Hey Erin! Horse number 1
- A lot can be solved by having good hands with this horse. Your seat also needs to be adjusted but others have covered that. Have a look at the video from 3:00 - 4:00. Your hands are unsteady, moving up and down as you post. Also, occasionally you lose some balance in your upper body and your hands compensate to regain your balance - as if you were balancing across a log and waved your arms around when you thought you were falling except less exaggerated. Understandable on a log but when on a horse with the reins in your hands - your horse's mouth feels every movement. His head throwing is most likely a response to unsteady hands, work on that and he will relax much more in the bridle.
If you can have a lesson on a school horse I would recommend riding on a lunge with stirrups and no hands! Put them out to your side, put them on your head, put them on your hips and balance purely from your seat without letting your hands interfere. When you can do this comfortably and with good balance you may have your reins back! Did you know that the Spanish riding school makes their students ride for the first two years without reins or stirrups to develop an independant seat? Here is a piccie! spanish riding school.jpg
Now of course I wouldn't suggest that you do it for that long and it will require you finding a quiet horse that you can trust but the lesson learned will be invaluable to your riding.
Just as a side note, I think your saddle is too far forward which won't help you OR him in the balance department. Horse number 2
- This horse is going to require some cool, calm, confident riding, again with very sensitive and forgiving hands. You need to give somewhat in order to allow him to settle into the bridle. I can see that there is some worry on your behalf that he may take off. Much much more riding from the seat and INTO the bridle - holding him back constantly only makes him want to go constantly. When he almost refused the jump at the end there it was a classic case of the horse being confused by mixed signals from the saddle - you wanted him to go over the jump but were using all your strength to hold him back. He kicked up a little fuss when he didn't know if you wanted him to go or stop.
I think this guy needs a lot of good consistent flat work before trying him over the jumps again. Next time you do try him over jumps (hopefully not in the near future
) - make it a four jump grid with a one bounce stride between each. If he wants to rush then let him. Just keep him straight and let him sort his own feet out. He will learn not to rush if you give him more than one obstacle to think about.
Good luck with them both!