Video Getting more *ping* jumping (or am I worrying unnecessarily?)

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Hey all, looking for a bit of help with my rising 6 year old. I'm wondering whether I'm overthinking this or not!

He is a very laid back chap and to me, he seems to lack a bit of spring, I'm not sure how else to describe it. He likes to go through life making minimal effort (unless it's something exciting like cross country where he does seem to suddenly come alive!). He has quite a flat canter, which lacks that sort of loftiness you see in more scopey jumping horses. This is definitely improving, probably because it's the one thing I spend a lot of time over-analysing and trying to improve with polework, hills, hacking, fitness etc...

He gets plenty of variety in his work, ridden 6x a week, mostly hacking/fields/canter work so is fairly fit (we hack 2hrs+), then just 1x flatwork/poles and 1x jump and that's purely gymnastics/grids, I tend to only jump full courses away from home as he is a bit more sprightly. The thing is, he's not actually doing anything *wrong* per se, it just kind of feels underwhelming to ride, every time we approach a jump it feels like he's not going to make it, it doesn't instill you with confidence especially when approaching the bigger stuff even though he does usually get over fine. You can see in the video here, he jumps a fairly decent oxer, maybe 1.15m but he just kind of steps over it, is this normal? He's very honest - I can count on one hand the amount of times he's stopped at a jump in the 18 months I've had him, all were just rider error/terrible approach. He can sometimes knock poles but I wouldn't say any more than your average youngster, just a case of dangly front legs which I'm not overly concerned about right now. He has a fairly neat backend and rarely has them down with his back legs.

I'd love to aim for Novice BE with him, but would be happy with BE100. He's a very chill, happy horse in general, always alert, ears forward, happy to be tacked up etc, doesn't buck, nap, rear, tail swish or anything that'd indicate pain, up to date saddle fit, teeth, feet etc, physio says his back is "like butter", he's had a full lameness work up done and vet said all good and even commented he was a nice, straight mover. So maybe I'm just being picky and comparing him to these seemingly springy horses everywhere?! Feed-wise he's on Alfa-A oil, a daily balancer, fibre-beet and linseed, unlimited haylage. He's out during day, in at night. Since I've had him, I have tried various additions in an attempt to give him a bit more sparkle, including pro-pell supplement, vitamin E, Turbo flakes, electrolytes, all seemed to make negligible difference...

So I guess what I'm looking for is some advice/opinions! My questions are:
- Is this something that I can actually change? Do I even need to change this? I think I'd just like to feel a bit more confident jumping him, rather than like it's a huge effort.
- Am I worrying needlessly? Should I just accept this is how he is and be happy with it, seeing as he's technically making it over the jumps fine!
- Is this something maybe will change with age? As he is still young and weak I guess.
- Does he look ok? How would you rate his technique? Maybe it's just me having tunnel vision and he is actually fine!

Thanks in advance!

Disclaimer: The rider in the vid isn't actually me, it's a local semi-pro who's been helping me (to rule out if it was a me problem!). But of course general riding tips welcome!
 

ycbm

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I'm no showjumping expert, but I think he's very efficient as a show jumper and suspect he could go a lot higher and might really ping if he does. He looks to me as if he knows that it's so easy it's not worth putting any more effort in. Have you tried him over a bigger fence?

I had one once who simply could be bothered until the fence got over 1m 10. He wasn't fun to do BE 100 on, he hit so many xc fences. He only touched one Novice that I can remember.
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I'm no showjumping expert, but I think he's very efficient as a show jumper and suspect he could go a lot higher and might really ping if he does. He looks to me as if he knows that it's so easy it's not worth putting any more effort in. Have you tried him over a bigger fence?

I had one once who simply could be bothered until the fence got over 1m 10. He wasn't fun to do BE 100 on, he hit so many xc fences. He only touched one Novice that I can remember.
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Thank you for your comments, it's funny you say that as it is something I have wondered... he has jumped a 5 foot fence out of trot out of his field before :oops:. Albeit in his signature *plop* style lol!

