SUCCESS!!! Phew... that was a close call too. During one of my lessons with Cindy last week I jokingly (or maybe not really jokingly) said that "Getting my bronze medal would be a lot cheaper and easier if I was a better rider". Ha ha.. Well duh! But I meant it in the sense that if I could achieve my scores the first time out, instead of having to show repeatedly, I could get more bang for my buck. I'm too poor to not get a score at each show. So that was my goal. Ultimately... I mean, I don't want to be a score chaser.. because that's not what it's about, but... I really wanted to just get my last first level score and ideally my first second level score. And we did!!!!
I worked Wed, Thurs, and Fri overnights so Fleck had Thurs and Fri off. After my overnight Friday, I stopped at Christinas and got hay, came home, fed ponies, hitched the truck and ate a bowl of cereal. I then bathed Fleck and braided him and loaded him up on the trailer. I changed into my show clothes and we headed out to the horse park. I called Peri at 10:30 as I was pulling out of the driveway asking "I'm at 11:46 not 10:46 right?!?". Thank goodness I was right. We got to the horse park and I somehow managed to park the truck and trailer amidst all the others. I tacked up and off we went. I didn't find Cindy immediately but luckily found Christina and Julie. I started to warm up and my suspicions were confirmed. Fleck was lame!!! I thought I felt something while walking from the trailer. What??! He's been sound all week. Christina didn't see anything super bad and said it was just a little hitch and to keep riding. I did and Fleck got a little better. Cindy showed up and said that it was because I wasn't riding him properly. My brain was so upset though. I couldn't ride anymore and was worried about him. Cindy was finally able to talk me down and get me breathing and get me riding. But it got ugly for a bit. I was tense, pinching, bracing, and pulling and Fleck replied with the same. But Cindy got me riding and we settled into a nice rhythm. And the lameness disappeared. I could still feel it a bit in the lengthen, but not anywhere else. And he always feels slightly uneven in the lengthen. So, we weren't quite ready but close enough and it was our turn.
We started with our 2-1 test. Eeeks... Only our second dressage show and my dumb self though we could do second level. After working 40 hrs in 3 days. And with my not quite right horse. Eeeks!! But... we managed a fairly decent test. Our lengthens were pretty bad. Which is a shame because they were actually getting quite nice lately. But with him being funky behind, he was obviously crooked and uneven and I didn't know how to help him. Our trot work was very polite and our canters were pretty nice. I thought. I was quite happy with the test and Cindy said it was pretty good. It wasn't our best and needed more push and impulsion, but she said she could see me thinking and riding. So yay! Turns out the judge thought we were decent enough to get our score!!! YAY!!! We squeaked by with a 61 and change, but still! It was a score towards our bronze. Whoo hooo. And to top it off, we weren't last! We got a pretty yellow ribbon out of 4 people. hee hee. I'll take it!
Fleck got to rest in his stall (without shavings.. I'm so mean.. but he was only there for 3 hours!) while I ate and watched friends. Then it was our turn again, for our 1-3 ride. I got back on after doing his stretches and he felt MUCH better. Back to his normal self. I could still feel it a bit in his lengthens but not any other time. I have no idea... muscle sore? ?? Anyways.. I thought I was riding quite well in warm up (no melt downs this time) and was feeling pretty good about things. I even had to giggle because this other girl passed me and said "You just look like you're having so much fun on your horse"!. Best compliment all weekend long. I was!!! He IS fun! I was all set to go in and wow the judge and WIN that class. Ha ha.. Well, maybe not win, but I really was hoping to do well. There was about 20 people in it. Ugh. I thought we had a really nice test!! He was very workmanlike and very obedient. There were no bobbles. I really thought it was one of our best tests. The last lengthen got a bit crazy and uneven and heavy on the forehand but he was getting tired. I thought our first one was pretty good and our canters were really nice. Cindy said that I rode well and when he went on the forehand, I didn't follow, but sat up and kept riding. However, apparently it wasn't quite as nice as I thought. We scored a 60.8. Doh! But... we got our last first level score. So mission accomplished!!!! And we weren't last again! I think we were 15th out of the 20. So not too bad. Not as good as I wanted to do, but that's okay. I'm anxious to go back and watch the video and see how it looks. I always see what the judge sees but it did feel very nice.
Fleck was wonderful all weekend long. He made a lot of new fans too! I love him. He's just so kind and wonderful that everyone wants to meet him. :) He's so good. He just agrees with everything and does it all. I'm very proud of him for this weekend!! Now we'll finesse our stuff and get that second 2nd level score without just squeaking by!