I tried to introduce Jack to foreleg and hindleg buttons tonight, but he didn't get it straight away and started to get a bit anxious. I gave myself a mental kicking, because we were in the school and it was late (pigeons coming in to roost), very windy and cold. A few weeks ago I wouldn't even have considered trying to ride him in the school in those conditions, and there I was, not just riding and carefree, but also trying to teach him something new. I had genuinely forgotten for a moment that his confidence is still a bit fragile at times.
As soon as we went back to the things he knows well he chilled out again, and he was really enjoying himself with some very forward, on the buckle trotting, so no harm done (and I still had trouble getting him out when we had finished!). He has even completely lost interest in his mat at the moment, and we have cut the calming routine we do to begin each session in the school, down to just a few strides of two steps forward - one step back - head down - click, on each rein at the scary end.
I also noticed today that the box I use as a mounting block and leave in a non spooky place in the school, has gradually been moving from near the entrance to the far, scary end, so my perception of the school must have changed along with Jack's!