Can't even believe it. It's all I can THINK about. I keep picturing, over and over again, us having a solid dressage test in the 20's, double clean cross country, and showjumping. I just ordered 3 spools of waxed thread and some tapestry needles to practice braiding before the trial. Obsessed? Well, at over $400 for the entry fees, this one is the ONLY one I'm doing before the end of the year. I haven't even sent my entries yet, because I have to shake the couch cushions a little harder to try and find the money to even DO this thing. Ugh. I WILL, though!
Anyway, Monday I did a nice jump school. Becca loaned me her waterfod 3 ring elevator bit for awhile because her horse really doesn't care for it, so I've decided to jump in it for a few weeks. He felt REALLY nice. MUCH less stiff than the first time I rode him in it, and stayed very respectful of my aids.
Warmed up over a line of 2' verticals. Trotted in/cantered out. I can NOT trot a jump, UGH! I have the hardest time. The jumps were 5 strides apart set basically on "X". The cav stack oxer was just off to the side of the jump farthest from the gate. My concentration was on maintaining rhythm and not getting quick. He felt quite lovely. Cantered the oxer, and was again quite lovely. Hopped off, and raised them to 3'. Put the stack oxer back up to the highest setting, then remounted. Cantered the line; Squeaky knocked down the first pole, but jumped out nicely over the 2nd. Let's face it; moving a single vertical with no fill from 2' to 3' is HARD. Made up a little course of line, right turn to the bottom vertical on a diagonal, left turn to top vertical on a diagonal, canter a short turn through the center to the oxer. NICE. He felt GREAT. I felt pretty darn nice. Rested, went again, and got a long spot to one of the jumps. I kept going after the oxer, and did the 2 verts one more time to try and get better spots. It worked, and I stopped there. What a good boy, he felt amazing.
Yesterday, I had to CLEAN HOUSE, UGH!!! My grandparents came in for literally a few hours, but hey ... my house is as dog hair free as it can get right now, lol! Today I almost didn't ride since it rained just enough to knock off the nice "fluffiness" to the ring footing and make it hard as a rock by tomorrow. I'd decided to do hills today, but wanted to go ahead and flat since I felt like the ring was going to be basically unrideable until it gets dragged again.:( It was JUST wet enough that the dust was manageable, and things weren't hard yet. I used the fat snaffle with the ball again, and DAMN did he feel good. Beautiful flexation to the poll, quiet gaits, lightness in his front end. As good of a bend as Tiki usually gives me, which is still a work in progress. Practiced the canter transition on a 20 m circle, "approaching X" from the trot. Lovely, both times. Decided to try something ... cantered a circle right, circled left on the counter lead, circled right again, then circled left with a flying change. The change was late, but he DID it! Let him walk, did it again the opposite lead, got the change clean, then let him quit.
Wow. I had a super fantastic horse today. I've had my script for Adequan since November of last year, and hadn't made the commitment yet to put him on it. On of my priorities before the end of the year is to start him on Adequan; maybe that will be the key to make him totally, 100% comfortable. The fact that his changes aren't clean tells me that maybe Tiki is a little bit "squeaky" in the joints too. Since he's only 7, with only 7 race starts, I just don't think he needs anything injected yet. Love my boy; he was GREAT today. Hills tomorrow, then not sure what for Friday. Toying with the idea of dragging out some of the "crappy" jump poles to a well defined ground indention to make a more concrete ditch, and find some stuff in the big pasture to hop over.