Yay!!! No more vowels. The curse has been lifted!
We were signed up for prelim at Sporting Days but I had lost my qualifications. So... we had to run P/T or training. So... P/T it was. I'm not going to lie. I was a little frustrated/pissed/sad/whatever. Ugh... But I sucked it up (after pouting for a day) and we had a good time. In retrospect it was a better decision. It was just frustrating as it was Sporting Days, a notoriously "easy" prelim. I would have much preferred to have run P/T at someplace like Pine Top or Full Gallop. But it was fine and worked well. And it helped my conquer my stadium demons.
So we started the weekend off flatting with Beth on Friday at Jumping Branch. And Fleck was a twit. He was super stiff and super bracey. Beth got on and even then he was still pretty awful. We got in a few good minutes and then quit.
At Sporting Days the next morning Fleck warmed up much better. He was much less resistant and stiff. So maybe it had a lot to do with him being alone at Julies vs in a crowd at SD. Regardless he was much better but it was hard work. Our dressage test was ok. Nothing fantastic or amazing but not bad. Our first trot lengthen was horrible as I goosed him and he bolted into a tranter. But the rest was decent for us. I think it was a 38 something. So yeah... not that great.
Then it was time for stadium. When we walked the course it was set for training. For some reason they ran training first. I was thinking "oh man... these are small... we've got this". Ha! No wonder. They looked a little more impressive at prelim height. We had an awful warm up starting out as he was just behind my leg and getting horrible distances to the fences because of it. I couldn't figure out how to get him in front of my leg without running him. But Beth finally got us squared away and we had some really nice fences before we went in. And then it all fell apart again. It was really quite a horrid round. I rode like crap and poor Fleck managed to get us around. How he managed to not pull any rails with my hideous riding..... But he didn't. We did have one stop because he came to a maxed out oxer with a huge intimidating roll top in front of it on a half stride. He had no choice and I just sat there and did nothing to help. BUT... props to us both because we came back around and had a most lovely fence and then we hit the in and out fairly acceptably. So... while it was ugly. We finished!!! We did not get eliminated in stadium. We even had a stop and were able to carry on instead of spiraling further down. So yay for us!! I really wish I could have had a pretty round, but... at least we survived.
So then we headed straight to XC warm up. Beth was telling me to GALLOP him because he was so behind my leg in stadium. But apparently I took that as just run him at the fences without balancing, so it was chaotic and unhappy. We couldn't quite get a good jump. Then the volunteer was like "oh Holly... where's your pinny?". Crap!!! I had to trot Fleck all the way around the arena's and back to the trailer to get my pinny. Then back all the way around again to warm up. At that point basically I had to trot straight into the box and had 30 seconds to go. Poor Fleck. He basically had no real breather between stadium and XC. So off we went. He jumped the first two fences well and then I had to kick him on a bit for the next one. He sort of pitter pattered over the half coffin and then I galloped him on. At that point he was going well and jumped everything fairly out of stride. He backed off a fair amount at the water but once I closed my leg, in he went. Then he took the worlds longest flyer over the cabin and almost hit the back side. We finished the fastest in my division and clean. But.... he didn't feel like his usual self. It wasn't like he was dragging me to the next fence. He wasn't saying no of balking or even trying to stop, but he wasn't searching the next fence out. Which is a little alarming to me. I'm not sure why... pain? Maybe he was tired because of the whole pinny episode.
Overall though... we finished 2nd. :) And that qualified us for AECs at training (though I still feel like I cheated a bit...)