Whoo hooo!!! Success!! We accomplished our goal today! And given the day I had yesterday, that it quite shocking. Yesterday was a very frustrating day to start out. I had worked three overnights in a row and gotten very little sleep. I did manage to pick up the truck and trailer and the new breaks are much better! Then Mike took the brand new car in because of the door issue and that's where it all went downhill. They were rude and it ended up causing Mike to stand in the sun all day waiting for a tow truck, which mean that I went and helped and wasted my whole morning dealing with that...NOT sleeping or riding. So then Mike took pity on me and let me come home and ride and he went back and waited. So I at least got to ride, which was sooooo beneficial for my mood. Fleck and I ran through our two tests again and then took a soak in the lake. Then I gave him a bath and covered him in show sheen so he'd hopefully stay clean. Then Mike and I went to dinner, the went to see a movie. So by the time we got home, it was midnight... and I had to get up at 6 am! Egads. I had luckily clipped Fleck that morning so he was mostly taken care of. This morning when I got up, l lucked out! I was up so early he hadn't laid down for a nap yet! Or if he had, he was up again and the show sheen did the trick. Yay! So he got breakfast and then I braided him lickety split (Christina said they looked lovely!) and off we went.
Beth met us in warm up and got us working. She said to think of my butt as a marshmellow and my body/core as the stick. Ha! Not sure what a marshmellow butt is supposed to do, but whatever she meant by it... I got it and did it. I think she meant to sit a little softer in the saddle and go with the flow more instead of being quite so rigid and subconsciously driving. Which is funny, as I used to ALWAYS get comments about not sitting enough. I also needed to sit back with my shoulders and lift my chest for the lengthens. The difference was amazing! When I lift my shoulders and core, his shoulders come up and it got pretty! I also needed a bit more inside bend... through my elbow though because I was almost riding him too straight. I need to get a bit more bend, but don't soften that outside rein just because of that. I also need more bend in my elbow in the leg yields. So he was really good in warm up and we were feeling pretty good going into my test.
We headed over for 1-2 and in we went. Fleck was REALLY Good! I wish I had videoed that test, but I am hoping to get some good pictures from the show photographer. We had some good moments, and some stuff we could have improved. We ended up with a 63.7% and 2nd place. Out of four!!! Wowee! Go us. So... check off one of our scores for our bronze medal!!! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I was so proud of him. We didn't embarass ourselves or anything!
So then Beth said that for our second test she wanted me to push the envelope a little. It couldn't count for our bronze medal because they require two scores above 60 but from two different judges and two different tests. So, since it was the same judge, it wouldn't count. An since I'm not going to be able to afford to do enough dressage shows to compete in GDCTA awards either, I might as well have fun with this one. So in warm up, we pushed it a little. She wanted his hind end "dancing". More active! When I add leg or whip, it means pick your hind legs up a little quicker, not faster and choppier. So we played with that. And Fleck was amped up already. He came into warm up on high alert and was kind of tense and jiggy. We managed to get him soft and supple and "dancing" in the hind end. And then we went over. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Fleck was never really paying attention. He was looking at the gallop field, the other horses, out of the ring. He just was convinced that it was time to jump!! We do dressage, then we jump. So the test was a bit rocky. ;) He cantered through most of the trot and walk work, then I forgot my test and we went off course. It was just... bad! But... Beth was actually proud of me! She said that I kept riding him to make him dance and when he was good, he looked really really nice! She was proud of me for not giving up and just going for a nice pleasant test. So... fine, I'll take it. And you know, our scores were actually a smidge higher in some places so she's right. He was fancier when he was "with" me as opposed to looking for stadium or XC fences. Hee hee. I was just laughing really. I mean, what else could I do? Though I do believe I was telling him "I want to beat the ever loving crud out of you right now, you big giant turkey" as we were free walking across the diagonal. It was actually a lovely free walk too... until we got close to the letter and he started inverting and jigging. Oh well. We ended up with a 56.2 or something, but still placed 7th out of 10 or 11. Ha ha!! I wonder if I hadn't forgotten our course if we would have been in the ribbons even.
So yep... a fun day. I'm glad we survived and I think Fleck and I can get our second score next time and then hopefully move onto second level. We'll have to see whether we can do third level or not, but I hope so. How cool would that be to get my bronze on him?!?! :) I hope we can do it!