Thursday, February 27, 2014

XC School at Paradise!

We're so back baby!!! Fleck is feeling phenomenal and if I may brag for a moment, I'm getting it too!!! I'm finally able to ride again instead of just hang on. My hands are staying low mostly, my leg is getting better about staying put, and I'm feeling more like a thinking acting rider rather than just hoping Fleck figures it out. I'm sure he's glad for that! :)
 Hot stuff all proud of himself :)

We hauled up with Peri and Tess and got there and on around 2:30. It was perfect weather!!! Nice breeze and a smidge chilly in a t-shirt, but once we got to riding, it was perfect! The footing was great and she still had tons of fences set up. 

We warmed up over some stadium fences out on course and Fleck was a goof. He was attached to Tess and drifting towards her but settled quite nicely and was much more supple that I was expecting given his gravitational force towards Tess. But I had to laugh at him. We did a mini course to start... jump uphill over a vertical, downhill over a two stride, over a roll top, and then over an oxer. As we are cantering to the oxer, he see's a group of horses near us to the right. The oxer is up to the left a bit. I could totally feel/hear his brain going "Horses on the right, must spook left, oh jump... jumping, no wait! Horses on the right, spook left, wait the jump!". Hee hee... He's never been spooky like that. It made me giggle. I managed to get him to stay in line enough to jump and he wasn't trying to get out of it, but we ended up knocking the rail. I think with my foot actually because I know I hit the standard. But after that silliness he settled quite nicely. 

We accomplished lots of good stuff!!! I was able to work on my canter and get the right jump to it. We schooled over the offset angled cabins, both uphill and downhill. I just need to remember that when we're going downhill, it's easier on Fleck and me to plan to ride it in the tight 3, rather than push for the long 2. I'm not brave enough to push for the long two going downhill. Fleck did it, but it was all him. I abandoned him. It was much smoother and easier when I sat up and collected more for the extra stride. Going uphill was fine though. I was able to help him stretch out and nail it. :) Then we worked on the bank complex - double up and down, oxer to the down, up to the roll top, etc. I just need to remember to not have chicken wings! It makes me so much better everywhere without the chicken wings. And I need to remember to hold his face a bit, so I can help protect his knees. Hee hee... I giggled at this because on paper it sounds like I'm hanging on his face, but I'm not. I'm supporting his mouth and giving him a little something to hang on, so there's not so much pressure on his knees. Plus, in reality, it just keeps my upper body more upright so he doesn't have my weight on his knees too. 

We also worked on the coffin and I managed to get it pretty well when I wasn't coming off a long gallop but when I came off the long gallop I didn't quite get him back together enough. So I need to remember that. And same with the rest of it. I need to be working VERY HARD to get him bouncy enough for the prelim technical stuff. We then moved on to the sunken road and he was awesome!! We got it but the last time Beth wanted it tighter. She said if I wasn't really working hard, I wasn't getting the canter. So the last time through I was giggling and told her I felt like Boyd Martin on a green bean or something equivalent because.. man, that was a LOT of riding! She laughed and said exactly! 

We finished at the ditches, trakenher, and water. Fleck just sailed over Lellie's scary (to me at least) trakenher. It's angled so not so bad, but it kind of took me aback a bit. But he sailed right over it. In fact, he hovered in mid air he jumped it so nicely. We finished in the water and bless him... he totally is awesome! I got a funky line the first two times to a skinny prelim chevron out of the water and he hauled us up and over. Finally the third time I got the right line, the right canter, and looked at the base, and he nailed it!!! It was awesome. I definitely need to remember to LOOK AT THE BASE of the rampy chevron type jumps. For some reason, I can see my distances that way but looking at the top of them, I get lost. Hey, whatever works. :)

Oh, and she has a ditch and wall. Fairly decent sized ditch and the wall had some brush on it. I'm sure it's more intimidating filled in, but it looked kinda wimpy. :) YAY!!! I only say that because that's BIG for me. And we just jumped right on over it like it was nothing. Whoo hooo!!! Go us.

