Right so I've had a little time now to process things and calm down. Definitely ordered the thoughts a little and backed away from the failure cliff edge. I know in every horse/rider relationship the honeymoon period ends and the real work on forming a partnerships starts. I still believe it takes more than a year to form a true partnership.
It's spring and the grass is bolting from the ground, full of sugar and protein and virtually no magnesium which makes for savagely hot spooky horses that are slightly unreasonable. Thus the first prong of the attack is to axe his calories. I've cut the oil, the muscle and shine and halved his low GI. I'd put him on a sugar free beer pulp as well but I have a whole drum of the sugared version and I'm poor. He's also getting double the magnesium and salt.
Prong two is try different things until you find something that works better in terms of the bitting situation. If I have more control I will be more relaxed and then he will be more relaxed. He is definitely feeding off of my tension. Creating a fun fun fun tension spiral. I get tight, he runs, I fight, he runs more.
I used draw reins for my pole work tonight. I know they tend to polarise horse people but to me they are just a tool I use to set the outer limits. It really helped too.
I have a neat video of the improvement too but of course blogger and my phone remain at media logger heads.
I wouldn't usually use a martingale with draw reins but I had a little jump afterwards minus the draws of course. Which was a horribly mixed bag. At one point he went to run out and we ended up hitting a wing stand. Which was good because he's not sure how I made the wing get him but he wasn't interested in running out after that. He did settle eventually and do some lovely jumps. I'll get there.
The plan going forward is to have a play at the XC open day this weekend and just jump what I'm comfortable with and can do relaxed and then hack for the early part of the week before maybe having a jumping lesson.
Exciting stuff. So tomorrow I finish work late so I'll just have a play with some bits and make sure I have something that will work XC.
Prong three is to treat for ulcers seeing as he has been quite obsessive about wind sucking lately, and quite sensitive through his girth. Worth a try anyway. So between these three things I think we can get it sorted.