So... yesterday was my day back on Fleck after his day (well, two technically) off after Chatt hills. We met up with a friend and had a nice dressage school and then went for a nice little hack. It was a good ride. Fleck worked hard and we even had a full 3 loop serpentine of REALLY good canter to walk to canters. :)
So then on our trail ride... Kelli and I chatted. And I kind of freaked out. It's just so hard. I love Fleck so much and I'm constantly worrying that I'm doing wrong by him. But I'm also a competitive person and I'd really like to accomplish the P3D. With HIM! Not any old horse... (granted, I would also like to accomplish it with Dan, but point is... I want it with Fleck too). And he feels great. I mean, this weekend, he was jumping like a boss and schooling dressage like a freak. So...why is it so stressful. Because it is. Because it's Him. Because I LOVE him. So I pretty much broke down. Kelli told me to give it to God. And I do... but apparently I'm obtuse and can't hear so then I still stress and feel like I'm misreading signs. I just don't listen very well. But anyways, after a long talk... I've got a plan. And I think it's a good one.
We're going big and then it's done. I'm aiming for the P3D and we're giving it all we've got! No more tentatively planning on it. It's a go. Assuming.... that Fleck feels good and I don't get any signs from him or God that we need to hang it up. It's only a few more months. This is when Fleck feels good. It's now or never really. So... I've got 2-3 more events, the Stephen Clinic, and XC schoolings and lessons to get my shit together. Assuming I can pull it together and we have great outings at the next 2-3 shows, then we're going and we're going to be competitive. If I can't get it together and we have more not so great outings, then... we'll either do the T3D, or hang up our hats and admit defeat. I'm not going to ask him to do the P3D if we're both not ready. I'm not expecting to win, but I would like to go and finish on our dressage score, and a respectable dressage score at that! And then... we can "retire" him. Not in the sense that he's done... surely not! But he can retire from Preliminary. :) Maybe we'll still do P/T's, maybe we'll still do schooling shows, maybe we'll just still jump for fun and do local jumper shows, and maybe we will just do dressage and trails. But we will stop doing full Preliminary's. He's earned it. But I would like for us to get this last one under our belt. I don't know why.... pride? Proving he's awesome to the world? I don't know. Proving I can do it? Because I want to accomplish that goal on HIM? I don't know. Call me stubborn. ;) But I think we can do it.
I found a picture... that I'd love to make into a shirt... P3D 2014!!
So anyways, today we had a jump lesson and we're off to a good start! He was a little lazy starting off as it was super early. Before his normal breakfast time. ;) But he was good and listening, just not fired up. So we warmed up and Beth had me work on myself, making sure I do the "clam". I'm getting it, I really am! I even found that if I do the "clam" in general, like even on course and through the turns, I ride much better and get my changes. Whooo hooo!! I feel like a weirdo but Beth assured me that my legs are actually in the proper position, and not in front of his nose like they feel like. ;)
So then we had a 5 stride line. He jumped in quiet and I immediately went to half halt and then was a bit late to push him to open up so he really had to reach for the 5. Beth said my reaction time was too slow. So we worked on fixing that. We came to the swedish and on take off and landing I was instructed to "GO!". A little kick, a little whip. But only once. And I could not touch his face or sit down on his back. I had to say "Go" with my body too. So we did it but I did it for too long the first time. So we did it again and it was better. Then we did it a third time but with me sitting a bit more in the tack - ie stadium style, not XC style. I finally got it.
So we did a few courses and they were actually really good!!! Fleck was in front of my leg and going for the slightly long spots. Beth said it's a fine line with me... and she'd rather me have him going and be a bit long, then behind my leg, but that eventually I would need to be able to refine it a bit and get him a bit more collected but still forward. So we had some good rounds and then we finished with a figure 8 over a square oxer. The first time to it, we came in weak and had a pukey jump but he landed and said "GO" and our loop back around to it was AWESOME! So we came to it again and he jumped it beautifully both times. Beth said that because I reacted and corrected the issue, he was able to regain confidence and continue on. Rather than me being a spazz and having to fight to correct it and it going downhill. It was great!!
A great ride! He felt amazing and I felt like I was riding well. We were together and with it. Whoo hooo!! Off to a great start!
Oh how I love this guy!