Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
I would back away from the jumps for a while. Smaller jumps may bore him, but cross bars and caveletties are really helpful tools that you could throw into flatwork on a regular basis.
I would try to start over as if you were starting a young horse and recheck all of the basics to make sure that the controls are all there and functioning properly. Do a LOT of walk and trot work on the flat. Do a LOT of softening and suppling exercises (circles, serpentines, etc.). Spend a lot of time mixing things up to keep him from getting bored. I would avoid the canter until he is very soft and calm at the walk and trot on the flat and even over some trot poles.
If you think he might do well at dressage, maybe spend some time working through the intro dressage tests with him until he has them down really well - intro has not canter, so it would fit in with slowing down for a while.
You can also mix it up by spending time working on his leg yields, side-passing, pivots (forehand and haunches), etc. You can do half halts in trot work, spirals, figure eights, etc. (try to think of all of these things as your controls for faster and more advanced work - if they aren't there at a walk and trot, they will not be there at the canter and jumping).
It really just sounds like he needs to spend some time at a slow pace and learn to supple, soften, and calm down. When you get that at the walk and trot for any pattern, maneuver, or test, then maybe slowly try to add in jumping again.
There are a lot of great groundwork activities that may help because you can transfer the leaning to the saddle, but in the end, this is a riding problem. If he has problems yielding and being soft on the bit, definitely try to work that from the ground first...I or others on here can give you exercises for that.