Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012: The Year of Becoming Prelim Awesome!

Friday, January 6, 2012
Wow..... I've been a slacker about writing in the blog. But not while riding... Flecky and I have accomplished a lot. We are officially a PRELIM TEAM!!!! Last year we completed two prelim events. We had two refusals the first one, but that was not Flecks fault... completely mine. Then we ran clean at Poplar and finished in the ribbons! Yay!!!
So... this year our goal is to become better and more confident at Prelim, qualify for the AECs at prelim, and get qualified for the Prelim Three Day!!! Fleck's even registered with USEF and will get his own passport! Exciting stuff.... In order to help us achieve our goal, I am going to become more diligent about keeping track of my lessons and what we've learned. I figure it's just as easy to type as write, so... it can go on here :)
December was a wicked busy month for me and I figured on that, so I planned on giving Fleck some down time. We rode and lessoned, but really didn't do that much. However, there were two lessons of note that deserve notes. Oh... and Flecky and I went foxhunting too!!! We LOVED it. okay.. I have to add about that too...

12/20/11: Fleck and I forayed into foxhunting thanks to Beth Huddleston and the Aiken Hounds. We had sooooo much fun!!! Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Fleck was great! He didn't mind the hounds and didn't try to step on them. He really didn't even spook at them. He mostly stayed in line without cutting, but was awfully excited. He tended to not stand still when we stopped, but danced a jigged. However, he wasn't unbearable. He was just excited and anxious to get started again. And when the hounds were running and he was running... oh he was great! He was on fire and wanting to go faster and faster, but he listened! He was ratable and so rocked back on his haunches he was almost cantering in place! Yet he never once tripped and once, he even saw the half stride and corrected it so he didn't trip. Um... that's not like trippy McSue....He was great. It was so much fun. We aim to go back often :)
12/30/11: We had a XC lesson with Beth. At our last school at Pine Top Fleck got confused/scared/annoyed or something while schooling the up bank to roll top over the ditch and down. He refused it twice, then sorta climbed over it, and then wouldn't jump it again. So we moved on and did other things. When we came back to it, he did it just fine. However, I was rattled and after our double up bank, bounce to small coop at Poplar... I was a little concerned that I wasn't riding the up banks properly. We had a lesson with Julie later and he hopped over the novice, training, and then prelim bank questions without batting an eye, so perhaps it was THAT bank complex. Anyways, in my lesson with Beth we worked in stadium to get him in the right canter as prep. She set up a tight three stride to a long one stride. We managed to get the two to one once or twice but then figured it out. Once we got him nice and bouncy and in Tigger mode, we moved on to XC. Unfortunately there wasn't a stadium jump out so we only had the up banks, but we worked on getting the right canter for them. And lo and behold I think my brain clicked in and I figured it out. I really think I've been so paranoid about sending him to the flyer (because of our chatt hills bank incident) that I've been a little behind the motion. Which means he has to pull me up too and that means he lands without impulsion. However, if I get him nice and bouncy, and DON'T jump ahead but go WITH him (which in my brain still almost feels like a bit of a flyer but I know there's not enough room for another stride)... it works. He doesn't have to drag me up there so he can land with impulsion and carry on to whatever is next. I finally almost felt a little ahead of him instead of a little behind, which I know is the cardinal sin in eventing, but it's not that I'm really ahead... just paranoid. :) so Yay!!! We'll tackle PT again soon and carry that over.
12/31/11: I had a lunge/seat lesson with Cindy and wow... that's a humbling experience. For how many years have I heard "slow your post" and "you're trotting faster than your horse". And I get it.. I know I'm too fast... but wow.. when you don't have reins and are only relying on your seat... man that horse trots fast!!!! It was ridiculous. And soooo hard to slow my tempo down. But when I did.. that one or two strides, wow!!! That horse can float!! The other enlightening experience was when Cindy said to have my hips/my acetabulums post first. So I almost had to think about throwing my hips forward first which meant my seat had to be underneath me and I couldn't perch and my sternum was up and out. Magic!! So I must remember to continue that!
Right... so that sorta catches us up to 2012: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ;)
Unfortunately with work, a little mental breakdown secondary to work for me, and then more work... so far 2012 hasn't involved much riding. But that is soon to change. Also, I read some one elses blog that mentioned positive thinking, so I'm hoping to add that to my riding notes too. :)

Fleck and I had a great dressage ride. I started off by focusing on me and my position and slowing my tempo. I KNOW I had to use hand and I need to work on that, but we did make some progress. Then I dropped my stirrups and did about 15-20 minutes of no stirrup work. Mental note... work on the canter seat too!. Fleck was good and then I picked my stirrups back up and did some more work. We definitely need to figure out the aids for the half-pass to the left a little better. not sure what I'm doing wrong and it got better when I remembered to open my left rein and not cross his neck, but definitely still something missing. However, we had a lovely soft ride and some really lovely canters. And as usual, Fleck loves his canter transition work and we were able to get some really nice counter canters and some really decent walk to canter to walks and some simple changes. Yay! We even got a nice foamy mouth... on both sides!!! yay!

My other resolution (like every year) is to become fitter so.. I did Wii Dance that afternoon too. I think that might help loosen my hips too! All that gyrating ;)

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