Ever since then he would not go near, much less touch a pole on the ground. So I started working with him, and desensitizing him to the big scary horse-eating jumps, and we started from the ground up, going over ground poles and crossrails, and we went up and up to where we have jumped 3 feet.
Here's where the problem came up. When I was first re-training him, I let him look, sniff, measure, and bite the jumps before jumping them. Just to make sure he was completely familiar and comfortable with them, making sure he wouldn't get scared. My trainer wanted me to wean him off of that habit, which I agree with, and so she informed that there would be about 2 months of complete hell and of him testing me. Well, it's been a long time of hell and he's not getting any better. When I don't allow him to look at them he refuses, he's unhappy, he gets frustrated and angry. Only when I ride him with a crop in each hand will he eventually go over them.
It's sad though, because he's a phenomenal jumper, like I said, we've jumped 3 feet, and he absolutely loves it. He has such talent and he's so happy when he's actually jumping, it's just the getting there that's a problem.
I also know that 99.9% of the time it's the rider's fault for refusals, but my trainer has told me I'm riding him correctly and well.
Lately we've been conditioning for an endurance ride and working on some dressage, and I've told myself that if in 2 years when I leave for college if he's still not jumping consistently that I won't make him anymore, but I find that such a shame because he's such a talented happy jumper.
Any new ideas for me to try on him? Keep in mind that he's extremely smart and strong willed.