HITS, I am "quote" challenged, so I didn't cut and paste your response about trotting to the fences. When I mentioned marching her up to the fences, I'm not talking about speeding up. I didn't realize she's speedy. You're definitely doing the right thing by slowing her down. What I mean by marching is simply to get her there in a more connected and determined fashion. I'm not sure how much you've worked on half halts yet, but that's basically where I'm going with this. A little experiment you might want to try in the ring is, let her pick up her fast trot and then slow down your posting without changing anything else. Some horses will adjust their pace to match their rider. If she responds to that, then she's probably pretty in tune to your seat and I'd highly suggest working on some half halts to create a more adjustable stride. Right now you guys are like chocolate and peanut butter. She wants to speed up and you want to slow down. Put the two together and you can get your slower tempo and still create a larger trot from her without the added speed. Sorry if I rambled. It's a little difficult to explain. Basically all boils down to 1st level dressage stuff.
That makes a lot of sense (and love the chocolate and peanut butter reference haha!)
My trainer has us use half halts a lot, to try to slow her down. Sometimes she just gets nervous and doesn't listen, she's still very new to all this. I've learned lately that while me getting nervous makes her worse, she does make herself nervous a lot without me being the least bit nervous! She doesn't do it in the arena much anymore, because she's finally used to it, but it comes out a lot in cross country because it's so new to her.
But we went to school my x-c course today for my show tomorrow, and she refused a few of the jumps. I made her go over them at the point of refusal (no stepping back or turning around) and eventually she got over it and went right over. 2 things I have been really working on with my trainer since last week...we've basically stopped worrying so much about form over the fences, because that will come with time. Instead, we've been focusing on me staying back longer (because I jump ahead and then when she refuses end up on her neck!) and squeezing very tightly with my legs.
I'm very happy to report that although today she refused numerous times, I didn't come out of my seat! Now, I may have been "left behind" slightly on a couple she then decided to jump big, but at least I wouldn't be eliminated in a show, they don't really care how you look over the fence in eventing, just that you get over it and don't end up eating dirt
So here's to hoping that we'll have a "no fall" experience tomorrow morning!!