So yep... Awesome day schooling. Fleck was getting tired by the end but he still leapt straight into the canter every time I picked up my reins. And I must have been good lately about putting lots of money in the bank because there were a few times where he could have said no, but he didn't. He just said.... fine, I got this! And was awesome!! Beth said it was mostly because I had him in a proper canter most of the time, therefore he COULD adjust and save it. :) Plus, he doesn't have a no in him so there just wasn't really a thought of him saying no. Yay!!! Love that he's still loving his job so much. We both really had fun. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014


I LOVE my pony!!!

He was a goober in the trailer waiting on Danny and I to finish. But of course, once we got back, he was all Kicky and grumpy to Dan. hee hee.. We headed off and it was like he knew we were going to see Zhar. He was on a mission and even ignored the horses in the XC field. And when he and Zhar met, they sniffed noses and then we were off on our walk. :) 

It was a good ride - we walked, we trotted, we sat in the lake and contemplated life. :) It was too short though... hopefully we'll go again soon. 

On the way back we were trotting in the XC field and he gave me a most lovely fluidy trot!!! It was gorgeous. Then we made a pit stop in the ring and I got two VERY nice leg yields :) Yay!!

Fantastic day!

 Where is he?!? I know he's coming!
 There he is!!!
 Hi Ol' friend!!! I missed you.

 Such a gorgeous sky!
 This looks convenient.... might as well scratch!
 Two leg yields and then we're done!
 Such a handsome boy!
 Say Cheese!!!!!


Sunday, February 23, 2014


So... Flecky is a goof!!! I was actually getting a little mad at him today. We had a pretty decent dressage school while Judy was riding in the other ring. But then she was done and went to her trailer and then came right back and stood in the corner. And Fleck lost his mind!! I know, I keep saying I'm glad he feels that good.. And I really am. But at some point... settle down and get back to work dude!

I did run through the new Prelim A test. Nothing too exciting. We went through it once and it wasn't horrible.. aside from the goofyness secondary to Cash being a good distraction. So I gave up after that and we went for a hack. And got a nice knee soak in the lake. I'm LOVING this weather!!


Fitness Day!

Good day!!!

Well, aside from Danny being a butt! And then finding the neighbors junk on my fence. Argh!!! I was so mad I was flinging logs over the fence into their yard! Poor Fleck... he just stood there like "oh crap... Mom is PISSED!". I told him it was fine... I'd be fine by the time we got to the horse park. And I was!
I had been wanting to go to the horse park for a change of scenery and to do some gallops. I was thinking of hitting up the orange trail for my warm up, then trotting down the river path, then finishing up in the field for my gallops. But... I apparently picked the blue trail instead. Which was like... extreme!! It was steep, narrow, slippery, and... extreme!! We were unable to trot the whole time. Doh! But it was a good work out. We did trot along the river trail and then ended up at the steeplechase field. I extended our trot a bit to get more trot time by circling around the island. As we came around I let him canter. Unfortunately a family of three had just come out. Doh! Luckily I was able to gallop past them without incident. We went fast!! Fleck was ready to gallop! So then we walked to the creek crossing, but opted to take the road crossing because it looked slick. Then I hit the path again and trotted but didn't canter. It wasn't great footing for a gallop. So we did our second gallop at the other field and it was an actual gallop set, not a canter set. So then we walked and trotted back home. 

Not quite what I had in mind... formula wise, but quite the fitness work out anyways. We did 6.45 miles in an hour, with a top speed of 24 mph. Hee hee... Not that fast, but oh well. It was a great day with my friend and he made me get over my grumpyness.

Then it was date night with Mike and we went to the Optimist!! Whoo hooo!!!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hack day

Nothing too exciting today. I'm exhausted... playing hookie yesterday was great, but it made for a very long day. So we trail rode today. We met up with Stacy and Taco and Kelli and Arwyn. We had fun, but I guess I was too tired to take pictures!! Doh!


Playing Hooky!!!

I couldn't resist!!! It was WAY too pretty of a day. :) I worked the Sunday and Monday overnights and was scheduled to work tonight too. But last night I had a migraine and we were slow so I pretty much slept all night at work. (love when that happens!!). So... I had to stop and renew my drivers license and then meet the power company because the ice storm pulled down a wire. But once that was done... I was still awake! So I decided to go ride. It was 65 degrees!!! And Sunny!!! 

