight of the rise fall into your heels, not into your toes. Right now, you almost look as if you are doing pull-ups from the reins. Keep your thumbs on top so that your elbows do not rotate away from your body. (Intro tape)

angel
Sep. 20, 2009, 02:18 PM
(Training One) Sit up at the canter. You do not want to feel that flop, flop, flop of your butt in the saddle on every stride. You need your horse's front end to lift into the canter. When you throw your weight forward by leaning, you just make it harder for you horse to lift up in front. If you watch yourself coming down the centerline at the entrance of this test, you can see how your legs are not at the same position on each side of the horse. When you ride a straight line in trot or walk, your legs need to be even. Your right leg is really sliding back...not sure just why. Near the end, the horse shied. You contributed to that are you were restricting the right rein, just as you asked for the canter. For canter, the inside rein needs to move slightly ahead of the outside rein, and go slightly higher. When you are riding the left-lead canter, the horse's normal crookedness will generally help you, provided the reins are the correct lengthen...which these aren't quite. When you are asking the same crooked horse for the right lead, sometimes you need to release the right rein forward a bit and give a good kick with your left leg to encourage him to move up into that right rein.

slc2
Sep. 20, 2009, 03:02 PM
Honestly, I don't understand what you're so unhappy about. This was a lovely quiet test. I think you need to relax, and think about all the good moments, instead of the one or two extremely brief, almost-noticeable things you didn't like.

You have a beautiful horse, you ride very well - be happy.

VTHokie
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:47 PM
Results:

She was a very good girl, no spooking, just some looking. We got there later than planned so the initial schooling before the first test was rushed. I blew a transition by doing it way too early since I blanked on what I was doing. I thought my halts were really good but ended up with 7's on them. Got a 4 on the free walk in Intro. which seemed harsh. She did stretch some and was relaxed. Judge mentioned something about me needing to bring my leg back, totally contradicting what I actually need to do, which is keep my leg at the girth and not let it slide back. Oh well, at least the first one is out of the way.

Ended up with a 56% on Intro. B
and 57.39 on Training 1.

I won't post the video since no one needs to see me in all white. A crime against nature. :eek:

Ok, so here are the pics though.
http://community.webshots.com/album/574759210aaGjBT

quietann
Sep. 20, 2009, 10:50 PM
Hey, as an owner of a sometimes difficult horse, just barely beyond your level, that sounds like a wonderful start! Scores are nothing to sneeze at for a first show.

I showed today also, got mid-60s scores on Training 2 and Training 4, which I did not deserve. Maresy was up-up-up and broke to canter several times. But you know? I still enjoyed it.

NCSue
Sep. 21, 2009, 09:18 AM
Whooo. Got the first show out of the way. It's surprising how blank you can become during the test. One of the reasons I mentioned a caller for the first few times. I think you and Miss Ginger did very well. Congratulations.

VTHokie
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:44 AM
Whooo. Got the first show out of the way. It's surprising how blank you can become during the test. One of the reasons I mentioned a caller for the first few times. I think you and Miss Ginger did very well. Congratulations.

The sad part is that Claudia WAS calling for me. :o Problem is, when I show, I tend to tune everything else out around me. It was always a problem for me in hunters when Amy was talking to me during a course and I wouldn't hear her at all.

VTHokie
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:59 PM
pics in post 34

slc2
Sep. 22, 2009, 07:55 AM
I'm not sure why you are so hard on yourself and that mare. Try and relax and just enjoy yourself instead of being so serious and critical. Your horse was very well behaved, you scored well - relax. This is a hobby. No ships will be sunk, no one will die, no national debt will be added to. It's a hobby. Relax.

