Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So yeah... We finally got going again and then Fleck developed a hellacious stone bruise that kept us out for 3 weeks.... then we finally got back to work and after 6 rides in his new jump saddle, something wasn't right. Turns out his saddle doesn't like him and made him super back sore. Great.....!!! I felt soooo bad. So... we took another week off, got some more massage and acupuncture and that seemed to really help. So then... we decided to do it right and call in the saddle fitter and get him custom fitted!!! So... we did. We worked with Patty Merli from Farm House Tack and she is phenomenal!!! We both loved her and she found us two FANTASTIC saddles!!! We found a dressage saddle on the first try and rode in that and Flecks back got better and better. We didn't find a jump saddle though, so Patty had to come back. Then we found one we both loved, but had to order it one half-size smaller so we're still waiting on it :) And in the meantime, Patty left me her jump saddle to borrow. So yeah.. we had to scratch from our horse trial that we entered. And then we just got back to work, working on fitness and suppleness, and you know...the norm. So... we decided to enter Barlyn's schooling dressage show. I was more entering to see where we were at than to be competitive because I knew we didn't have much prep time. However...what the heck, right?! So we had a lesson with Karen a few days before and HOLY WOW!!!! He was awesome! It was like we had never left off, but even better!! I don't know if it was the new saddle, the chiropractic adjustments, the massages (Mandi Deerham from Countryside Vet Clinic...she's AWESOME), the acupuncture, the time off, the EPM treatment, the back pain treatment, or the whole big combo, but WOW!!! So worth it. He was really using his butt and coming up over his back and just really more comfortable in all. Karen even remarked how he almost started out better than we often finish!! Best lesson ever!!! And she even suggested starting to do some work with half-passes and more 2nd level stuff. So whooo hooo. So... show morning rolls up bright and early and Fleck got his bath so he looked all spiffy. Except for his darn mane that just insists on going 8 different directions unless I roach it. Doh! So anyways, we still hadn't ridden the test since last year, but oh well! He warmed up well and was going great! So we went in for our first test and it was FANTASTIC!!! He felt soooo great. Sure, I almost forgot the halt mid-test, so it was ugly, and then his canter was so light and lovely I didn't push enough for the downward transition across the diagonal and we broke too early. So... we ended up with a very respectable 65.something %!!!! Which is almost our best score ever at 1st level. And..that was with the 4 and the 5 for the two mistakes I made, and I think one other mistake. We even got an 8 on one of our leg yields!!! So...I can't wait to see how well I can get him going once he's really in shape and I can focus hard and prep better. And then our second test was a little over an hour later and we were both tired and didn't give it our all, and it showed. It was a 58.9 I think. Blah... but that's okay. Our first test felt so good I didn't care! I did get pics, but these are from the second test...which was not as great. So...since then, we've been doing a lot of jumping ;) cause... well, it's fun and we hadn't been able to for so long, I couldn't help it. We went to Chatt Hills Easter Sunday and schooled their training level course. Fleck was FANTASTIC!!! I am sooo excited. He was just ready to go! He took me to everything and never once thought about refusing or even drifting!!!! Well, okay, there was one refusal, but it was totally my fault. We jumped the coffin and at the ditch I landed and crawled up his neck so the two stride skinny after... he had to stop. He looked back at my like "um...seriously!? You know I can't jump when you're hanging on my ears"! So.. we came back at it and I made sure to stay back and he jumped it gorgeously. Seriously!!! It was super straight, dead on, and just...gorgeous!! We jumped just about the whole course, but didn't bother with the simpler or smaller stuff. We did the water, which was super fun. And Fleck even cantered down the drop into the water!!! Although... my intention was to trot, but I sorta let him. Then I made him trot it and we did the whole combo and it was awesome!!! We're sooooo back!!!! So we are continuing to work on both dressage and jumping and fitness and we're signed up for our first horse trial of the year at Chatt Hills in May. We've got jumping lessons, dressage lessons, trail rides with hills and gallops and trot sets, XC schooling twice, and a stadium lesson with Lellie, and a jumper show to help us get ready for it! And my new saddle is on it's way :) So....cheer us on and hopefully I can report back that our re-debut at Training level was a success. It certainly feels like it'll go that way!