I loaded up both boys and we headed to Ashland. I got on Fleck first and we did some dressage work. He was really good. We worked on our leg yielding and turn on the forehands and then worked on some canter stuff. Then as we were almost done another girl showed up and started lunging her 3 year old. Fleck lost his mind!! He's 16 going on 4!! He just couldn't focus anymore. He was neighing and just being silly!! But it made me giggle. I'm glad he feels this good. But we did manage to work through that and get some pretty decent canter to walk to canters. And we managed a lovely medium trot. :) I took him on a trail ride to cool him down and the fool jigged and called the whole way. Seriously Fleck!! :) 
Then it was Dan's turn and as far as I could tell, Fleck pawed and jostled the trailer the entire time we were gone. Good grief!!!

But it was a glorious day! I even got a sunburn!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Grid day Again!


Another doozy!! We started with the ever widening oxer. Really tough for us. But we managed to get some really nice ones. Especially when I did my alternating half halts and insisted he not canter between the ground pole and take off. 

Then we moved on to a bounce, vertical, one stride pole, one stride pole, one stride pole, bounce, vertical, bounce. Egads! That was tough. I managed to just about get it except for that last bounce. I finally figured it out. Beth kept saying landing half halt and release, but that made me do two half halts which was.. icky. So I started just landing into the half halt... in other words, (in my brain at least), I would land with more connection and hold it rather than following as he landed. Not pulling back, but just putting up that wall. And it worked :) Yay!!

So then we reversed it and did the grid line to the oxer to the grid line to the oxer and various variations. It was slinky work. :)

But we had fun. As usual. And Fleck was a bit winded, so we'll definitely need to work on our fitness and wind now that the weather is hopefully cooperating!


Sandy Lesson

Despite not getting in as much work as I had wanted, Fleck and I had a good Sandy lesson. I was a little concerned starting out as EVERYONE was out at Ashland. Flecks' two BFF's were in the ring - Cash and Arwyn. Then there was another horse in the other ring and then Taco arrived for a jump school. Then Sky, George and the chestnut came out of the woods. I thought Fleck would lose his mind that he couldn't go play and join them. Especially when they all left us. But he was REALLY really good. Sandy was impressed with his topline and muscling and said he looked better than the last time she saw him. Sweet!! 

We started off with some nice work. Then we went to work on leg yields and it all fell apart. He was either running, falling out the shoulder, not straight enough, or not really crossing over. So we worked on it at the walk and Sandy had me do turn on the forehands. I had never done those before but it was pretty easy to get the hang of. I just need to leg yield him around his front end. The opposite of a turn on the haunches, but more of an exaggerated leg yield aid wise. I really need to remember to close my left leg. For some reason it pops off my saddle and gives him the space to exit stage left with that shoulder. I don't know why. Going the other way, my right leg stays on him. So we worked on that a good bit and also getting him to accept my right leg as an aid for more bend and not more speed or canter. And then we worked on the canter a bit. Sandy wants me to ride everything like a turn on the haunches for a bit to help straighten him out. I felt at the canter that i got it a few strides because he felt haunches out almost. But I think he's just been crooked long enough that it feels normal to me.

All in all a good lesson. :) My homework is to practice those things and still remember my left thumb. But she didn't mention it by twice, so whoo hoo. Progress!!

Fleck was feeling good and wasn't huffing after our lesson. Yay!

My Love! My Life! My Valentines Day Date

Well, since I didn't have to work and the weather finally cooperated... Fleck and I got to enjoy a nice fun trail ride and a teeny bit of field work for Valentines Day!

It was lovely. We had a nice long hack, and then finished with some work in the XC field. The footing was quite nice. We worked on bending and suppling at the trot and then played with flying changes. We didn't manage any but... I did get some good advice. I keep hearing to think of changing your legs...and I think that messes with me. I don't ask for the canter with my legs so much. And when I think about it during the change, I WAY overdo it. So... while I can't quite coordinate my aids for a true flying change, I am coordinated enough to manage them with one walk stride. So... I canter right... then walk, then ask for the left lead canter. It's not my legs changing so much as my seat bone lifting. But I can't quite figure out how to do that move without the walk step. But it's just a quick quick walk step in there, so we're on our way to getting them. :) :)

But a LOVELY way to spend my Valentines Day!!