Fleck and I had a fun lesson today. We did a grid lesson with Beth at Ashland and Christina and Sham joined us. Which Fleck LOVED! He loves his BFF Sham.
The grid started simple enough. It was all skinnies. A vertical in the middle with two flower boxes a bounce apart on each side. The goal was straightness. Fleck started through and it was so easy for him. We did it a few times and he stayed straight. I was working on me too and I think my hands and seat and legs were behaving. Then Beth raised the middle vertical and it still stayed easy. Beth said that he was cheating a bit because he was throwing in one canter stride just before the first fence. So when I really made him sit and trot until he got over the first bounce it was tougher! But we managed to get it okay. Then she added a little skinny coop as another bounce before hand. Again, Fleck went through it pretty darn well. He even surprised Beth a bit. Then Beth raised the vertical again and we worked on keeping Fleck to a trot. It was a lot tougher as the exercise got bigger. Then she added a rather scary looking but still very small skinny roll top as a final bounce at the end. Poor Christina... Sham said nope and ducked out and she came off. So Beth got her squared away and then it was our turn. Fleck jumped it the first time but did some crazy move over it. I wasn't sure what happened and Beth and everyone was laughing at us. She said he did some crazy spread eagled spider monkey move with his legs. Hee hee. So we came again and he jumped it like a normal horse but was having to reach at the final bounce. I told her I was pretty sure it was because while he started in okay, he lost energy through out so the final one got a bit desperate. She agreed and we came again and improved it when I closed my leg over the first few fences and kept it closed. Then Beth raised it again and now it was hard! Fleck was having to twist over the vertical because he wasn't using his hiney well enough. Then when we sort of got that under control, we lost control of the back half of the grid. Argh! Beth had me almost half halting as we landed after the vertical to rebalance him. Once I finally figured out my timing, it got better. We finished with a good one.
That was tough work though! But Fleck felt great and I'm so excited that he's happy to be back in work again. yay!