Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
Congrats! He's very cute.
You're missing a couple of fundamental elements in your foundation, and one very directly contributes to the other. You would do well to really work on educating your leg - in each of the pictures, you were standing on your toe and thus, losing your leg to the rear. This pushed your upper body forward, and to keep your balance in the air, you were relying heavily on the reins. That also contributed to you getting left behind a couple of times.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I will say to you what I've said to many people - no-stirrups work is your friend! Shorten your stirrups a couple of holes and work on really anchoring your center of gravity down in your calves. In the meantime, get in the habit of really releasing (and I mean loop-in-the-reins releasing) a stride or two out and grabbing some mane. Ride around the ring in two-point and then come into grids and lines without ever changing your balance point. Get rid of the stirrups and repeat the exercise.
An unintentionally punishing hand is one of the top reasons a horse starts refusing - and as your horse looks like a willing sort, it's best to work on keeping it that way! Once you've got your leg sorted, I guarantee you will not only produce a better jump, but you will also feel more confident when the jumps get bigger.
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.