My mare is 4 and has started to learn to jump. She's been jumping little things every now and then for the past 6 months. I didn't want to jump too much because she is still young, and our dressage still needed work. Now that our dressage is 100 times better, I thought we'd start jumping a little more (about once a week, nothing over 2'3). Sunny has a tendancy to speed up before and after the jump and not listen when I ask for stride adjustments. It's either a fast trot or a fast canter- no inbetween for jumping (we have it in dressage though). She gets stiff and overly focused on the jump.
Today I set up an exercise that I LOVED. I put two poles on the center line that were 3 strides apart. Then I put a pole on the diagonal next to the furthest pole on each side. So it was like: Go over the first pole and then you have a choice- 3 strides bending line left, 3 strides straight, or three strides bending line right. I never made the poles into jumps because any exercise I can do without actually jumping is awesome (she's still young and I'm worried about joints). This got her to listen to me, we practiced lead changes, and staying supple up to the "jump". Also, It was a nice change from our normal boring dressage figures.
What other exercises can I set up that will help? I was thinking about the Wheel of Death to keep an even stride. Any and all ideas, opinions or comments are welcome :)