It's a catch 22 because I feel apprehensive to try a bigger fence as he just *feels* like he wouldn't make it... might just be me! Maybe I need to put my brave pants on and just see! Or get the rider in this vid to do it for me as he's a lot more experienced jumping higher. Definitely food for thought so thank you :D.
 

lucy_108

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I have a horse exactly like this - he tip taps his way round a showjumping course but rarely takes one down. He is so laid back he's almost horizontal, but he does the job! He doesn't give a spectacular feeling over a fence, but he certainly gets it done and I don't have to worry about him trying to launch me skywards like a lot of these big, strapping warmbloods that give everything 3ft (and then scare themselves and grind to a halt...).
I wouldn't worry...my only slight hang up would be the pace. If you want to go Novice then he needs to be a little more forward to a fence. You don't want to be cantering down to a big old table with no more gears to go up into if you need. As he is still young, you'll probably find he gets a bit more careful, with a bit more snap as he gets older (but maybe not!).
He looks lovely though, best of luck with him :)
 

TheMule

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He doesn’t look to be without ability but I would change a couple of things in his training to help him. Your canter needs to be really snappy- it needs to go on in an instant with a tiny aid and back really sharp with the hocks under. Watch Caroline Moore work with the slightly unenthusiastic and they do this until they are exploding off the aid. I would also never jump this horse with plastic poles- heavy wooden as your top rails always, use high sided crosses to get the knees a bit more snappy and use v rails in grid work.
 

Upthecreek

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He doesn’t look to be without ability but I would change a couple of things in his training to help him. Your canter needs to be really snappy- it needs to go on in an instant with a tiny aid and back really sharp with the hocks under. Watch Caroline Moore work with the slightly unenthusiastic and they do this until they are exploding off the aid. I would also never jump this horse with plastic poles- heavy wooden as your top rails always, use high sided crosses to get the knees a bit more snappy and use v rails in grid work.
Exactly what I would have said. In my experience laid back characters don’t generally transform into being sharp and bouncy and if that’s the feel you are after it sounds like you might not get it from him. He looks lovely by the way.
 

sbloom

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I'm a saddle fitter so...I see possible saddle issues that may make you worry about how he feels. Your whole leg doesn't sit against the saddle so you're being moved around by him and might be struggling to aid effectively, especially as you do up the pace and the fence height. You get a real double bounce off the last fence which can't feel nice. Rider fit is tricky, and is only something we're really only just starting to get to grips with.
 

spotty_pony

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He doesn’t look like he’s trying as he’s finding it too easy - what happens if you stick something spooky underneath such as a filler or a water tray? Might encourage him to bascule and tuck up neater in front.
 

Jango

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We dont jump as big as you do, but mine is like this, just super economical. I've found for us it's all about the canter, so to warm up for SJ I ride loads of walk to canter, rein back and go, on and back in the canter to get her really off my leg. Shit canter and we struggle, good canter and she's mega. Like yours she never stops and never jumps higher than necessary! I'd have some lessons over small fences with a good SJ trainer to really establish your canter gears, then go back to decent fences and see if you can feel a difference.
 
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I have a horse exactly like this - he tip taps his way round a showjumping course but rarely takes one down. He is so laid back he's almost horizontal, but he does the job! He doesn't give a spectacular feeling over a fence, but he certainly gets it done and I don't have to worry about him trying to launch me skywards like a lot of these big, strapping warmbloods that give everything 3ft (and then scare themselves and grind to a halt...).
I wouldn't worry...my only slight hang up would be the pace. If you want to go Novice then he needs to be a little more forward to a fence. You don't want to be cantering down to a big old table with no more gears to go up into if you need. As he is still young, you'll probably find he gets a bit more careful, with a bit more snap as he gets older (but maybe not!).
He looks lovely though, best of luck with him :)
It's good to hear others' experiences with similar types! I think I'm less concerned about the XC as once his blood is up he's much better and I think he respects the solid fences more. He can actually be quite spooky XC so tends to back himself off and then give the fences more air. I just struggle to get that same feeling SJ as to him it's not nearly as exciting so he just plops!

