Tuesday, November 4, 2014

XC Grid Day Fun

So... I didn't get to ride Friday because I had chiro patients all day. And then Saturday Mike and I tried to go hiking. Ha! That was an adenture in of itself. It was the first cold weekend and we got snowed out of our hike! So I probably wouldn't have ridden anyways. So yeah... poor Fleck though. I put clothes on him and Roany and Dan Friday night because it was supposed to be Cold!! I was worried that Dan would pull his off because it didn't have a leg strap. Neither does Fleck's, but.. it's Fleck. But at least Danny has hair. Unfortunately when I woke up Saturday morning Fleck was butt (or is it buck??!) naked!!! No clothing what so ever. And he was fairly freshly clipped. Egads!! He was pissed!!! He was so cold and was all frolicky and dancy. I guess Danny had pulled his clothes off. Little turd!! So that night, I put leg straps on everyone. Sigh... But yeah, it was super windy and icky Saturday so I am not sure I would have ridden anyways. 

 So then on Sunday, it was a bit warmer and we had our XC grid day. It was super fun and helpful.

We started off over the ditch. Beth made us walk them. Again. ;) And like last time, if I didn't get into two point, Fleck would actually walk through them. So then we added some rails on each side to make it a bounce. No problem. Then we made them small fences. And were allowed to trot them. No problem! So then Beth made them bigger and then started angling the fences so they made a right angle going in and a left angle going out. The goal was to jump the ditch straight and angle the fences. Both Fleck and Rusty just bounced on through like it was nothing. :) 

  So then we moved on to the banks. Beth had us work on trotting up and down. And ugh... I don't like banks. I can't figure out how to stay with Fleck rather than jumping ahead or getting left behind. So we worked on it. What helped was counting and then getting in my sitting two point position. So... not quite two point, but not sitting... sort of a hovering/butt slightly touching the saddle two point. Then adding leg as the first leg left the ground and leg on landing. Then I was finally able to go with the motion instead of getting ahead or left behind. So then we added a small vertical at the bottom of the bank. We started by trotting down the bank and then jumping out. We had to close our leg as we went down and not completely drop the reins. Then leg over the jump too. It was a bit harder than I expected! Then we turned it around and went over and then up. The next step was a jump on top of the bank. Again, we started going down. So we had a nice collected but impulsed canter going down, with leg, and then out. Going up it was the same thing, but I definitely had to make sure I kept my leg on. We managed to do it okay. 

Next stop.. the water! Beth set up two poles going into/out of the water and had us trot over them first. Then they were raised up to small jumps. The trick was to keep the leg on so they didn't die going into the water, thus sending us into the water. Especially if we were jumping ahead. ;) We also trotted out of the water over them. That was hard to keep them at the trot. Once we got that down, we then cantered down the bank into the water, turned right, trotted, and trotted out over the bounce jumps out of the water. Ugh... I couldn't do it! I could canter it and canter out, with a nice arc to my line. But that's not what Beth wanted. She wanted me to go straight. Which my brain swore was going left, but... she pointed out my spatially challenged line vs the real straight line and then I was better. I never quite managed it super nicely, but we did manage it.
And we finished with a small course putting it all together. 


It was fun and very helpful. I need to make sure that if Fleck is ignoring my half-halts, then I need to make him hear them. BUT... I need to close my leg when I half halt so he has the power pushing him into my bridle, rather than just inverting him.
I also left my stirrups one hole longer. And man... my thighs are sore!!! 
But a great day!!


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