Ninamebo and Flipper,
I should have alluded to the fact that we are doing this type of warmup for relaxation purposes. I used to warmup differently-- trotting with more contact and being more forward, but then (stupidly) using canter as more or less of a "climax" of the ride (but of course trotting and walking afterwards, etc.). He used to be really bad to the left canter in wanting to go fast and not be calm. By changing our warmup to a relaxed and SIMPLE trot and canter, I can then ask him to collect at the trot and work nicely, and then work with a much more SANE mind at the canter (i.e. he had already been canter during the ride without fuss, so goes better when I actually want him to do something, have contact, etc.).
As I mentioned a few times in my original post, he is not moving forward because I am not asking him to. We usually have the balance between forward and a steady/calm speed, but in the instances that he doesn't, warming up "no fuss" has REALLY helped his canter. I do not have a problem getting him from just totting along to being more collected, and we use transitions, circles, etc.
Like I mentioned, I don't have a recent video of our "working" flat work, but here is the last one I have from the last time we jumped (months ago). He looks like that (and obviously better now) when I am asking him to work. Bentley Warm-up Trot - YouTube
We have struggled ever since I have had him to find a good medium to ensure a sane/calm canter to the left, and thus far, this no fuss warmup is the only thing that helps the most and consistently ride after ride.
He is very smart and is the type of horse who catches on to pattern very quickly; i.e. if you tend to pick the canter up in the corner often, he will anticipate it even if you aren't even thinking about cantering, or if you are doing bending exercises like figure-8's he will know when/where you want him to bend and go. He is very sensitive to the little things, and I have actually been quite pleased with how this type of warmup has been working for him and his progress.
Ninamebo-- Thank you for the critique, but I tend to have to disagree about not jumping him now. He will be 5 yrs old next month, and we are not jumping that often (as stated in my initial post). The vertical in the video is only 2'. Check out the video I just posted above; he does move in front of my leg when I am asking him to and I do not believe I am holding him back, other than asking him to stay with me and not run out of the aids. We use trot poles, and sometimes jumping, as a fun mental break to change things up, so I am not drilling "flat, flat", flat" into his head 24/7. Thanks again!
Flipper-- I will keep in mind going a little more forward during our warmup, but I feel that it will have a negative affect in regards to what we are currently working on. Thanks for the critique! :)
Also, yes, when jumping I did not want to have him start to rush the fences, so was not asking for forward. I was basically just letting him boost his confidence, but do see where impulsion will definitely help us out. I think just by not jumping him very often at all, I didn't want to ask him to go forward quite yet (to not be confused with fast/rushing), but will definitely make sure to do so next time. He is pretty brave in general (and over fences), so I really shouldn't have to worry about him refusing, etc. (like he did in the blooper video, which was my fault... lack of impulsion to a new fence!).
Do either of you have another warmup routine that might be better, but still keep him super calm and relaxed, to ensure a better canter later on?-- I think in general the change from canter being the climax of the ride (I think I have past trainers to blame for that stupid idea/habit) to canter being part of a CALM warmup has already done loads of good for him!
On another note, I have been working on my posting, as I found it to be a "back and forth" motion (i.e. my butt falling too far back in the saddle), instead of an "up and down" motion (i.e. my stomach moving up towards the sky). Thoughts? I have also been working on softening my elbows.