A little background info on my horse may be helpful in this critique: He is a VERY spooky ride, and has a tendency to be a dirty stopper. It got so bad about a month ago, he refused to go over any jump the first, or even the second time. We ended up having some sort of unspoken negotiation that he would stop twice before every jump, and then go over it on the third attempt.
He was an abuse case, and has very little confidence in himself, so even though he has a great heart and wants to please, he is not naturally brave and aggressive to the fences. Over the past month, my trainer and I have been working hard on letting him build his confidence. We change the course often, and I ride him aggressively all the way to the base of the fence, and yell like a crazy lady to get him to go.
Luckily, my witch screams seem to be working (not sure what the neighbors think, though), and he is actually stepping up to the challenge of an obstacle, rather than backing off 3 strides out.
Today, in my lesson we did some extensive grid work to get Agent thinking foward- a ground pole to a large X-rail, then one stride to a 2'6 vertical and another stride to a 2'9 vertical. This is the first time I have ever jumped 2'9.
Here is a video clip of the grid, and a video still over the 2'9 fence. (I'm working off a Mac and can't get them to embed into this page, so I have to put YouTube links :( --) Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!