Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
YES! There are soooo many things you can do to perfect jumping without leaving the ground. I bought my horse as a 5 year old and decided not to jump him until he was 6 since I thought 5 was too young too. I'm totally in the wait until they stop growing idea.
Anyway, 101 Jumping Exercises is an okay book. I think the first 30 or 40 are exercises to do over ground poles and cavaletti. All are geared toward proper steering, striding and rider position.
Dressage lessons as it pertains to jumping. Learning how to half halt your horse with your seat so that you can both learn how to adjust his stride at the canter. If you place 2 ground poles X amount of strides apart, you should be able to pick the number of strides you want to get between the two poles without fail. If you cannot collect or extend your horse's stride, it's probably not a great idea to be jumping anyway. Dressage helps with these things and also helps build your horse's necessary muscles for jumping properly from behind rather than flat and hollow.
We spent his entire 5th year doing the above things and when fences finally came into the equation, they were just things in the middle of our flat work. The basics are very important, and a year goes by very fast.
That's what I did, now Im a D grader.... :)
It works! Nd don't worry, your trainer is awsome, I must say! And a year will go by very fast, just you wait and see