Well, when I write ‘Fail’ I really mean- we did it, and it wasn’t perfect or pretty.
We were back to doing small courses, and the jumps got up to 2’6”, and the wheels kind of fell off for Oats and I. I started doing things with my hands (pulling him up over the jump, leaning, chasing, arghh) and he started doing his thing- trying to jump from a standstill- the ultimate chip.
BUT here’s where it changes- this would normally be like, IT for me. Some ugly jumps at the peak of our height, ability-wise? Noooo way. And an oxer at 2’6”? Extra nooo way. But you know what? It was ok. I kind of mentally kicked myself- this was the last course and we’d actually been doing really nicely- and on we went!
Sure the oxer rode really weird pretty much every time- a big LAUNCH courtesy of Air Oats, but after we landed (in kind of a heap), I picked up the reins, and just kept riding. I even re-approached the oxer, mistakenly thinking I could ride it better the second time – newsflash- not really! And kept trying.
We had 1 stop- it was at a vertical and I just wasn’t organized enough to support Oats properly. My fault, and it wasn’t a nasty stop, it was just heyyyy we’re doing what now?
We even did the double-stacked haybales again, which Oats seems to regard as a type of brush jump that he can like, skim his legs barely over??? Ha silly pony. He did the two-stride (set at 2’3” thank god) lovely every time. He is excellent at combinations, goes on total autopilot and just motors through them. I even got a really interesting feeling of ‘kickback’ from him when he was powering through. It felt great!
The rest of the course- not so great. I keep trying though, and I know I can do it.
The difference between the past and now? I make mistakes. I’m allowed to make them. I learn from them, and I move on.