Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Southeast PA, USA
I understand being more comfortable with short spots, I used to be the same way, but as I progressed in my riding and worked more towards training, I found that most green horses tend to take the long spot. I've found that when training a horse in jumping I've had good results with letting the horse pick their own spot at first. I like to stay light on their back but still make sure to give them some encouragement and not drop them completely. I've found in most of the horses that I've worked with that this tends to build their confidence, and once the horse is comfortable with jumping I begin to alter their strides and try to put them in the spots that I like. (Obviously this is all done over fairly low uncomplicated jumps). Not only will this help your horse, but I found that once I got used to the idea that the horse really doesn't need to be right up at the fence in order to jump it safely, I got a whole lot better at following the horse and not getting ahead or left behind.
I'm not sure if I explained that well or not, lol. It took me a while to get the hang of when my trainer first introduced it to me, but I've found it to work pretty well. Hope it helps :] I think everyone else has covered the other things.
"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."