Oxers have always made me nervous. I think it stems back to the first time I jumped an oxer, when I got left behind and Belle the Pony yanked me down her neck and over her head on landing.
On Saturday I was down at Aspen Farms taking photos at their eventing derby. I hung around until 5:30 to watch the Preliminary riders. During their course walk a group of them were talking about part of the course when one of them said, “It’s just an oxer, it’s not like it’s a rolltop or a table.” Talk about perspective! 😅
The next day we got out SellerH’s flower boxes and filled them with fake dollar store blossoms.
I lunged Rags over the flowers. He jumped the snot out of them at first! But the jumps were easy peasy and watching how effortlessly he hops over these little fences always gives me a confidence boost. By the time I was done lunging I knew the jumps would be a piece of cake.
We warmed up with the ungarnished cross rail, then started playing around over the decorated jumps. We hopped over the lines from the trot and from the canter without any problems, and it felt like we could have jumped the moon together—so I set up the oxer.
It was the first time I felt truly brave taking him over jumps! Even when I lost my reins and had to scramble to get them back while Raglan dive-bombed through a corner, I felt strong and capable. There’s a lot that needs work, but having a bit of that fearlessness back makes me feel good about our future.