Today was the schooling CT at High Point. I figured it would be a good chance to get in the sandbox and practice that blasted test and do a jump round. And Fleck was HOT! He really felt good. Almost too good. ;) While I went to say hi, the goober snuck into the trailer and sucked down a handful of peppermints...with the wrappers! Eeeks! Goober. I got on and went to warm up and he was on fire. Dancing around, cantering instead of trotting, and even bunny hopping. Goofy! I love goofy Fleck! And then suddenly he was flipping his face about 8 times, then suddenly slammed it down to his leg. I thought he was going to "tuck and roll". Turns out he had a bee on his nose as I saw it fly off when he rubbed it on his leg. Poor guy. He was still dancy and jumpy and humpy afterwards, so the bee was no excuse. I had a tough time getting his right barrel over but he settled into it towards the end of our warm up. We had a pretty decent test. But it was a 39. :( Mostly 6 and 6.5's. We need more suppleness. He was wound pretty tight, but I thought it would have scored better. I'm glad Denni was harsh though. I'll read the comments and have a good idea of what to work on for Texas. Not that I have much time left. ;)
Then it was time to jump. YAY!!! Fleck was thrilled! He was a "bucking" machine. For him. ;) We warmed up well and Beth basically said that I had to control his shoulder. That's where I was losing him. EVEN if it meant that I had to literally plant my wrist on the side of his withers (so NOT crossing over) and then using a very wide opening rein on the other side. And then I had to get him straight! If he wasn't falling in, I did this pushing his shoulders the way I needed to go. If he was falling in and I was losing his shoulder out the wrong way, then I would have to "counter" do it and get him straight first. It was actually really helpful. And it made me keep my hands low. Yay! So into the ring we went and Fleck was great. I held a little too much instead of half-halting and closing my leg, so we had some tight distances. BUT he jumped them well despite being underpowered and underneath some of them. Yay! Then we finished with two extra lines for kicks. For the slightly long lines, I really have to ride long! Fleck's stride is not that long, maybe even short. So when he comes in tight, I have to really kick on. NO HALF-HALTING! We managed it on the second attempt and even then, I almost half halted as soon as we landed. No... forward!! And it was also evident that a bigger step in over the first fence was an easier forward ride. Duh. The first time we did it (on course) I knew we jumped in little, so I actually held for the extra stride. Beth said nope... don't do that. Push more for the big stride. She's afraid I'll shut him down by holding.
Regardless though, he was jumping well and felt great! He was having fun! And so was I!! I'm really starting to get excited about Texas. Though I'm still nervous about dressage. I feel like we're capable of scoring closer to the top 1/3 or maybe even top 4th, but know that most likely we'll be lucky to end up in the middle. Because I blow it! I tense up and make him tense, or I don't ride at all and we get sloppy. Especially because I hate that test! So... we'll see. At least the jumping part should be fun. :) I'm hoping there won't be anything too bad. We've been running prelim (albeit easy prelims) so hopefully championship training level will be fun!
Wish us luck!