OMG lol! I know Elsa and Jenna. I just live down the street from there and I was going to bring my horses there. I went to Schwan's because of the trails, though! Wow, sometimes I do think it's a small world!
I had to reread the year and a half part- I'm impressed!
This may just be my training, but I'd like to see you lift your hands a little when you jump, or put them a little forward. The horse you're riding seems a tiny bit upset that she doesn't have her head. In addition, you make a mistake that I made for a long time. Stay in your jumping position a little longer than you think you have to, before and after. Unless your horse is being naughty and pulling out of the jump, this is generally more comfortable for them. Its easy to fall into the habit of sitting down as soon as you feel your horse land, but usually only their front feet have landed.
I'm stunned, though. A year and a half into riding and I hadn't even thought of cantering!
I would like to see a little more release. Also.. I want to see you look for your next jump the second you land... Pick you points and ride to them like connect the dots when looking directly at your next jump isn't an option. The result will be less, last minute adjusting to fences... Straightness is kind of a pet peeve of mine.
First off I commend you if you've only been riding a year and a half! You must have had great instructors, both of the human and horse kind! Your mare is cute and looks like she is enjoying herself but she also looks like she's a bit lazy as well. She tends to chip, especially on the verticals and hangs her knees. I would do gridwork with her to get her sitting back and taking the correct spot as well as picking up her knees. In jumpers every second counts and you need a tight clean jump every time so I would work on that with her.
I would also go back to some dressage/flat work and get her stride really adjustable. If you can make your horse more adjustable it will get her more on the bit and light to your aids which will improve your straight lines and your turns as well. Practice lengthening and shortening her trot and canter without messing with the tempo. Remember you want her stretching longer with her legs and not just going faster! Good luck and good job so far!
for 18 months riding, your amazing!
but what i think you need to do to improve on, is making sure that your shoulders are back, this will make your whole upper body "stretch" more. try to also lean back a bit/lean less forward (not when jumping, when cantering). when you're cantering, don't let you're butt leave the saddle either, because when you are sitting deeper you have more control as to the length of her strides and her speed. also try to drive her on a bit, you can use your seat for this
otherwise, well done!
Your mare is pulling at the bit. I don't know her personally, so I can't tell you why she's doing this (you may already be aware of why), but I think most likely it is because you need to relax your elbows and hands a bit more, so they can move with her. I know a LOT of riders have "fixed" arms, and they fight against your horse when you don't think you are. Overall, WOW your trainers must be amazing! And your mare is really pretty
i do think you need to sit her back a little more on her hind end, so that she's more adjustable underneath you coming to a fence, i like her a lot though!
things like related distances will come more naturally and be easier to tackle if you have a canter which is like a ball bouncing along, so you feel her haunches beneath you with all of the power, and you can lengthen or shorten the distance of the bounce, while keeping the same rhythm and impulsion... i dont know if that came off clear but... basically, keeping a good constant rhythm around the entire course is what i think is the most important thing, since if the canter is good enough, the jumps will come to you
great horse and REALLY great riding, particularly for only 18months! :O