I see HUGE improvement from the videos I saw a good while ago. You have done a really good job. The gait that I saw that was the most problematic, and probably the most difficult to improve, was the walk. He was moving somewhat laterally, which is a problem. You need to half halt, release, and repeat. He needs to slow down his rhythm so that he can move his legs in a purer four beat tempo.
In his trot work, he occasionally goes hollow. This was his attempt to "back out of the bridle" and go heavier on his forehand. Even though he can get hot, you need to urge him forward (carefully) to move him back into that bridle. This will encourage him to use his haunch a bit better, lightening his forehand. Since he is such a hot guy, you can use more seat to help influence his forward impulsion.
I remember how hollow he used to be!! He is starting to move into the bridle and use it nicely. He holds it for a bit and then backs out. Just keep urging him forward and let him know when he is doing a better job (this is SO important to encourage a horse, IMO).
His canter was a bit hot and hollow. Hollow means not enough haunch engagement. Even though the last thing you want to do is put your leg on a hot horse, that is what you need to do. He is too fast and tense. You need to half halt him, and then send him a release to help him relax. You will probably need to use a small half halt every other stride along with a slight squeeze with your leg. The leg says "go forward" the half halt says "but don't go faster". The release between every three or four half halts says "I am relaxed, so you can be too".
You and I have discussed this before and you have already used these tools to achieve excellent advances. Just keep up the good work.
Really start working on the walk, though. It is the easiest gait to mess up and the HARDEST to fix. Slow him down, give him release after half halt and use your seat to give him a definite four beat rhythm. Think of the horse's legs as if he was moving to a metronome. Resist with your seat so that he doesn't rush the walk so much. Your seat, at the walk was really stiff and "still" not helping with any relaxation or rhythm.
As for the new facility, you just need to let him settle. It takes some horses longer than others. Don't accept "booger spots". If he has a place he doesn't want to go into, insist he does. Use your leg to push him toward the places he seeks to avoid.
You need to unlock those elbows. This will allow you to raise your hands a tad. When you do this, you will be able to move with a much more consistent contact. I see a little bobbing of the reins from the stiff arms/hands. This will make Jake less likely to use the contact constructively.
His walk has gone down the drain! He had it down good before we moved. He was feeling pissy today, I have been working on lateral work the day before, and he decided that he was going to spend the day working off imaginary cues. He kept randomly doing haunches in and side stepping. I was having a hard time keeping him him straight. I am unsure as to how to slow down his walk. He either ignores my seat, or comes to a complete stop instead of slowing down. If I hold him in tight I can manage to get a 4 beat walk, but that isn't what we want. Trying to get his attention, circles or anything just frustrate him and make him take shorter, faster steps. Even if I tighten up my body ask for the slow down, pull him in, then release him as soon as he is 'walking' he instantly propels forward into his speed walk. I have done that routine for 20 consecutive minutes to no results. He fails to understand that it is the 4 beat walk that is getting the reward.
He wasn't being very sensitive today. I had to grab a dressage whip to get him to move off my leg. He was ignoring all my cues to get him to move up into the bridle. I barely had to tap him with it, which he would then respond off my leg too much, upset by me using the whip. He has been resisting actually working and picking himself up. Which I'm not sure how to really get him to push into it because, if I get too aggressive with getting him to move forward then he gets frustrated and his mind goes to mush, I might as well call it a day. He swings into hyper energy mode, and I would barely be able to get him to do anything other than jig. Trying to find that line is proving difficult.
I'll work on the half halts at the canter. I was just happy he wasn't pulling me into the speed increasing canter. He was staying somewhat consistent at that pace, which was hot and hollow. It had no fight to it, which I really liked.
As for booger spots. He doesn't have any area he doesn't want to go, but he has his hot spots where he starts to get up, hollow and speed up. Those right now are heading towards the gate and around the gate. If he's heading towards the gate, he wants to do it fast, and looks for a fight from me. He tries to fight any cue I give. He has no problem with leaving the gate, he relaxes and when not facing it and happily goes along till we are facing it again.
I'll work on bending the elbows too.
I think that is one thing I have to be thinking, relax and bend, relax and bend....It feels so unnatural. Its also hard that Jake throws a small temper tantrum when I raise the hands at all. He gets tense, raises his head and hollows and will refuse to work on the bridle.
Thanks Allison. I'll try to keep the videos coming. =)