Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FENCE weekend!!

 Flecky is AMAZING!!!!!!

So... Friday morning he was interested in eating!!!! Yay! I fed him senior, but still. He ate well. I turned him out to the front field and he even trotted out there. So yay... feeling better already! Then I finished packing while I waited for the rest of his ulcergard. And in the meantime, his ice packs came as did my cell phone holder. I was feeling good. These were good signs.. it was going to be a good weekend, yes indeed! Once the ulcergard came, we were on our way. We picked up Nike and Jamie and Chloe on our way and made good time. 

We got there and I had an awesome stall. On the corner, near most everyone I wanted to be near. Whoo hoo. I got Fleck settled, got the trailer situated and then we got on and did some dressage. He felt awesome!!! Again, its all about the core. And we fixed our walk too! Marching forward... he needs to be going INTO the bit... overtracking! Beth said to think about how when I jump... I form a wall with my hands/reins and ride him into that wall. That creates impulsion and jump. Same thing with the walk. And sure enough it works. Then, because we have impulsion and a true connection... there's no fussing when we go into the trot because the connection is there. So we had a great ride. His canter was lovely. And Beth told me to think about pulling my belly button into my spine when we did the downwards. Heck, think about it non-stop as it helps me not perch. I cooled him down and gave him his bath and then we went to walk XC. It was a fun course! Nothing too exciting but some good stuff. It was straight forward to start out but got a bit challenging at the end. We went up the hill and then did the banks. Up the bank, over the ditch to the other bank, then down the bank to the angled skinny cabin. Also a left handed corner. And then... a substantial brush roll top BOUNCE! Eeeks. Beth told me to ride the canter and ride angry. By angry she means powerful and bouncy! For the bounce... she said that because it was a 13 and 14 fence, not an 13 a and b... to jump them separate. We decided it wasn't fair to ask Fleck to figure it out over such big fences and expect him to get it on the first try. We haven't really schooled that stuff, so.. might as well make it fair to him. Then the coffin and nothing else really exciting. So we went back and I grazed Fleck and fed him dinner. Which he ate slurpily!! Yay! More grazing under the stars for him after I ate dinner. Then I decided to go ahead and braid. It was about 10 pm, but... I didn't want to get up super super early, so I went ahead and did it. He was good but just as I was about to turn them up, his tail started swinging. I pulled a tick out of his "cheeks" and then... we had to take a 20 minute butt scratching break. Hee hee.. He was funny. I was laying my head on his butt while scratching away. He finally let me finish his braids and then it was bedtime. 

Saturday morning dawned early. His attitude was so much better and he was eating great, we went for it. We got ready and warmed up and had a good ride. Then I headed over to the cover and saw the judge standing up. Oh no... apparentely I was late! Yikes!! She said she wouldn't eliminate me and would let me ride. Thank God!! But I got reprimanded for 3 minutes. Sigh... At this point I was angry and really more frustrated with myself. So I wasn't really nervous. And we went in and had an AMAZING test! It was our best test. He was steady, workmanlike, and supple.. It was fantastic!!! As we were at the end though I messed up one move! It was the canter to trot to canter across the diagonal. He came down and I thought he jumped back up to the canter too soon. Not enough trot steps, so I pulled him back down and then made him canter. Totally ruined it. We earned a 5 I think and it probably would have been a 7 (or even an 8 like last time) had I left it alone. He trotted enough on the video. Anyways... turns out that despite me being late.. the judge LOVED Us. We got a freakin' 31.8!!!! WHAT??!!  That is our best score EVER... not just at prelim. EVER!!! We got FIVE 8's!!!!!! FIVE 8's!!!!!!!! That also put us tied with two others for first. ha!!! When on earth have I ever been tied for first after dressage. Never!!!  I was so proud of my amazing boy. 

