Just a Phase?
So I've been riding the same horse for three years now. He was 4 when I started riding him and he is now 7. He's a morab, and fits the description perfectly. He has the spunky attitude and the endurance of an arabian, and the sturdy willingness of a morgan.
Anyways, due to a long and unfortunate story that happened before I started riding him he has been terrified of jumping. It took me a whole summer of working with him, just to get him to trot over ground poles. These past couple months he's to the point where he will jump anything if I let him look at it and sniff it first. So all in all, he was doing extremely well.
It just so happens that he went lame for almost 3 weeks, then I rode him once, fell off, got a concussion, and couldn't ride for 5 more weeks. In the time that I was off of him he only got ridden once by this little girl who couldn't make him go over a rolltop. He's very smart, and that taught him to refuse the rolltop. So after 8 weeks, he's feeling a little cocky and he's trying all new sorts of stunts with me. I haven't let him get away with much, but it's been a real struggle. He's consistently been bad in lessons, refusing jumps that he always goes over, bucking, kicking out when I use my leg, not listening, spooking, just being naughty.
Before both of our "vacations" he and I got champion at the last show. I just went to a show a week ago with him and let me just say, it was not pretty.
So what I'm wondering is, is this just a phase? Is this just the time it's taking him to get back in the groove after being in the pasture for 5 weeks?
**Also, my new plan of action: I can't keep progressing with our riding while he's being bad, so I'm stepping down to 4 or 5 stairs lower in our training, and i'm going back to basics, to really focus on our flatwork and crossrails. I'm quitting taking him over higher jumps until he and I can get our act together again. Good method, do you think?