- Support him with my body and keeping a connection
- Drive and Hold: meaning I need to keep my leg on and also half-halt at the same time so that the effect is to push him up into the bridle
- Don't sit so much.. get up in two point and GALLOP on... no wimpy gallops!
- Consider trotting up banks to roll tops over ditches
- speed is great.. but the balance has to be there
- think ahead.. plan for the turns, etc as I'm in the air, not upon landing
So then we moved on and jumped some fun stuff. We did the double hanging logs, with those giant trash cans on them ;).We then moved into the big field and jumped a skinny coop on the downhill, bendy line to a novice bench. But it was a tough line. Fleck and I did it the first time but it wasn't super smooth, so we tried again and smoothed it out. Then we did the prelim combo down the hill. It was a offset coop/roll top thing (Skinny and upright). Then two or three strides to a corner. Fleck actually nailed it beautifully the first time. Then Beth had us do it backwards and I wasn't quite as supportive so he wasn't as bold into the corner and did it in three, but it was still nice. We fixed it the next time. Then we moved on and did the hay truck. :) Then onto the next field. Beth had us do the "Irish bank" thingy... which isn't an Irish bank, but I don't know what it's called. It's the up bank, bounce to the log stack with the drop. Super fun actually... kinda like a roller coaster. The first time I wasn't as forward and Fleck rolled his shoulder a little.. It was a little scary... I looked over his shoulder and didn't see legs... "Put your landing gear down Fleck!!! Quick"! But he was fine and did. The second time we nailed it :) (Sensing a trend here... sigh, but at least we're getting better at getting it quicker and the first time on some things of the day).
We then went to the coffin. Guess the trend is offset lines... We did that decently and then went across the pond to the next field. Did pretty well over the drop fence, down into and out of the bowl and up over another skinny then over another hay cart thing... also with trash cans.
Then to the back water. We did it piecemeal and then put it together. Back to the trashcan car, GALLOP to the big huge table and fly that, then collect and sit, jump the alligator, drop into the water, then jump out and over the chevron offset. It was fun but we really nailed it the second time. Then back to the other water. We did the training line great, then did the training trakenher, then did the prelim line pretty dang well, then... duh dud duhhhhhh..... to the ditch and wall. I almost told Beth I didn't want to do it. I was almost feeling okay about it since he was doing pretty well and I was feeling pretty brave in general, but as soon as she said that, my heart sank and I got nauseous. I went to it saying "Come on Flecky.. let's do it on the first try so we don't have to do it again!" But yeah.. not so much. Of course we stopped. We came at it again.. and again... and I don't remember how quickly, though I think within the first 3 or 4 times we got over it. Not pretty and not fun, but we got over it. Then we came again and stopped again... and again... And then Beth suggested we "cheat". She said that you don't want to do this all the time, but... to lift his head. That means he won't peek at the ditch and by default, I think it helped me keep my upper body up. So we tried that and it worked... only I threw myself over first and bless Flecks soul... he threw himself over to catch me. But knocked his front legs a tiny bit. So... we tried again... and stopped again. And again. So then I told Beth.. I was scared.. I didn't like that jump..... And she said that I needed to get in the back seat and keep kicking. So I tried another few times and Fleck though about going, but each time.. I just couldn't make myself sit back and keep kicking. He started to back off and I'd just flop forward. I told Beth that *I* went to my bad place and... I just didn't think it was going to happen again. Unfortunately we couldn't break it down by knocking the top post off... cause if that was the case, I think we would have been okay. So... we'll try to recreate it at home. I felt awful, but.. it just got to the point where I felt it wasn't fair to Fleck. He was willing to go over it if I told him... but I just didn't want to do it and couldn't tell him to do it. So... we'll set one up at home and play around.. then go to Ashland at some point and raise theirs up... and then come back to Pine Top another day.
So... Beth made me go jump both trakenhers again. I was able to ride forward and soft to them. Which... I used to be just as bad at them as at the ditch and wall so I have faith I'll eventually get that darn ditch and wall. But man oh man do I hate them....
Anyways, despite both of us going to our bad places at one point, the rest of the ride was a success and Fleck was pretty darn impressive. He is also pretty darn fit, though we do need to get our gallop back up to speed. Literally :)