I definately agree with the not having him confuse the poles on the ground with a jump. I had a heck of a time with my mare that had that problem. I don't believe that she got any real good pole work in her training, just lots of jumping, and when I got her and tried to do some trot poles up to a jumping grid, it was not pretty. We had three trot poles up to a medium size crossrail, then a bounce to a 2 foot vertical, then a one stride to a 2'6" vertical, and then a three stride to a 3' either vertical or oxer, can't remember, but I think it was a vertical, and going into the trot poles, she jumped all three poles, and the first two fences, then made the one stride into a bounce, and took the 3 stride in one stride, and it took several times of doing it over again, and taking down some of the poles before she stopped jumping the trot poles. But if he seems willing enough, I would look for a trainer, and start working on flat with him, and see where you go with it.