I want to learn some Dressage to help improve my riding and help with my horse. For years now I have been taking hunter/jumper lessons and have been riding in them 2 times a week.
Last summer I bought my first horse and I started from square one hoping it would help with our jumping. He was a very high strung, anxious and nervous horse and I wanted him to calm down and relax so I had been working on flat work basics for a good 8 months (collection, extension, circles, bending, poles, cavaletties ect.) and he has been AWESOME. We have shown and won many pleasure classes and under saddle classes and I knew he improved greatly. My trainer and I decided a few weeks ago to try him over small fences again and see if anything we worked on had helped and it didn't. He is still rushing fences and either takes off or continuously swaps his lead/crow hops out of them then takes off for the next fence. I felt like all my work led to a dead end.
One of my friends recommended I try doing some Dressage exercises and seeing if that helps. I really want to try and help him as well as help myself. I am afraid that I am using too much hand and not enough seat. My problem is the Dressage trainers in my area cost way too much for me to even think about affording it . Is there any exercises or basic moves I can learn to help myself? Or even books/websites/videos you guys recommend I take a look at?
Thank you in advance to anyone who responds! I really appreciate it.