This is where my theory becomes a little bit controversial, but so far, it has worked for me on the handful of horses that I have started, retrained and taught to jump. As you may notice in my videos, generally I am in two point on a very loose or loopy rein. On this horse (and most greener horses) I can usually get away with this and will. Granted, this position is "precarious," being up on their neck, basically leaving every opportunity open for them to do something silly, and never say never of course, but I do have faith that I have instilled the go button and his own confidence that he will keep going.
I also try and stay out of the equation as much as possible and allow for the horse to just figure out where he needs to be. With Jolie, I think this made her a bit opinionated and bold, but I would honestly rather work with a horse that is more forward and bold rather than one that is backed off or always searching for the riders help. My thinking is that if you are always training a horse to look for your command, you are in a way signing yourself up for trouble. As the saying goes, we are all human and we all make mistakes. If your error in judgement allows for the horse to make a mistake, you put both horse and rider in danger. However, if the horse can think on it's own what he needs to do and where he needs to place his feet in order to be safe, chances are these self preserving animals will get themselves (yourself included) out of the situation.
As I introduce more half-halting and flatwork, I will obviously work this into jumping and working with striding in lines, but for the beginning, jumping is foreign enough without adding the complexities of the rider being in the way, so this is how I choose to work. If I do anything it will be to add leg and encourage the forward motion (as obviously forward is key and the whole point for success)
Our goals for the rest of the month include: working on the introduction of a half halt, doing more canter poles, and eventually elevating to small bounces and one strides, and by the end of the month hopefully schooling horse show fences with gates, brush boxes, flowers and the like. I do not anticipate this being a problem but time will tell. We are hosting an IHSA english show at the end of this month, so it will be the perfect occasion to get the boys out for a taste of a show and to school in a show like setting. (at least prior as the warm up gets a little bit crazy, especially for our babies!!)