Just starting...a few questions
I never thought i'd be jumping again (never learned and then had a new trainer try to force it on me when I was 18...needless to say it didn't end well and so I quit doing it. It just scared me too much). Anyways, while I was in Scotland last fall, my friend was riding him and discovered that not only does he like to jump he's really good at it. And this is a horse that had never even seen a jump until last year at the age of 14. So long story short, he's been eyeing the jumps in the ring during my weekly lesson and so i've made the decision to try jumping again just because he loves it so much. So today I worked up the courage to set up a little 18" crossrail and just take him over it all by myself (there was another person there at the barn just in case anything happened, but this wasn'ta lesson). I trotted around at two point and then headed him for the jump. Of course I panicked right before it and clutched mane in a really awkward two point and what does my precious little boy do? He just calmly takes me right over it at the trot, canters away, stops when I ask and then looks back at me as if to say "geez mom, its just a crossrail. No need to be so nervous". I'm sorry if i'm boring anyone. This isnt the question, but I just had to brag. He took such good care of me. We went over it several times without any incident. He's so steady and never rushes or anything. I was just so proud of him for jumping like a little pro considering he had a nervous rider on him and he'd just learned to jump.
Ok, so here's my question. He likes to approach the jump, and then right before he takes off, he kinda stops. Its not a refusal. It seems like he just wants to stop and figure out exactly how he should jump it. But i've never had a horse do this: get to the base, pause, look at the jump, and then jump it. Why is he doing this? He never refuses and has cleared it fine everytime. Its just confusing me. I'm going to ask my trainer at our next lesson, but I wanted to see if you experienced jumpers had any ideas as to why he does this and if its a bad thing?
Again, sorry for the long winded paragraphs; im just really excited about how it went. Any insight is greatly appreciated.