Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Well...you did ask for a critique. I think everybody believes that this horse is talented. I know that you're looking for riding advice. I agree, also with the previous posts, although since the horse isn't your property there isn't much you CAN do about it. It will have to be for future reference unless you are able to buy him for yourself. I don't have any "this or that killed/damaged my horse" stories. I just know that TB's are bred with shelly feet and they don't have solid Arab legs, though they look that way. I'm sure that the owner is having you show him to get a sale. All of this jumping will tell their toll on his front legs. Ah well, you can take my comments with a shaker of salt, if you wish.
If I bought him, I would want to train him for a long, long career. I'd take him back to working over ground poles and super fine-tune him with groundwork and not seriously jump him again until he got to be about 5yo, and his bones were set. I'd probably set up some semi-permanent cross bars at my gates so that he'd have to jump them (sans rider) coming in from the pasture, and change the small jumps, for interest. I would ride him hours on end at a walk. People forget that a natural extended walk is one of the best ways to muscle up your horse without straining muscles and legs.
You ride very well.