I've been jumping Zeus now about once a week. We started with baby crossrails for a while, and once he was jumping those nicely we moved it up to 2'-2'3" stuff, at the highest. Okay so with the baby x's we jumped them fine, didn't take off too early, yada yada. My position looks pretty good, for now i'm not worrying about my release except to stay out of his mouth and i'm concentrating on not jumping ahead and keeping my legs under me. Doing pretty well with that. But with the 2'-2'3" jumps today we started off really well, I'd circle around the jumps, bending him, getting him focused and collected, and than suddenly, we'd turn in and we'd pop over them. We did fine with that. As long as he can't anticipate the jump he's great. But when we'd come at the jump from a decent ways back he started jumping WAY too soon. I'd get left behind and have no hope of doing anything but staying off his back and out of his mouth on the landing. I'm thinking that until we get a jump trainer we should stick with the cross rails. Because I know it's the way I'm setting him up, or not setting him up, that's causing him to take off so early. In some pictures it looks like he was jumping the shadow instead of the jump. (Rode really early this morning, looooong shadows.)
I know ground poles should help with overjumping and I'll definitely try that. What else do you suggest besides the trainer which I'll be getting once we move him at the end of the month, and ground poles?
On the bright side Zeus really enjoyed riding so early and was very forward and willing today. He was super easy going and didn't fight me at all. I think it's because I really focused on riding him just by my seat, and use my hand lastly. I even got him to come down from a canter to a walk after one of the jumps by just a light tug on the reins and sort of blocking his motion with my seat. Brilliant.
I'll have pictures at some point today, not good ones, but oh well.
Might go up in critique.