 So then it was time to get ready for XC. He warmed up great and we felt good. He was starting to run off with me a bit even. Yay!!!! That gastrogard is good stuff! So.. then it was our turn. In hindsight, I wish I had timed it a bit differently so he had a bit more of a break to rest before we headed out on course, but oh well. He started off and felt just a little slow but jumping well. He jumped everything fantastic but I knew we were a little slow. After we galloped up the hill, I sat up and RODE the bank. I was just a little worried he would stop at the ditch within the bank, so I rode and.. my little amazing guy just soared right through it!! He aimed straight for the cabin and we nailed it. The corner was fantastic and then we went to the bounce. I briefly thought about bouncing it for times sake... since you know.. we were tied for first and all. But nah... not fair to him. So we circled and jumped both, carried on to the big giant table, and then headed to the coffin. I opted to cut a corner there which meant we had only four strides to the coffin. Fleck was tired at this point and really downhill as I was going to make up some time. But when I said sit up with a half halt, he did. He sat up, he half halted and sailed on through the coffin. We flew over the final cabin and finished! Whoo hooo!!!! We had time, but who cares! We both came into it not quite on our A game. We had been slacking a little on the fitness department and he was fighting ulcers. So... I couldn't be prouder of the big guy. He stepped up to the plate and was utterly amazing!!!! A real PRELIM HORSE!!!! whoo hooo... Unfortunately, we had enough time that we dropped to 6th place. Doh. Oh well.... I didn't care.. So proud of the guy.

He was iced, magnetized, and grazed a plenty while I cheered the others on. Then we did more grazing and poulticed him. Dinner was at the pavilion and afterwards we had drinks with Cindy. She had a deck of cards that had different drinks on them so we made a variety of drinks. It was fun. Finally bedtime.

Sunday morning dawned early. I braided Fleck again and was all set to get ready. I was feeling horrible though. I had a migraine brewing last night that hadn't gone away and was feeling awfully nauseous. I went to button my choker and.. oh dear!! I vomited beside the horse trailer. Ugh... I think it was a combo of the migraine, the nerves.. and Cindy's cocktails. :) But I felt better after that. So we headed to warm up and got ready. Fleck was still eating great and feeling good. We warmed up and he was awesome!!! Beth asked me who I was and what had happened because i was riding so well. ha ha. I told her I vomited out all the bad riding. ;) 

So then we headed into the ring. It was a fun fun course. We started our circle and I didn't quite get him as amped up as I thought he was. He jumped the first fence and we cantered down to the second fence. It was the easiest straightest line in the whole course. And... I collected, collected, collected... and then abandoned him. I dropped him and took my leg off. Fleck stopped. What?!?! Totally my fault. We circled and I closed his leg and he jumped it just fine. We came around to the double, which had caused some serious problems for the first two or three riders, and Fleck sailed through like a beast! The rest of the course rode wonderfully although I cut my turn after the 6th fence, an upright vertical then around to the triple. So... Fleck angled into the triple, but I said "No sir, we're doing it" and closed my outside leg and he went. The darn goober cleared the triple on a zig zag approach... yet wouldn't jump the oxer on a great approach? Silly boy... But it was my fault. As long as I hold his hand, he'll go. I just can't drop him. So anyways.. the rest of the course was lovely and we jumped clean! Minus the stop. Doh. We remained in 6th place and would have regardless of the stop. 

 SOOOOOOO Proud of him for this weekend. He gave me his best dressage ever, jumped clean over a tough terrained prelim course with a few tough questions, and jumped a beautiful and clear stadium round aside from the stop that was my fault. We finished another prelim. That now makes him an official prelim machine!! :) TWO clean XC runs at prelim! And... we also competed in the Team Challenge an our prelim team won!!! We were Team Flying Spots!! It was me and Jordan and Rio, another beautiful appaloosa (who won our division), Cindy and Buddy, and she painted spots on his hiney.. hee hee and Caroline and Jack, the paint. We all won a pair of breeches too. SWEET!!! 

It was a fantastic weekend!!! The rest of my friends did great too and Fleck was feeling good. YAY!! 

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