So, I'm at the point where I want to kind of branch out with what I'm doing on Ice. Nothing super complicated, but I know him and I know me and we're going to get bored of just going around the arena doing nothing except walk/trot transitions....which he now does very well. He drags his feet though, so I want to get him doing ground poles to teach him to stop being so lazy! However, he has a serious problem with my idea. One pole, fine. Two poles, fine. Three poles? OMG, HECK NO. I have tried getting him to do them from the ground and in the saddle, and he just won't do them. He strikes me as genuinely afraid of them versus just being fresh because when I asked him to walk over them with me leading him, he stopped, planted his feet and wouldn't move, and then when I would move closer to him to whack his butt, he would back up five or so feet until he felt "safe" and then he would relax. When I tried to get him to walk over them with me in the saddle, he stopped, refused to go, and then when I tapped him with the crop, he almost sat down he balked so hard.
Even as I'm writing this, it sounds to me like he understands what I want, but for some reason just won't do it. So how should I go about teaching him? I don't want to ruin his trust that he has in me and I don't want to hurt myself either. Ideas?