He doesn’t look to be without ability but I would change a couple of things in his training to help him. Your canter needs to be really snappy- it needs to go on in an instant with a tiny aid and back really sharp with the hocks under. Watch Caroline Moore work with the slightly unenthusiastic and they do this until they are exploding off the aid. I would also never jump this horse with plastic poles- heavy wooden as your top rails always, use high sided crosses to get the knees a bit more snappy and use v rails in grid work.
Thank you! I think he is capable but certainly needs "revving up" in the SJ. I definitely agree he needs to be more explosive as you put it, think that sums it up really well! Is there a particular Caroline Moore video I should look up on YouTube or H&C?

Exactly what I would have said. In my experience laid back characters don’t generally transform into being sharp and bouncy and if that’s the feel you are after it sounds like you might not get it from him. He looks lovely by the way.
That is true, maybe I'm just still getting used to him. Thank you, he is a lovely boy I am maybe just getting into that headspace of comparing him to others rather than appreciating him for what he is, which is ultimately a very sensible and reliable boy!

I'm a saddle fitter so...I see possible saddle issues that may make you worry about how he feels. Your whole leg doesn't sit against the saddle so you're being moved around by him and might be struggling to aid effectively, especially as you do up the pace and the fence height. You get a real double bounce off the last fence which can't feel nice. Rider fit is tricky, and is only something we're really only just starting to get to grips with.
I appreciate your input and would certainly agree based on the video! However it's not actually me in the video, it's a local trainer who sometimes jumps him for me so understandably he doesn't fit perfectly as the saddle is tailored to me - he's a good few inches taller than me, I'm only 5ft3 :p.

He doesn’t look like he’s trying as he’s finding it too easy - what happens if you stick something spooky underneath such as a filler or a water tray? Might encourage him to bascule and tuck up neater in front.
That was our thought process with putting the barrel there. Unfortunately he is the most laid back am yet to find a filler or tray that he's even remotely scared of! Might have to get creative... lol

We dont jump as big as you do, but mine is like this, just super economical. I've found for us it's all about the canter, so to warm up for SJ I ride loads of walk to canter, rein back and go, on and back in the canter to get her really off my leg. Shit canter and we struggle, good canter and she's mega. Like yours she never stops and never jumps higher than necessary! I'd have some lessons over small fences with a good SJ trainer to really establish your canter gears, then go back to decent fences and see if you can feel a difference.
Yeah definitely agree it's all down to the canter, we've worked so much on it in the last year but I guess it's a neverending process! Will keep on trucking with it :D
 

TheHairyOne

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My horse is like this too, though he is always very, very careful and I almost never have poles, he only jumps whats in front of him, no more, no less. And his canter is 'laid back' unless its something he thinks he needs more canter for.

Sadly for him i am no jumper so he doesnt get to play over bigger fences very often, but when he does actually use himself you feel like he could jump the moon.
 

LEC

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A friends horse was the most uninspiring lump you have ever seen. They tried to sell him after BE100 but couldn’t sell him and ended up going round Pau, Badminton and Burghley. He was always a good jumper but they had to work very hard on making him try and be inspired. Kept changing the questions, always disciplined on the canter and a lot of gridwork and footwork exercises. His absolute ordinariness is probably what kept him sound for so long and that he took part in these events rather than being competitive as dr was always behind.
 

RachelFerd

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Wouldn't worry about this in the slightest. My lovely TB jumps approx 80.1cm over an 80 fence and 120.1cm over a 120 fence. He often jumps clear rounds showjumping where he comes out of the ring with paint on his hooves from rubbing poles on the way over. His economical approach is actually one of his biggest skills - I can ride him quickly and he's very easy to stay in balance with. He looks after himself and is hyper aware of what he's doing. It took me a while to realize he's actually quite talented in his own way. Initially I wasn't convinced he do anything more than BE90s... He's now jumping 2* and eyeing up a potential move up to intermediate this season.

I do have to work very hard to generate a big, bouncy canter when jumping... But it IS getting easier as he gets stronger.