VTHokie
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:31 AM
I'm never hard on her. She's wonderful and kind, and I do think quite talented. I'm just hard on myself. I'm over it though and ready to forge ahead!

shawneeAcres
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:31 AM
We were at this show, I had two students riding. Although I did feel the judge was a little harsh for the intro tests, I wouldn't say overly so, and 7's on halts at a first show is pretty good! I saw your mare and she is cute. I suspect the judge gave you a 4 for free walk as this mare doesn't have the bigest walk stride, so I would work hard on getting her to stride out in the walk, since she appears to be a draft or draft cross., the walk is often the hardest thing to get them to relly march on in. overall I think you made a pleasing picture. One of my students got a 50% in Intro A, I thought he was closer to a 55 myself, but hey, no biggie, remeber its a schooling show! The other one got a 61.5% in Intro B and we were very pelased with her test and scores overall, getting an 8 for a halt. What you need to concentrate on is forwardness in my opinion, although I understand that at the first show you may want to keep things from getting TOO forward! Good job! Oh yes, one other thing, you do appear to be "bracing" on your stirrup, I think you are trying TOO HARD to keep leg forward. I would work on relaxing the leg and "wrapping it around" the horses barrel, not gripping but allowing the leg to come in contact with the horse thru the INSIDE of the leg and not the BACK of the leg. Keep up the good work!

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:14 PM
I love your mare! Congratulations on your first show. Up, up and awaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Looking forward to great updates in the future!

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:21 PM
I'm never hard on her. She's wonderful and kind, and I do think quite talented. I'm just hard on myself. I'm over it though and ready to forge ahead!

Good job and good for you. Go get 'em. :)

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:23 PM
Do me a favor- go out and get the photos you posted here of you two in flat work a year ago, then look again at the photos from your show.

Because I see an amazing improvement, and I think you should be patting yourself on the back! Someone here has a sig that says "dresssage is long. A lifetime may just be enough." Remember that, and reward yourself (and your girl) for your progress and hard work!

VTHokie
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:28 PM
Thank you!
Patting..self...on...back. :winkgrin:

slc2
Sep. 23, 2009, 06:17 AM
LOL. You're never hard on her? No, not like beating her, I mean over reacting to every little look and spook she makes. Try to ignore it just bend her a little and just go forward. You're ALSO criticizing the judge! S/he wasn't wrong at all about your leg. Your knee is too high and forward, it needs to come down and that will bring your THIGH back, you take your LOWER leg too far back, because your thigh and knee are too forward and high. Like everyone at that point you need to get down deeper in your saddle, bring your knee and thigh down. I'm not saying it's awful and you have to fix this and 10,000 other things immediately, iit will happen over time, gradually as you go thru different steps and work on various things. I'm just saying don't second guess the judge so fast! Be a little open minded and listen to them a little bit.

VTHokie
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:32 AM
Judge said I need to shorten my stirrups and get my lower leg back. If my knee is over bent and my lower leg is too far back, how is she correct?

VTHokie
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:53 AM
Wanted to add that I'm conflicted about the stirrup length because I can get my leg around her better with the stirrups down a hole but then I have to ride on my toes instead of dropping into my heel since I can't reach.

AnotherRound
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:14 PM
I've seen alot of beginning riders with their stirrups too long and the back of their leg against the horse instead of the side of their leg, and the heel isn't down, and the toes are turned out. A notch or two shorter, side of the leg against the horse, leg pulled back, foot under your hip, heels down with weight in heel isn't as easy as the former description, which keeps you from having an effective leg. Takes a while to get that, but that's what you got to do.

Ambrey
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:21 PM
Wanted to add that I'm conflicted about the stirrup length because I can get my leg around her better with the stirrups down a hole but then I have to ride on my toes instead of dropping into my heel since I can't reach.

I've played with stirrup length a lot (I also have a very wide boy).

Here is the thing. Your body has to be straight, so unless you have the strength and flexibility in your hip joints to keep that hip angle open and not let them rotate out or pull your upper body forward, you will need to be a little shorter. For posting trot, a little shorter. For sitting trot, work on opening that hip angle and make them a little longer.

Also, a lot of the time I am reaching for my stirrups it has nothing to do with how long they are, and everything to do with gripping with my knees and letting the weight come out of my feet- you're not supposed to have a lot of weight in your stirrups, but you do need to have a long leg. Don't let your leg shorten because you are gripping.

I'm not one to critique your photos, those bits of wisdom are what have helped me with my own issues.

Learning to remain vertical or even slightly behind is, according to many people I've talked to about it, one of the hardest things about switching from hunt seat to dressage seat- and it's all about that hip angle.