Back to basics

So it’s been all change since my last entry, we entered a 70cm ODE which on paper should’ve been fab. Flatwork was going well, we‘d jumped our first 80cm course and we seemed to remember the love of XC.

The dressage was tense, but it was our first time on grass so being nervous of the boards was understandabl, he didn’t spook at the car which was amazing and some of our highest marks were for our canter, which to be honest is unbelievable.

Quick change and we were off to warm up for the SJ. He wasn’t as relaxing in the warm up as he has been but nothing we couldn’t handle and then a complete mistake on my part meant we had a full on screeching halt at the warm up spread. We went and jumped the X pole and upright again (after a couple of refusals) and then went in for our round. Try as I might be wasn‘t Jumping fence 1 so we were eliminated. Disappointed and slightly confused at the refusal we headed home.

It wasn‘t until I was talking the warm up through with a friend that I realised I’m my error during the warm up (we jumped the spread - now an oxer the wrong way, there were no flags and I didn’t notice the tape around the top of the wings) and as I was about to jump it previously someone was changing it which threw me) I hadn’t noticed the ground rail which was on the wrong side of the fence, obviously Murphy did which explains the dramatic stop. (It did earn me a few ’well sats’ but to be honest I hadn’t noticed.) Murphy has been known to throw in the odd dirty run out but not stops like this one. Huge lesson learnt and one I’m sure I won’t do twice.

I’m still not quite sure how I missed it this time but I guess in the heat of the moment and realising the spread was finally clear to jump......

This was only the start, the jump paddock at the yard was finally set up and a couple of days later I had a lesson to get us back jumping and put the whole thing behind us. My amazing jumping ginger was not playing game, we struggled to even make it over a tiny x pole, my trainer thought it may be the ground being hard and then we both realised he’d totally lost his confidence. This is more gutting than loosing my own confidence especially as my momentary lapse of concetraction was at least partly to blame.

Still, sometimes you need to go there to come back and going back to basics has its bonuses. It’s been a week of keeping it small, simple and fun and tonights lesson shows it is working. We still have a long way to go to get back to where we were but my gingerninger showed signs of getting back to form.

The seeds of doubt have occasionally crept into my mind which hasn’t helped him but on the whole it is forcing me to overrule these and ride with enough confidence for both of us. The last confidence dip I had, Murphy really looked after me, it’s now my turn. Baby steps and we’ll be back on track no time and it does feel like our partnership is all the more solid for it 😍


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Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony is Registered Charity No: 1166416

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