Saturday, August 30, 2014

Breathing... and counting... and shocker! RIDING!!

Today I had a jump lesson with Beth at Wishing Tree. I also adjusted Caroline which was convenient. :)

It was a good lesson! I was able to think. And breathe. And ENJOY my ride. :) :) And I counted, so we had good rides! Only once did I drop him. And *I* thought I saw the long spot and held, but Beth said I saw the long spot and dropped him. Doh. But I didn't the next time we hit that funky spot. :) YAY! And over one jump that he kind of puked over, I landed and sent him on gently and encouragingly and therefore the next line was quite nice.

We did a handful of mini-courses and the majority of the fences were quite nice!! Yay!

No photos.. poo!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lake Play Day!

This was from Wednesday... but I forgot to post it!

After work I came home and took both boys to Ashland. I rode Dan first and he was pretty good. Then I ran into Kelli and Peri as they finished their trail ride. So I got off Dan and got Fleck. Well, since Arwyn and Tess were there in the parking lot, and Danny was in the trailer, Fleck was MAD! He couldn't concentrate on riding and was all giraffe mode and trucking! So I decided to take him out in the field first. Well.. he was on a mission! It was a full solid 30 minutes of power trotting and cantering and being on the look out. So I let him. Fine, it'll be a fitness day instead. Despite the fact that I was in the dressage saddle. ;)

So we finally got back to the dressage rings and Fleck semi settled down. I was able to get a decent run through of the test in as well as warm up.

After that I grabbed Dan and ponied him to the lake so they could both play. And play they did! Fleck even got in deep enough that the water went halfway up my calves! It was great. I think all three of us needed it!

Fleck still hasn't found his marbles!

So today Fleck and I snuck in another ride. :) We mostly walked, but also did about 25 minutes of trotting and then we headed back to the jump ring. Fleck was still awfully convinced the round pen monster was going to return! And he was still terrified of the liver pool. I managed to get him a little closer to it but he still wouldn't touch it with his nose. I also managed to get him to walk between it and the standard without flinching today. :) Then I got back on and we jumped it. Quite a few times, but he still hasn't gotten over the fear. It's so odd!! So we managed to jump it quite a few times and he wasn't quite so spazzy so we quit. Then we went for a little gallop in the XC field and soaked in the lake.

Ashland is so beautiful! I'm so lucky!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Interesting day.... Fleck lost his marbles!

So... today was a bit... odd! I was able to meet up with Kelli and Peri for a fun trail ride and then playing in the show jump ring. Only we ran out of time and it went... downhill. ;) But it was still a good day with good friends. I was hoping to get Fleck warmed up and then take off his tack and jump him without tack. :) But... Nope... not gonna happen!

We were all a little rushed and Kelli went up to lunge to get started. The round pen is hidden in the woods and you can't see it as you are walking up to the jump ring. Arwyn was a bit wacky and was running and unfortunately, she came around and was visible just as Fleck and Tess came into the ring. They both dropped a shoulder and bolted a few steps and then were terrified!! I could feel Fleck's heart pounding and they both grew a hand and had their ears up and quivering. They finally calmed down when they realized it was Arwyn but it took a good 10 minutes.

So then we started riding and Fleck warmed up fine. And now, we have a liverpool in the jump ring. Something that Fleck has jumped repeatedly!! At Ashland... at shows... Yet it was recently put back out so fair enough... Fleck was giving it the eyeball and snorting. So I asked him to look at it and walk up to it. And he barely did. He was seriously freaking out. So after a few times, I thought he was fine and trotted him up to it to jump it. He lost his mind and wouldn't go near it. Fleck!!! Really?!?! You are a prelim horse! Honestly! So I got off and tried to walk him up to it and couldn't get him near it. Sigh.. so I pulled the poles down and still couldn't get him near it. Well... then I borrowed Peri's crop and got him to get closer... and then closer still. And eventually I got him to walk past it, but he was terrified. It was totally unlike Fleck!! I managed to get him to walk over it a few times. Well, jump over it. So then I got back on and he jumped it a few times. So then I put the pole back up, to a tiny little vertical. We jumped a few other jumps to make sure it wasn't a jumping issue and get his confidence back up. He jumped around beautifully. So... I made him jump the liverpool quite a few times. He was still scared but did it without refusing.

Very interesting... I'm rather flabbergasted. I just have no idea what happened. Unless he was just so worked up for the round pen situation and it being new and not jumping one in awhile. Plus he's feeling pretty fit and has been a bit spookier lately. And I started him on new supplements, although one is magnesium, which in theory makes him calmer! But gracious. It was very odd. I don't really EVER remember him acting that ridiculous before. He's been scared, but has never taken that long to get over something. And I hate to admit it, but I got a little frustrated with him. I started out nice and encouraging but he started walking over me, so I had to get a little strict with the whip. I don't think I helped his fear at all, but he was almost to the point where he was hysterical. Very bizarre.

But at least we ended well. So.... hopefully it will stay out for a good bit. I foresee lots of walking past, over, etc to it for the next few weeks.

Jeesh... Needless to say, we did NOT get to "naked" jumping. Good grief...

But a fun day with friends regardless. :)

Back at it....Dressage work's time to get back to dressage. Especially since we dropped down to training for Stableview... and that means Training Test B. Oh how I LOATHE that test... it's so sling shotty....
 I can't wait til I fix things and we can get back up to P/T at least. And also, I had an epiphany... Perhaps the problem is not Fleck being sore, or Fleck not being a "prelim horse". Perhaps.. the problem is that *I* suck! I mean sure... I know Fleck is maxed out and not in the best physical condition. But I swear that he seems happy and is going well and I'm listening...I really think the issue is that I am so stressed that I can't ride well/effectively. Or at least thats part of it. I mean, he clocked around Chatt hills like a rockstar until the mental fence of mine. So... we'll keep at it and as long as he's happy, I'll focus on riding properly. And decreasing my life energy sucking drama. Which means... getting through Training Test B. Ugh..

So... we did have to take a little break for Mike and Holly's Beaufort trip! It was just as pretty as I remember. I can't wait to get back up there with Fleck in December. Anyways, then Mike's family came to visit, so Fleck got a few days off. I was able to sneak in a ride though! At home. And we worked on rapid transitions and it seemed to really help with the Training Test B. Of course, it was almost easier to ride 1/4 circle trot, 1/4 circle canter, 1/4 circle canter lengthen, 1/4 circle collected trot, etc...than a full circle. But it's a good prep for that test I think. So we'll keep working on that. :) Then we went for a quick hack and Mike came out to say hi and got some photos. Then on the way back in, Fleck came unglued. I don't know what he saw in the woods, but he was spooked! I thought he was going to spin and dump me in the woods, so I finally just got off. I managed to keep him calm, but he was more spooked than he's been in awhile. Crazy ness!
 See... he was all snorty and googley eyed!



I will admit it... I've had a rough week after Full Gallop. I was just bummed and sick and tired of working so hard and always failing.... So... I took the week off. I just trail rode...and played. I wasn't sure what I was going to do regarding the 3 day... so I opted to just not decide. :)

We had fun hacking out with Kelli...

We went to the Horse Park for a change of scenery and did 7.3 miles. 


 We saw a deer...

We didn't ride this day because it was miserable hot and we got shoes....

And then we did another long walk and trot day...

And then we did another relaxing ride and played in the lake...

And maybe some more trails.....

And then we felt better!