So.... poor poor Flecky.. My motivation has commenced, so... back to work we have gone! After our great lesson on Thursday, we opted to take Danny trail riding Friday. So, Fleck got a little break as we did a trail ride that was mostly walking. But it did have hills and he did have to put up with Danny trying to chew on him.
Thits weekend was a good weekend... It was another "exactly what we needed" situation. It started with pushing the issues and digging down deep to get to the root of the problem. Well needed, but.. a bit humiliating and depressing. But we ended well, so.. not all bad. Then today, we got to make it as easy as possible for us to succeed and succeed we did! So the happy feelings came back, despite knowing full well that it wasn't necessarily good riding... just good circumstances.
It started on Saturday at Wishing Tree Farm and a lesson on square turns. Sigh... It was frustrating. I'm not sure what was going on, but Fleck was naughty! It was like riding an Octopus... legs flailing every which direction. He would do the first jump or two on the square decently and calmly and then land after the downhill one, scramble and pogo and flail about, then launch himself at the liverpool. So... then we tried almost halting him and that helped. Then... Beth pointed out that perhaps I was asking him to take the long spot and making it worse. I didn't think I was, but... It's always me! I asked for the added stride, and lo and behold... he calmed down and jumped like a normal horse. I guess perhaps that I felt him behind my leg and saw the long distance so instead of waiting and adding... I went back to bad Holly and yeehawed him. And he obliged. So.. yeah... After that he was fine and paying attention and listening. It's always me... or perhaps flash backs from fox hunting ;) So we ended on a good note with Fleck behaving because I was behaving (and singing Lovely Rita to help keep the slow rhythm). It was actually a good thing I think. Or so I'm telling myself to make myself feel better. I think had we put the jumps up and done our normal thing, we wouldn't have realized that I was rushing him or whatever the actual issue was. But.. because we worked on the square turns we were able to addresss the root of the problem, and success!!
So then I worked the overnight, came home, ate breakfast, fed ponies, and loaded Fleck back up. We hauled to La Parilla and had lunch with friends. Me, taco salad, and Fleck, alfalfa! Then we went to Karen's for a grid lesson. There were ten of us riding!!! But Flecky was good. Sure... he can handle warming up in her ring with nine other riders, but not at dressage warm up in events?!?!? Goober.. But everyone was great. We started small and worked our way up. It was great watching everyone and seeing them figure it out and improve. Some excellent riding and some nice ponies too! Fleck was lovely.... I just sang "Lovely Rita' and we managed to start with the nice calm sane easy going canter. He was jumping like a machine... never once rolled over his shoulder, up in the withers, and tucking his knees. And I managed to keep my position mostly and didn't embarass myself. So.... we finished up with a good sized swedish oxer on a bendy line. Because of the exercises and the grid work, and the set up with the lines, etc.... we pretty much couldn't get a bad jump. We set it up for success! And you know.... even though I know that... we still feel like Rockstars!!
So it was a great weekend. Albeit one that involves me getting 45 minutes of sleep between 8 am Saturday morning and whatever time I'll go to bed tonight. It was exactly what we needed... a gentle reminder that I must be vigilante and really ride or I'll cause problems with a fun confidence building happy ending.
Oh... and an excellent reminder from another Rockstar, Caroline! Fleck would start soft and round and then a few strides from the jump, he'd "show us his chin"! hee hee.. He would invert and hollow. Not nearly as bad as he used to be, but... still. So I was trying to figure out how to fix it without messing with him the last three strides of the fence. Caroline reminded me to ride his inside shoulder and barrel (via pressing my inside knee and calf) into the outside rein. It helps... definitely helps!!
So... tomorrow and Tuesday.... dressage torture again! ;) Then Wed, new kicks and then hopefully a gallop at the horse park. :)