Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Under and Over Achiever Me

So... Fleck had Thursday and Friday off because of work. Saturday was a pretty day and I was determined to ride despite being exhausted. I ended up taking a short nap and then managed to get Fleck to Ashland before the rain was supposed to start. That meant I missed Peri's dressage ride though. So I get tacked up and I noticed that Flecks left front has started to shift to the side a little. Not too bad though. So off we go down the trail. I get about 1 minute into it and suddenly Fleck is walking funny. I look down and his darn shoe is twisted out to the inside. So he's walking half on a shoe and half off. ARGH!!! I REALLY REALLY wanted to do intervals with him. I was so bummed. So we walked back to the trailer and I was able to pull it off the rest of the way. The good news is that it was 90% chance rain on Sunday and our pony club clinic was already cancelled. So at least I wouldn't have to be double bummed about missing another day or riding. 

Kip was able to come out Tuesday morning and redo his feet. We put him back in his aluminum wedgies which he seems to like best! 

So Wednesday I was good to go for my jump lesson with Beth! Yay! And Fleck is back to feeling himself! He's back to snorting and going after the others at feeding time and just... sproingy again! :) Me... not so much. ha! This week has kicked my butt in work and I'm just exhausted. Even after sleeping pretty much all day Sunday. I didn't sleep well Monday day because I was stressed about work contract negotiations. Then Tuesday I had to stay up for Kip and then once he left the people who were cutting down trees arrived. So the chainsaws kept me up. Then work was slammed again. So this morning I only managed about a 1 hour nap before our lesson. I told Beth if I was ignoring her... it wasn't that I was ignoring her but that I had fallen asleep! 

But it was a good lesson!! Fleck felt great! We worked on a fun grid. It was a big cross rail with two ground poles then a one stride to a vertical with ground poles on both sides. We jumped it both directions and I had to keep him trotting in, then push a little for the out. And it highlighted the left drift over the vertical out. Fleck was too smart to drift left over the very high crossrail. ;) So then we did a few courses. Beth made me put my stirrups back on the ball of my foot.. not rammed home like for XC. She said that it would make my ankle more flexible and thus help me keep my knee off the saddle and from pinching. It did! Of course it also felt like I was standing on my toes, but she pointed out that was just because it was actually almost on my toes for the first time. It did help. Despite the fact that I felt like I was going to slip out of my stirrups every stride. ;) 

The first few courses were just not together. Beth said that I was letting him get long and strung out. And sure enough, he had to take some flyers. And then this one stupid vertical kept getting the best of me. TWICE I flung myself up to Flecks ears with at LEAST one more stride. And Twice FLeck said "Excuse me Mommy... I cannot possibly jump this with your entire weight on my head"!. So then she reminded me to not let him lengthen. So then I went from not doing anything... to overdoing it. I would over lengthen and then he was chipping in and not having enough energy. Argh... 

We finally got it though... Balance and half half EFFECTIVELY (ie... take a good pull and give when he gives vs snatching repeatedly) on the turns and approach to the fence, connect him but keep the energy, and even shorten him. But then... when he's within 5-10 strides away.. just sit there. Settle and be there supporting him, but don't adjust. And it worked. Like magic! We got some beautiful fences, even when she jacked them up. And I stopped riding the vertical like a freak. And I managed to not squeak my foot back too far home in the stirrups. :) 

So then we went for a short hack to the lake and soaked his legs for a bit. It was neat... the sky was a little creepy cloudy and there was a big family of hawks soaring and calling.. then a herd of bounding deer! Fun times. :) 

So... now if I can just remember to do everything right for Windridge, we should be good :)

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