ETA - low wide oxers help mine with technique. Fences that cannot be 'ploppes' over!
 
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A friends horse was the most uninspiring lump you have ever seen. They tried to sell him after BE100 but couldn’t sell him and ended up going round Pau, Badminton and Burghley. He was always a good jumper but they had to work very hard on making him try and be inspired. Kept changing the questions, always disciplined on the canter and a lot of gridwork and footwork exercises. His absolute ordinariness is probably what kept him sound for so long and that he took part in these events rather than being competitive as dr was always behind.
It’s interesting you mention soundness. The amount of times this horse has got himself into stressful (for me!) situations where I’m absolutely certain any of my past horses would have come out hopping lame, yet he’s been absolutely fine 🙈.

He’s very sure footed I’ll give him that! And I guess his style is somewhat self-preserving and will put less strain on his joints.
 
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Wouldn't worry about this in the slightest. My lovely TB jumps approx 80.1cm over an 80 fence and 120.1cm over a 120 fence. He often jumps clear rounds showjumping where he comes out of the ring with paint on his hooves from rubbing poles on the way over. His economical approach is actually one of his biggest skills - I can ride him quickly and he's very easy to stay in balance with. He looks after himself and is hyper aware of what he's doing. It took me a while to realize he's actually quite talented in his own way. Initially I wasn't convinced he do anything more than BE90s... He's now jumping 2* and eyeing up a potential move up to intermediate this season.

I do have to work very hard to generate a big, bouncy canter when jumping... But it IS getting easier as he gets stronger.


ETA - low wide oxers help mine with technique. Fences that cannot be 'ploppes' over!
Haha I love that, always just 0.1cm above what’s necessary 🤣 maybe it is a rare and underrated talent?! Noted about low wide oxers! Haven’t tried that yet it’s on my to-do list 😄.
 

Goldenstar

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He’s a nice horse and I can see exactly what you mean .
It is of course a matter of getting the canter you what and thats where you have to concentrate .
Anything you do to get that old fashioned coffin canter is going to help .
You need a bouncy short coffin canter , a normal jumping canter, a going places canter and a sneaking about canter ( he will be good at that one ) .I would be working hard on that and don’t be afraid to change the canter in between fences to get his attention .
Keep on with the pole work and get him xc schooling little and often is best for that type .
Has he been to many shows ? What’s he like away from home ?
 
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He’s a nice horse and I can see exactly what you mean .
It is of course a matter of getting the canter you what and thats where you have to concentrate .
Anything you do to get that old fashioned coffin canter is going to help .
You need a bouncy short coffin canter , a normal jumping canter, a going places canter and a sneaking about canter ( he will be good at that one ) .I would be working hard on that and don’t be afraid to change the canter in between fences to get his attention .
Keep on with the pole work and get him xc schooling little and often is best for that type .
Has he been to many shows ? What’s he like away from home ?
Thank you 😊. Yes absolutely the canter is something we work on so much, even out hacking I play with the different gears. He’s a bit more lively at shows, and he does go a lot better when he has more room as I can get the canter more big and punchy (without going flat that’s the challenge!). There are certain surfaces as well where he feels much more bouncy and “up” so maybe that’s a contributing factor.

He is a different horse to ride XC and I don’t get that same flat feeling, so I know he’s definitely capable of being springy it’s just hard coaxing that out of him when he’s not excited!
 

Goldenstar

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Have a go with leg yielding across the diagonal line and starting slow and then speeding it up and slowing again in trot or canter ..
This type of horse needs to learn to move the hind leg with faster steps ( tempo )as they slow down it’s not natural to them obviously this takes time to develop in all horses but you need to start somewhere showing them that this how you push and slow at the same time .

Grids of parallel cross poles as bounces are worth working in as well .
 

hollyandivy123

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he has good "jump calculus"................why pop in an extra foot when you don't have to! i did pony club on something similar............the instructors use to close their eyes when we were doing grid work...........he had it to the mm, the height, and width.............and affiliated with another rider after i stopped riding ponies as i had moved onto horses
 
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millitiger

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My boy is EXACTLY like this!

