Well, I suppose EVERY day is fun with Fleck. :)
This morning I went out early and did some dressage with Flecky. I got him nice and stretchy and then we did a bit of lateral work and then ran through the test. Luckily, at this point Christina and Liz arrived for our trail ride. Christina got on quicker and watched me run through the test. She gave me some great suggestions.
For the trot lengthens... don't rush it or even ask for it.. just allow it happen. It makes for a much better more through lengthen for us. We may not get as much... but less lengthen but correct lengthen is better than just running faster and on the forehand.
For the canter lead change through the trot, don't let him lengthen and power across the diagonal. Cindy mentioned that to me the other day too. He really wants to power down there for some reason. So I need to sit up and engage him and keep him collected. Then I get a lovely simple. I almost need to ride it like I'm about to ask for the walk between the transitions.
His entry is lovely. He's very soft and over his back. Perhaps it is because we are going straight and I'm not meddling with his face. But perhaps it's because he's a bit more forward. So maybe I should ride him a bit more forward through out the test.
She said our leg yields were great and he was actually pretty straight at the canter. She said she noticed a difference in our lengthens at the canter too. Yay! So, maybe, just maybe, we will get our scores this weekend. And we have Amy McElroy as our judge! If I remember properly, she likes Fleck. :) YAY! Though I need to check and see if I need two different judges for the scores or if it can be two different tests with the same judge. Fingers crossed we get it. Though I realize many things can happen and we may not quite get it. I hope though. We're capable.. it will just require me actually riding...and hopefully Fleck not spooking if we end up in the indoor.
So then we went for a fun trail ride. Christina and Sham and Liz and Party. They were all great. We had fun trotting and cantering. And ha! Liz's 5 year old was the best behaved horse. But we had a good time. We ended up at the lake and Christina had to head home. We let Fleck splash around a bit and then we hit the XC field. Liz wanted to play some. Apparently Fleck has had too much dressage lately because as he was watching Party go I had him on the buckle. I picked up the reins just to have him move and he bolted into the canter. Hee hee.. Okay, if you insist... :) So we decided that we would jump a few things. I've been itching to jump the smaller roll top to the bigger roll top because they were set up as two sets of 3 strides side by side. By jumping the smaller one to the bigger one I was able to angle them. And it wasn't a steep angle and the roll tops are a mile wide, so it wasn't a hard question, but... it was a question we needed to work on. Of course Fleck was great. So we turned around and did them downhill and he was great again. Then they had the two skinny coops set up on a very slight bent line next to the corner. Hmm... It was a fairly tight bent line (for us at least) to do the corner to the coop, so I tried it. Shockingly it went well. We did it three times. The first time we drifted a bit left over the corner so he had to reach for the longer spot but did it. And I sat and saw the distance with my seat, closed my leg and supported, and he was happy to go for it. The second time we did it I didn't quite have enough energy and we chipped in a teeny bit to the corner but got the out over the coop nicely. The third time we just about nailed it. Yay!!! But it was so nice that we had three different rides but they all ended well. Yay!!! There IS something to be said about riding the canter and not the distance. So then we watched Liz play some and I decided I might as well do the trakenher again since it still isn't my favorite thing in the world. We did the ditch to hanging log first and then circled around to the trakenher. It was pretty darn good!!! He came right to it and jumped it out of stride!! No lurching, no pitter patter step or shuffle step, just a big jump over. And it was interesting because he almost felt like as he jumped it he realized he didn't quite get high enough so he had to pull himself up a bit. Liz said he came to it just a little bit flat, but that he was balanced enough that he was able to lift his withers and lift his knees and clear it. YAY!!! The fact that he didn't have to twist is Big!
It was a great day. Liz made my day even better by telling me how good he looked. She said he looked sound, happy, and ready to go. She said he was jumping better than he's ever jumped and that my position looked great too. WHOO HOOO!!! Nice things to hear.
So yep... a fun day. I love hanging out with Liz too. She's always a good time.