Saturday, January 7, 2012

Progress?? .... or not so much??

Thursday, August 7, 2008
so...we've had our ups and downs since the last post.... sorta a PMS of riding so to speak ;)
anyways.... We had a jump lesson with Lellie again and it didn't go so well this time. Fleck was a butt and ignoring me and it was just sooooo freakin' hot that I wimped out. So Lellie hopped on him and rode him. And Fleck threw a temper tantrum and hissy fit and the whole nine yards. Lellie eventually got him going nicely and then I hopped on and finished. But....she told me that she didn't think we were ready for training level. That Fleck jumped too flat and long and heavy on the forehand and we were going to get hurt. So... i was upset at first, but... realized pretty much everyone has been telling me that all along... i just didn't realize it was as bad as it was. So.... we pouted... me only for one day, fleck for three. He was really mad at me for three whole days! little turkey! but he's back to his normal self again.
So... we decided to haul up to lellie's with jeffie and Logan (the new boarders, who...are awesome...but oh crud!! thats' a whole other story!!!). So we hauled up one Sunday for two lessons... one of the hottest days but..that's okay! it actually wasn't too bad. I had practiced the over the shoulder turns that lellie taught us and jeffie let me borrow a different bit. and wow!! i LOVE that bit... it's a "wonder bit" and man alive.. it sure is. Fleck was much lighter and easily packaged and rocked back in it, but i didn't feel like it was a mean bit. So i love it! But anyways... we had practiced and did fairly well. So... i was hoping to impress her and.. i think i did! She kept saying that he really looked like a different horse! So whoo hoo!! long story short... she still thinks we should get a few more tools in the toolbox before moving up... to keep us safe and happy. So.... the long story... stadium was great. We had our few meltdown moments, but overall it was sooooo much better. I could really feel like fleck was packaged and rocked back and jumping much nicer...without rolling over his shoulder and such. And he came back to me sooo much quicker. Then we did XC and... it wasn't quite as good as stadium, but he was still so much better. We did the ditches great, which was a bonus, since he used to be a son of a ditch! so yay... we didn't do anything really hard... it was all BN and novice stuff. At the very end, i did one training jump...max height and max width and the first time he jumped it, i jumped up his neck and screwed us up. the second time i waited, and even though he chipped a bit, it was a much nicer effort.
So... the things i learned (since i'm sure i'm the only one reading this and it will help me remember!) are...
The shoulder turn: Counter bend and move his shoulder over...almost a pirouette! this helps balance him and rock him back and settle him.
When he starts zigging and zagging or even thinks about it... counter bend him and use the outside rein to help balance by half-halting.
WAIT!! keep my shoulders up and back and use my seat to balance him.
i think those were the main points. I'm sure Jeffie has more to remind me of. But it was really a great day. We decided to run novice at big bear.... we'll school training and if it's 100% super easy and no big deal, we might run training, but the plan is to school training and ride novice. and win it!! lellie said she expected 20's or low 30's and speed faults! hee hee. So.. that's the plan. To ride it slow and rocked back and balanced and pretty. Equitation baby! Then... i think for now... the plan is to focus on schooling and lessons and then do Jumping Branch again in Dec for a final confidence boost and then.... we'll start fresh in the new year and go training with a full toolbox and win...rather than just trying desperately to not get eliminated. it shouldn't take too much....we're sooo close. I mean.. we were in the ribbons before XC at full gallop, so... it's just gonna take a bit more finessing! So.... hopefully my patience and stubbornness will hold out and i can manage to wait that long. I've got a dressage schooling show in October to distract me and... i'll probably volunteer and help alot at the other shows I won't be competing at, so....
that's the plan...

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