HAPPY 11 YEARS FLECKY!!! Man how I love this guy! What a great 11 years it's been too. He really has given me so much.
We had a great day too. We were heading to Full Gallop for a schooling horse show. I was hoping to redeem ourselves and prove that we were indeed a prelim team. Kelly was teaching at Ashland that morning and I was starting to get a little panicked about not having a lesson recently and attempting to tackle prelim again, so I said yes.
It was fun. Kelly taught me and Karen and Julie at the same time and it was fun. We were working on lots of things. Kelly wanted me to get Fleck and me a little more connected. She had me shorten my reins but put my arms more forward and be more loose and mobile with my elbows and shoulders. She wanted me to go with him more but still have a connection. So we practiced on the flat and Fleck seemed very happy with our new arrangement. We also practiced over fences and started with some smaller stuff so I could get used to it. We worked on straightness and channeling Fleck's shoulders with my shoulders. With the short reins if he got squirrelly and strated jumping side to side, I was to move his shoulders over by moving my hands to the side. (evenly, like laterally at the same time). It works. :) But of course.
So then we moved on to the water and Kelly was trying to get me to keep my butt in the saddle. I was trying to accomplish it and was thinking more of sliding my butt in the saddle. Or wiping it. :) Not getting into two point, but keeping my butt literally touching the saddle. So we did it a few times and I was sort of getting it. Then it happened! Fleck jumped over the hanging log into the water and I was trying my best to keep my butt in the saddle. We landed and... then Fleck's front end never came up. He was on his nose for a few strides, scrambling. I just sat up tall and tried to stay still. Within a few seconds (or ten thousand... I couldn't tell), he got up and started to walk off. He was a bit off on the right front. I walked him around and he was ouchy and then starting waving his foot like he does when he hurts. I hopped off and his boot had a little fray spot and when I took it off, he had a very small scrape mark on his outside cannon bone just below the knee. But it was just the hair missing. We walked around for 10 minutes and then suddenly he was sound again. We trotted and he was fine. So then I walked him down the bank and he was ready to go and seemed game, so we picked up the trot and came down the bank and he was fine. So we continued on with our lesson. He didn't take another lame step. We worked on getting a bouncy canter and jumped a small vertical to the down bank and then over the barrel (on it's side). After that Kelly turned the barrel upright and we did it again. Then we did it the other way. And then we were done. Fleck was game and happy and jumped well.
At the end of the lesson I asked Kelly if she thought there was any reason, not just because of the mishap at the water, if we should not do the full Prelim 3 phase. She said that there was no reason we couldn't or shouldn't and we were both ready. Then Karen and Julie gave me a pep talk and made me feel better. Karen had a good point. If Fleck managed to jump around after his "near drowning" incident... why was I worried? He was happy and game. Good point. :)
So then when I untacked him and went to take his studs out, I realized exactly what happened. He was missing a hind stud on the right hind. And there was a perfect stud sized square hole in his front right boot. Poor guy!!! He had gotten his right hind stud caught in his front right boot. He hogtied himself. No wonder he was on the ground for a few strides. He was trying to untangle himself. Only us... Poor guy. He was a bit tender where he scraped himself but let me ice him.
Then we loaded up and headed to Full Gallop. We spent the day pampering him. He got laser therapy, a full adjustment, and acupuncture. Then I still had to walk cross country and I figured that he needed to be walked, so I decided to hop on bareback and use him to walk my course. :) Why not!? It's a schooling show and people were out schooling. So I did. :) And he was wild! hee hee. Seriously, he felt darn good. There was no lame steps or anything. He was downright bouncy. Liz and Devon and Corin joined up with us at the end and Liz suggested I walk him down the bank into the water. Since you know, last time he went into the water it tried to eat him. Good point! And normally I wouldn't "cheat" and school the night before, but I figured that it was justified given the circumstances. So we did. And good thing because he sort of danced around the edge at first. But I got him in and then he almost headed over the corner. NOT BAREBACK Fleck!! Not a prelim corner out of the water you fool! At least not when I didn't have a half pad to protect my lady bits from that big ol' wither!
So yep.. it was a fun Fleck filled Day. Good way to celebrate our 11 years together!