So yay!!! Flecky is still sound. Guess it was either a bruise or he popped the abscess. We'll find out at the next shoe cycle I guess. Either way... I'm happy!
So on Friday I got an email saying that they need a rider for the GDCTA Scribe clinic and I had offered to help, so... I was riding 2-3 at 1:45 on Sunday. Ackk!!! I haven't ridden a straight dressage test in eons! Like... literally a year! And 2-3 at that! Egads...
So Saturday I headed out to ride. No stirrups again because I'm being a good girl. It was COLD and windy and brisk and miserable. Fleck was quite spooky and didn't really settle down but we managed some decent work. We ran through the test twice and the first time was wretched. The second time we accomplished it but it wasn't pretty. But at least we accomplished it. Lucy was working on the arena fence for the show next weekend so I decided to quit with that and go for a trail ride. Man was it cold!!! By the time we finished, we were both shivering. And I had on fleecey breeches, long underwear, a long sleeved shirt, polar fleece sweatshirt, and my vest with fleece lining. BRRRR.
(this was taken with my "solarize" option on my phone. It FELT this cold!)
So then Sunday we headed to High Point... dirty, unclipped, unbraided, but neat and tidy otherwise. ;) We warmed up and the footing was pretty bad where we were warming up. It was frozen and pocketed because of all the rain and then the freeze. So we tried to stay in the smoother areas. I worked on just getting him supple. Then Danielle, the new working student, came to warm me up. Since we only had about 10 minutes, we worked on the canter transitions. I told her that I was having a hard time keeping him cantering when I tried to collect him and that our 10 meter circles were too wide. So she watched us and said he was bulging right. She had me really get him into the left rein by leg yielding out a bit and shoulder in-ing. So then once we got that, our canter transition was much better, especially if I didn't lean forward. Then as long as I maintained that outer rein, our canter was great as was the downward. Like.. surprisingly good. At least for us. :) So then we did our ten meter circle and since he was drifting out, she told me to take my inside leg off. Well duh! I did and turned him with my outside aids and it was amazing the difference it made. He suddenly turned and stayed in a 10 meter circle. YAY!! Then we played with the turn on the haunches. Sigh... I just cannot coordinate my aids for that darn movement. Either way. One was is too rushed and more spinning, the other is not forward. Argh.. oh well. Then we had to go ride our test.
Sandy Osborne was the judge who was teaching the scribe clinic. She's .... tough! I think she was very correct and very right in her scores and I loved that she used the whole scale. But she's true... she doesn't give out any points just because. So I was extra nervous. We went in and Fleck was great... but I panicked. I didn't even feel that nervous but I just focused on the test only. I didn't ride my horse, the gaits, the balance, the rhythm, or anything. I just rode the movements. And sure enough.. we got all the movements in the sense that we did them where they were supposed to be, without breaking gait, and he picked up the counter canter. BUT.. it sucked!!! He was running, on the forehand, not connected, not supple, not engaged, etc. Not his fault.. he did what I asked.. which was to just do the movements. So... I got nailed for it. And she basically said that we weren't ready for that level. Which is no surprise. We're not! I will continue to ride 2nd level at schooling shows but no way are we showing recognized yet. I think we're capable of 2nd level work when I can focus on the gait and balance but not when I try to run a test. So.... it was pretty much what I knew and was expecting to hear. And it was sorta nice to have the reminder that yes... I really need to get my act together. I know he can do it... So... now I'm all motivated to go out and hit up the schooling shows and practice RIDING in my tests. :)
I actually really like 2-3. It's a great test for Fleck. I think he does the SI to renvers pretty well, the canter work is all last, and it comes right after the walk, so no worrying about jigging and getting worked up as much. So.. we'll see. I guessed we would score a 55 if she was generous. We actually got a 57, so... not too bad. Especially considering I haven't ridden a true dressage test in a year or so and we had only run through it twice the day before. :)
Now two days off because of work and then we'll play Wednesday!