Lately I've been trying to work on myself when riding. One of my problems since starting dressage is that I look down. Try as I might, I couldn't break this unhelpful habit. However, the other day while I was riding I realized I wasn't looking down much at all. Three things helped this, I think. First, the riding ring is located at the top of a hill, and the views are quite nice. It's all I can do to not stare out. ;) Second, in trying to improve myself, I'm caring less what Addy's head and neck are doing each moment. Before, I didn't trust myself to have a good enough feel. Now, in trying not to nag her, I'm finding that I can feel her better. She feels slightly above the bit, I correct my position, she feels right again. Cool! Last, I'm trying to ride better corners. Sloppy corners is an awful habit left over from my hunter days. The ring I currently ride in is smaller than I'm used to, so I'm forced to utilize every inch of it. With hunters, you look around your corner to where you're going to end up. But now, in order to get deep into the corner, staying straight and balanced, I have to look at the corner itself until we're there, practically hitting the fence. Then I can slide my eyes around the fence, helping to keep me close to it.
Addy is a very sensitive (but sensible) girl. I'm thinking that I'm going to start training her to go bridleless soon. She's practically there anyway, I just need to fine-tune a little. Horses ridden bridleless generally go in a lower frame.. which is not something that Addy really needs to do (she loves to stretch and wallow!).. but I think she will benefit from being allowed to find her own balance while I'm on her back. Her daddy goes bridleless, and it's a fantastic thing to watch!