I am used to super sharp, really energetic horses and my lad is the same as as yours.

I bred him so he won't be for sale but he definitely isn't the type of horse I would go out and buy.
People can keep saying about improving the canter and it has certainly helped me have more options but fundamentally you cannot change that laidback attitude and slightly unmotivated ride imo.

On the positive, my boy hunts and goes xc beautifully, he is fast and makes a lovely shape, careful over upright rails etc but I have spent 4 years and cannot get the same feel over SJ.
He is reasonably careful but I don't like jumping him over 1m SJ, unless in a grid, as he feels like he is going to land in the middle of a fence.

Sorry, not much help but I sympathise!
 
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What is he like if lunged / loose-schooled over fences?
Lunged he is the same, although I’ve only ever lunged him over maybe 90cm as we don’t have a means of building a larger lunge-suitable jump (we only have those 6ft uprights or the small poly blocks). Loose schooled I’d love to know but we’re not allowed to loose school at the yard and can’t find any local venues which would allow it either.
 
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My boy is EXACTLY like this!

I am used to super sharp, really energetic horses and my lad is the same as as yours.

I bred him so he won't be for sale but he definitely isn't the type of horse I would go out and buy.
People can keep saying about improving the canter and it has certainly helped me have more options but fundamentally you cannot change that laidback attitude and slightly unmotivated ride imo.

On the positive, my boy hunts and goes xc beautifully, he is fast and makes a lovely shape, careful over upright rails etc but I have spent 4 years and cannot get the same feel over SJ.
He is reasonably careful but I don't like jumping him over 1m SJ, unless in a grid, as he feels like he is going to land in the middle of a fence.

Sorry, not much help but I sympathise!
It’s good to hear others’ experiences! It’s a tricky one and I think I might just have to accept him for who he is (whilst also trying to improve obviously) but ultimately realise he won’t change *that* much.

He’s so strange though, I took him hacking yesterday and thought I’d pop him over some walls, he locks on, head goes up, ears pricked, bounce bounce, PING! Gave me a fantastic “could jump the moon” feel and proper bascule. Why he hasn’t got the same enthusiasm for coloured sticks I’m not sure 🤣.
 

millitiger

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Honestly, mine is exactly the same!

took him to a hunter trial a fortnight ago and he jumped beautifully, ears pricked and locking onto everything, we got lovely and smooth strides everywhere.
I am taking him SJ this week and much as I will try and replicate the feel, I know he will feel flat and ‘blah’ in comparison.
like I say, I bred him so would never sell him and I take it as a learning experience for developing a different kind of ride!
 
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Quick update! I think it might be that the jumps were just too boring/small/easy for him. That and I think the surface at home is quite deep sometimes which probably doesn’t help.

We took him out to arena hire yesterday and let him travel a bit more forward (more space). When they were about 90cm he was just plopping as usual but we put up a decent course of around 1m10 - 1m15 (biggest course he’s ever done), and he did actually “come alive” a bit more! He definitely still has very good jump calculus as hollyandivy123 put it and doesn’t overjump but the bigger ones he certainly made a better shape and made them look very easy and effortless. He was even starting to get a bit too keen and fighty on the approach which he never does with the smaller ones! Feel like I’ve lost out as all this time I’ve been jumping him small because I thought he lacked scope 🤣.

Vid for those interested: https://streamable.com/0hibod
 

ycbm

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I'm pleased but not at all surprised. He looked to me like an extremely capable horse who just couldn't be bothered. Have fun flying!
.
 

CanteringCarrot

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Obviously no scope no hope with that one :p

He makes it look easy!

I've had a horse who was a rather economical mover, and yours must've attended the same school on economical jumping practices 😅

There was a stark contrast recently in a jumping lesson with my horse vs another. That horses jumping style is rather similar to yours, and sometimes I wasn't sure if she'd make it, but she always did. Whereas mine sometimes puts in too much effort/jump (he's still a bit new and subscribes to the "if you're unsure, leave plenty of room between you and the jump" theory, but it's gotten better). His canter is also more lively with more ping and sort of like a bouncing ball at times...while still moving forward. He doesn't get strong, or fresh, or even playful, but you can just really set him back on his hindend and have a lot of ping. However, he has a fair amount of dressage training and we've really focused on the canter quality so he's got a lot of gears/modes. He's also Spanish, so a bit of a different movement style anyway in comparison to the other horses in the lessons (all Warmbloods).

