Now that I can finally jump the bigger stuff, I need more pace and a bigger stride to get over the 2'6" fences. I need to get him to cover more ground. The pace I can get to some degree if I just get after him a little, but the stride is just plain short. Today we were doing a one stride over low verticals spaced 18' apart. Even cantering in, he was still not near the base of the second fence a single time. I am reluctant to put the fences further apart and try to force the issue and end up having him pull a muscle trying to make it work.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to teach him to lengthen his stride? I've done the two poles spaced 3.5 strides apart and switching between the 3 & 4 strides, but he really seems to struggle with it.
Also, with a horse that has a naturally short stride, would you sit deep between fences or stay in a lighter seat and drive with just your legs? I tried both today, and he seems to stay more free moving if I stay off his back. My instructor says I should be sitting, but I'm not a big fan of "shoulds" since every horse is different. My logic says, just get 3 in the 2's, 4 in the 3's, etc and make it work that way.
Any help would be appreciated.