Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
• Horses: 0
Fantastic jumping pair. Really appropriate for the level you're doing. Yes, there are a couple nit-picky things here or there, but overall I feel confident about your jumping.
Without knowing more of your history, my guess would be that you go clean show jumping (or with a rail here or there, but no refusals) and do very well cross-country, but that your dressage scores suffer, thereby bringing you down into the middle of the pack come competition time.
Flatwork, in my opinion, is the foundation for all jump work. Your horse cannot reach their jumping potential until you re-focus on the dressage. I can see that your horse is eager/willing to jump and quite handy. You are a brave, forward team. What I'd love to see is a dressage test to match. I want to see impulsion from you guys. I want to see more submission on the bit (not above the bit or intermittant contact that the horse resents). I want to see controlled power (which your horse has, but is not really using)...more floating, more freedom, more suspension. You have the "movements" down, but you're missing the dressage basics: submission, relaxation, and impulsion. The engine is all there, it just isn't turned on. Figure out a way to turn it on. Maybe get a couple lessons with a dedicated dressage trainer in your area? Save up for a dressage clinic? Watch all 6+ hours of Olympic dressage online? Read a book?
I'd really like to see you take a two to four week break from jumping altogether and only ride dressage...like a crash course. Live, eat, breath dressage for a month or so. Imagine when you ride that goal is to turn your horse into a rubber band. Your horse should expand and contract their whole body at the slightest pressure. Work long and low for topline. Do stretchy trot and free walk. Then work collected (building up intensity through the month). Then go back to long and low. Then extend. Cross-country gallop, then come back to the slowest, springiest canter. You see where I'm going with this.
Overall, I think your horse is wonderful and you look like you could kick some serious ass eventing. Just focus on the flat and you'll be amazed at how your jumping improves without even intending for it to improve!