We set up a ‘course’ of gymnastic exercises for the horses this morning which was a lot of fun and really tested our jumping canter and turning aids. I’ll post the video tomorrow for anyone who wants to give it a go!

Paddy was super and really enjoyed it, exercises where he’s kept on his toes really work for him – and the gymnastic element is great as it stops him from rushing or getting too strong to the fence. Look at him springing over our fun Crocodile filler!

In the interest of being totally transparent, things did not go to plan with Flash – we didn’t even get past the warm up exercises (canter poles on a circle and down the long side), never mind jumping a fence.

I have always tried to be as honest as I can here, and being honest means saying that today I felt utterly useless. If I can’t canter over a few poles on the ground and do a few circles, who do I think I am to have this lofty goal of completing an international event some day? Why do I put so much time, money and effort into something I am clearly useless at?

This is not a helpful state of mind to ride in, so I got off and had Jade sit up on Flash for me. She was able to quickly diagnose the issue we were having and find ways to solve it, and it gave me some comfort that it wasn’t “my fault”, and just a simple schooling issue that is easily fixed with some focus over the next few weeks.

On days like today (and every day really) I am reminded how lucky I am to have two horses. Even though I struggled on Flash and felt useless, I had a good session on Paddy and was able to do the same exercise no problem – so it‘s helped me to hold onto my confidence in my abilities and not totally give it away.

I can’t say I’ve had an epiphany or learned something from today, because unfortunately I do still feel a bit useless – but I know things always look better after a good sleep, and tomorrow is a new day. I’ve always found writing to be therapeutic, hence why I blog – so even sharing this here has helped me feel a bit better.

No matter what, I’ll keep trying and working hard to be better. I’ve spent far too much money on this sport already to just give up!

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