We got to Pine Top on Friday and I went ahead and jumped on because I was running out of daylight. Fleck was horrible! He was bolting and running and wouldn't bend to the right. It was very frustrating. I tried very hard to ride well and encourage the bend and finally got somewhere so we quit. I then decided to adjust him and I'm glad I did. He had a bunch of cranial ribs out, his poll was out, and his usual sacroiliac stuff. He did a good bit of licking and chewing so he must have enjoyed it. I took him for a little walk and got all settled for Saturday.
Suprisingly I slept great! I had to braid in the morning because I didn't have braiding bands and as I tied him to the trailer to braid the sun came up over the barn and was totally blnding me. It was completely in my eyes as I went down his neck. Doh! Oh well. He was braided. I warmed him up and he felt amazing!! He was so soft and supple and relaxed. And he could bend around my right leg. Yay chiropractic!! I was giggling because I ran into a friend and told her I rode right after Andrew Palmer, the Olympic rider. She said my smile was better. :) Bonus points, right?! :) So anyways, we went in and did our test. And I thought it was pretty darn good! He was supple for the majority of it and we did everything where we were supposed to. He was a little earthbound at times and needed to be more extravagent but I was quite proud. I figured that because we were riding under Sandy and right after Andrew, no pressure...not like we stood a chance. ;) But you know... we scored decently. 36.9 I think. Under Sandy. So really not bad. That put us in 6th out of 9.
Fleck got to rest before stadium and I went to walk the course. It looked super fun!! I warmed him up and because Beth couldn't make it, I was on my own. But I managed to do pretty well. There was a giant oxer set up, but I decided not to bother with it. The fences in the ring weren't that big and there was no sense in busting our confidence. We jumped the smaller oxer, the vertical, and the cross rail. He was getting rather long or rather short to the oxer so I fixed it. :) Yay me! I needed to push but not lengthen and I managed to do it. He felt really good so we chilled and then headed into the ring. It wasn't perfect, but it was good!! I managed to stay with him for most of the jumps and the ones that weren't perfect, I was able to sit up and ride properly after and fix them. Yay!! So no rails :) He was jumping great! It was a fun course with lots of roll backs. We recieved a lot of compliments and even Mark said my position looked great and I was flowing with Fleck. :) yay!! We ended up moving up to 3rd after our double clear stadium round. :) We were only 3 points out of first and 0.3 points behind Andrew. (We won't mention that he was riding a green stallion, just mention that he's an Olympic rider!).
I walked XC and it looked pretty good. Nothing very technical at all but lots of big fences. I swear some of them had been on the prelim course before. And fence 3 was the big open oxer in the bank field that had been boarded up top after the horse fell in it. Yikes!!! It was a bit scary. But it looked better the second time.
XC morning was a gorgeous morning! We geared up and off we went. I decided to get on and get him down there early so I could warm him up slowly and gradually. Yeah... Fleck had other ideas. He had two speeds - gallop and jig in place! Doh. He was amped up! I tried to warm him up slowly but he was not having it. So we went ahead and cantered (or galloped....) and jumped a few. He was dragging me over them and looking for more. They still had the huge gray table flagged and Tawn had jumped it... so we did to. As soon as I picked up the reins, he burst into the gallop, so I just let him go and he flew over that big table. A few minutes later they unflagged it so I'm glad we did it. I figured at this point, he was good to go and I'd leave him wanting more. So we jigged in place and finally chilled a bit. Finally it was our turn!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and have a great ride!!! We were off. He flew out of that start box and tore over the first fence. (Which was fairly impressive)! I managed to get him somewhat under control and over fence 2. Then we galloped up to fence 3 and I knew it would be fine. He soared over it like a pro. The rest of the course was awesome. He was going and I just pointed and we went. He jumped everything well. The angles were great, the mound/roller coaster was great, the corner was a breeze, and he even jumped keenly into the water. He felt great and wasn't breathing hard and we came home well within time. In fact, even slowing him down a bit, we were only 10 seconds from speeding tickets. WHOOO HOOO!!!
We ended up moving up to 2nd because Andrew's stallion had two stops. Way to go Flecky!! I was so proud of him. He was just on fire and having a blast! :)
And he thinks he deserves a beer. ;)
So yay! We're going to go to Full Gallop and run prelim while he's feeling good. I think that I should probably give him some time off in the Summer instead of the Winter since he seems to be tolerating the cold better than the heat. (Not that it was cold... it was 70 degrees! But the humidity really seems to bother him).
I'm so blessed!!!