Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Your on the right track with doing trot poles. Once you are comfortably moving with those, you can raise one off the ground to incorporate the jump. Work yourself up to a single jump. Slowly and gradually increase the size once you are consistently clearing it and are maintaining a good position.
To get your legs muscles working, do a couple of laps around the arena w/t/c. That will help with being able to stabilize yourself over the jumps.
As you both are relatively new, give him a good deal of release so you don't pop him in the mouth when you land or if you get left behind. You don't want him going sour ;)
Grids will help teach him to tuck his knees up, so if you have someone experienced to help you, set one up and give it a go.
Take videos! While you are not working with a trainer, you can go and watch them, pick up on things that need to be fixed, and work on that next time.
Good luck and have fun!
There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky