Our next big hurdle in being competitive in the 2’6” (right behind straightness, lead changes, pace and a dozen other things) is the fact that there are more substantial oxers in that division. And while neither trainer, nor I, think she’ ll have any issues getting over them, we did believe they might blow her little pony brain.
So we’ve decided to school oxers, and school them again…and probably again until finally O doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them anymore. Until yesterday she had jumped exactly one in her life, and it was full on rocketship horse jumping style. Last night’s lesson we focused on keeping O in her box where she is happy, off her forehand, and at a constant pace.
O bounced through the first few lines, happy, but not super willing to put in the strides for me. After a few more firm half halts, we set up a little course with two oxers. Jump 2 was a little roll top, and 3b was a plank. The last oxer had a half-barrel under it (O’s not a fan), that makes a nasty sand/plastic noise when the horses jump it.
Despite the fact I made my way to the first jump having to mentally chant “We can’t do this, we can do this” I managed to act like a half-decent rider during this course. And in response she jumped around them all like it was no big deal. Got her strides and landed off the last jump and gave a nice little flying change. Major loves for her. We came at it another time, and worked at getting her to the base, and she gave me some really nice jumps over the oxers. Hal-le-freaking-lujah. She was done with that. All in all, I was super proud.
On a side note: O’s front bell boots are rubbing her legs (a perfect half circle at the back of her feet), but if I take her boots off she’ll rip shoes off her feet. How the heck do I treat that? Ideas welcome!