But if it works, then it works! He's a nice horse and I hope you continue to have many successful jumping adventures with him.
 

Birker2020

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Hey all, looking for a bit of help with my rising 6 year old. I'm wondering whether I'm overthinking this or not!

He is a very laid back chap and to me, he seems to lack a bit of spring, I'm not sure how else to describe it. He likes to go through life making minimal effort (unless it's something exciting like cross country where he does seem to suddenly come alive!). He has quite a flat canter, which lacks that sort of loftiness you see in more scopey jumping horses. This is definitely improving, probably because it's the one thing I spend a lot of time over-analysing and trying to improve with polework, hills, hacking, fitness etc...

He gets plenty of variety in his work, ridden 6x a week, mostly hacking/fields/canter work so is fairly fit (we hack 2hrs+), then just 1x flatwork/poles and 1x jump and that's purely gymnastics/grids, I tend to only jump full courses away from home as he is a bit more sprightly. The thing is, he's not actually doing anything *wrong* per se, it just kind of feels underwhelming to ride, every time we approach a jump it feels like he's not going to make it, it doesn't instill you with confidence especially when approaching the bigger stuff even though he does usually get over fine. You can see in the video here, he jumps a fairly decent oxer, maybe 1.15m but he just kind of steps over it, is this normal? He's very honest - I can count on one hand the amount of times he's stopped at a jump in the 18 months I've had him, all were just rider error/terrible approach. He can sometimes knock poles but I wouldn't say any more than your average youngster, just a case of dangly front legs which I'm not overly concerned about right now. He has a fairly neat backend and rarely has them down with his back legs.

I'd love to aim for Novice BE with him, but would be happy with BE100. He's a very chill, happy horse in general, always alert, ears forward, happy to be tacked up etc, doesn't buck, nap, rear, tail swish or anything that'd indicate pain, up to date saddle fit, teeth, feet etc, physio says his back is "like butter", he's had a full lameness work up done and vet said all good and even commented he was a nice, straight mover. So maybe I'm just being picky and comparing him to these seemingly springy horses everywhere?! Feed-wise he's on Alfa-A oil, a daily balancer, fibre-beet and linseed, unlimited haylage. He's out during day, in at night. Since I've had him, I have tried various additions in an attempt to give him a bit more sparkle, including pro-pell supplement, vitamin E, Turbo flakes, electrolytes, all seemed to make negligible difference...

So I guess what I'm looking for is some advice/opinions! My questions are:
- Is this something that I can actually change? Do I even need to change this? I think I'd just like to feel a bit more confident jumping him, rather than like it's a huge effort.
- Am I worrying needlessly? Should I just accept this is how he is and be happy with it, seeing as he's technically making it over the jumps fine!
- Is this something maybe will change with age? As he is still young and weak I guess.
- Does he look ok? How would you rate his technique? Maybe it's just me having tunnel vision and he is actually fine!

Thanks in advance!

Disclaimer: The rider in the vid isn't actually me, it's a local semi-pro who's been helping me (to rule out if it was a me problem!). But of course general riding tips welcome!
The key is to “ramp” it, meaning the front rail is lower than the back one. The ramped shape will help refine the shape of your horse's improving bascule because the oxer's width and higher back rail will encourage him to pull up his back and knees as he reaches forward and down with his head and neck.
https://practicalhorsemanmag.com/training/build-bascule-peter-pletcher-25497
 

ihatework

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Based on the recent video, you will have a very good horse on your hands if you start to challenge him a bit.
You want a deeper shot to a fence. Keep the oxers square and the uprights decent. Ride him forwards and deep and let him make the mistakes - he will take a few but you should see a huge improvement fairly quickly
 
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