Jumping the Very Excited Jumper
Before I begin, this is not a what bit should I use thread. :) I'm looking for exercises/ideas.
My current boy is a forward 12 yo TB. He's done up to the 3'6 jumpers (had some bad experiences with people who didn't really know what they were doing, and I expect that most of his issues come from that) and competed in eventing up to Training. He is a dream out on XC, awesome in dressage and a bit of a mess in stadium.
He has a bit of a winter/summer horse syndrome kind of thing, he is much hotter in the colder months but not unmanageable. Regardless, when we do any kind of jumping, even poles, he gets very, very, very excited. He rushes fences pretty badly, and locks onto fences and bolts the last stride. Interestingly enough, I can count on one hand the number of times he's stopped at a fence with me in a year and a half. He also finds a very good spot 99% of the time on his own, even if he rushes.
He backs off the higher the fences, but I can't canter him around a course because he gets too forward and I can't stop him. Trotting fences is more manageable, and I can get around a course by cantering before/after fences and trotting the turns, but obviously I'm going to have to be able to canter a course sooner or later.
I jumped him in a Pelham for a while but after recently trying him in a dee ring snaffle, he is much happier. He did well with a running martingale with the snaffle over the summer and I've jumped him a bit in a standing martingale recently and that's been successful, too. He also has a custom saddle and regular chiro appointments. While I wouldn't doubt that some of his rushing issues come from previous experience with pain, he's feeling better than ever now (maybe even too good at times!).
Anyway, I'd be glad to hear any sort of exercise, things to try as far as my riding goes, different bits that may make a difference, whatever. I am working with a trainer who's been fabulous, and we've made a lot of progress, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to ask here.