Yes, I saw the “and/or” and also appreciate the practice, practice part. But IMHO the OP is already inclined to excuse so I would like to encourage the practice part over the packer part.[/QUOTE]
This is assuming the horse truly has a confidence issue, as stated in the OP.
I sometimes see PC parents INSIST that whatever horse the kid has be the horse that can do every job. It’s not always so practical. While I think it’s important for the kid to learn to ride the horse she has, and support the horse-- a testing situation is stressful. In this case, given that the rider missed one element-- there’s an added time pressure because unless things have changed-- you can only re-do the missed element for a certain period of time. I think there’s NO SHAME in taking an element of pressure out of the situation by re-attempting with a horse that’s been-there-done-that with the grid jumping.
I love pony club but something I think the “kick on, man up, cowboy through this!” attitude is seen as the ONLY appropriate one. Sometimes pushing on DOES make you a better horseman. Sometimes. But you know what attitude I think is also wonderful and doesn’t get as much good press-- the “let me learn from experience” attitude?? Isn’t that how many successful riders got where they are? At some point, they had a teacher/horse with more experience and they got to make mistakes and learn without as much risk.
I think there is NOTHING WRONG with a safety net horse and it doesn’t make you a bad horseman. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to go home and make the horse you lease a grid-master… on your own timeframe, without the time/testing pressure… but there’s NO SHAME in saying “right now, this horse is not an ideal candidate for taking this part of the rating. We’re going to work on her at home, but for the re-test we’re going to use a horse with more experience that will set us up for greater success.”
I don’t see this as an easy out-- just helping remove a potential roadblock to success. Just because the horse is a packer doesn’t mean the rider passes automatically-- the rider still needs to ride and even more explain what happened to the examiner. But it’s removing one item of stress/uncertainty from an equation where I don’t think the stress/uncertainty is necessary.
The kid is a potential C1. It may be unrealistic for her to go home and fix this horse’s confidence issues in a month. I don’t know the horse/rider. That may be do-able or not. Being realistic and saying “hey, we aren’t going to get this horse reliable for the test in time” doesn’t mean the kid has to sit out the test. She passed the other elements, which would suggest she’s ready for the level with an appropriate mount. She can work on her lease horse on her own timeframe.
Contining to push a stopper through a situation where she might continue to stop, on a timeframe, with added stress does not a horseman make, IMHO. Saying “this is a different problem for a different day” and finding a better mount for the re-test is the better test of horsemanship.