Saturday, November 15, 2014

XC schooling at Chatt Hills

I ended up working all day Thursday so Fleck got the day off. And Friday we went to Chatt Hills to school XC with Beth. It was COLD!! But Fleck loves the cold. He was all ready to go and bouncy. I tried to warm him up like a proper horse and not a giraffe. We did okay. It was better than usual but not as great as it could have been. And then we started jumping. Fleck was on fire. He was dragging me over stuff and so excited to be jumping. They didn't have hardly any prelim stuff set up but plenty of fun training stuff. We jumped over the novice lines to warm up and then the training line over behind the ditch of death. They had the big prelim brush fence up so we jumped that. He did awesome. So then Beth made me jump the ditch. Luckily (or unluckily) they had moved the ditch and wall and the giant table off the ditch, so it was just a ditch. A giant honkin' ditch, but just a ditch. Beth told us to come to it at the trot. Well, Fleck was still fired up so evertime I tried to trot to it, he kept picking up the canter. So finally I got him trotting and as soon as he realized where I was taking him.... He slammed on the brakes!! DOh! There was lots of zig zagging and brakes. I managed to walk him up to it and get him to stand for a minute. And take a breath. So then we trotted up to it again and he was leery, but he went over it after taking a peak. So we came back from the other side and again he was zigging and zagging and stopped. So we let him look again and then he trotted over it. We ended up doing it about 8 times and neither of us never really breathed and were good with it, but we did it. And I had to really close that left leg and then the right leg. Argh... son of a gun. We planned to come back to it. 
We moved on to the other stuff and we got some good jumps. But Fleck was a doofus and threw his shoulder out and bulged towards his friends, but did jump the half coffin. So Beth said that I needed to anticipate it and almost ride a square corner to get his shoulder straight. And I think that I probably need to ride him forward more too to get him going forward rather than sideways. I was able to get him over the fences because they were small, but if it had been a bigger prelim fence, I don't know that I would have been able to. So I came to it again and counter bent him and rode his shoulder more square and he was better. Then we worked on the banks and he was awesome. I was much better with my body up and down. :) Then we did another half coffin. This time I decided to try to push my seat back a hair to help get my leg in front of me more and help keep me more secure in the tack. It seemed to help but I had to shorten my stirrups. And then I had to figure out how to get my leg on. Gracious! But it did help make it easier to ride his shoulders a bit more. We then jumped a table and Fleck climbed it. Not sure why/what happened, but we came back around and I balanced him better and he jumped it well. And then ripped off a front shoe. Doh!! He was still game so we went through the water 3 times and called it a day. Beth had me do the training line which was a cabin then a few steps into the water, through the water on a bent line, up the bank and three strides to a fairly big steeplechase brush fence. THe first time through was a bit lacking. It was like at Ashland, were I veered instead of riding two straight lines. The second time through I nailed it. It was great!!! Then she had us finish by jumping down the drop and doing the line through the water. He leapt off the bank like a big boy and then jumped beautifully through the line in and out of the water. yay!!! 
Go us!! So, lots of fun. And he was sound walking back home, so hopefully we'll get his shoe back on soon and he'll be good to go again. 

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