Thursday, May 29, 2014

Better late than never

I promised myself that the amount of stuff I had to do Sunday night wouldn't make a difference, and I would write up and post this on Sunday.  Then, next thing I knew, Sunday had flown by me... and Monday.... and Tuesday... and Wednesday... nonetheless, I still have so much to say, and I've really missed blogging since I've gotten so busy.  (For anyone not aware, I was in a production of the Sound of Music that took up all of the time, and it finally finished this past weekend.  It was bittersweet because it was a great experience, but it's nice to have my life back.  Anyways, since I've been done it's been a crazy week of catch-up on everything I didn't have time for)

Anyways, time for the fun part of the post, this Sunday was.... *drumroll*

Jazz's 6th Birthday! 

The closeups were not terribly flattering of either of us, but it does nicely showcase the fancy sides on Jazz's wonderful myler

Because of my show, I had to miss the first Gymkhana of the season with the gymkhana club I participate in.  I was a little bummed, but Jazz just did so well at home I couldn't be terribly upset. So, to make up for what I was missing, I did a little barrel practice at home!

I apparently seem to run on the belief that you can stare down the barrel to intimidate it into submission. 
I run barrels 'backwards' (starting with the left barrel instead of the more common practise of starting on the right)

I think I could make a barrel horse out of her if I so desired.

That's three! Run home Jazz! 

Okay she looks very 'up' here, but that was just the weird lope she broke into on the run home.  She was going much more normally soon after.  
 And we had our first lope under saddle since before Christmas, and it was awesome.  Jazz is a little out of shape because our re-start was more about attitude than athleticism.  She's a really awesome horse in a lot of ways though, and one of my favourite things is her energy.  She's so funny because she really isn't in good condition but she would have just gone and gone all day.  Especially with trotting, she will just go and go and she'll be breathing like a dragon and her nostrils will be the size of two small moons, but she will still be ready to go again the second you stop her.  She sometimes tries to convince me to let her lope, but is never rude about it; its like a little tiny "can we go? I would like it if we could go. No? Ok."  She is a bit of an anticipator, but slowly we're working that out with lots of patience and repetition.  Even so, I just love the way she always wants to go but never tries to take matters into her own hands and run away with me *knock on wood*.

Also a short anecdote about Jazz's birthday! More specifically, the date.  As a rescue her birthday was just May 2008, but I needed a date in order to shove cookies at her at least once a year.  So, since she was a Christmas pony, I decided on the 25th.

Final note: I have a few posts to write in my coming soon.  The Mane Event (I do intend to write that one, despite the fact I've now been putting it off for over a month.  oops.  I've been having a lot of troubles with my photos from it, so I need to sort that out first), our awesome last lesson with the instructor i've been working with (and why I'm ending lessons with her for now, and my new instructor), other lessons I'm starting on the side, a possible surprise that I will tell if and when it happens, and the bucking stories promised back in April.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bit it up blog hop!

So I know I really haven't been around much in the last month, but it has been crazy busy during the home stretch in my production of the Sound of Music. I've barely had time to make it to the barn, much less blog about it.  That being said, as of next week I'm officially done with the show, and I'm starting up lessons with a new trainer and English lessons on a friend's horse in the next few weeks (more on that later).

Edit: I almost forgot to give credit where credit is due.  It's no secret I love Viva Carlos' blog hops, and the latest is no exception

 So, without further ado, here's the bit I'm using with Jazz!

It's a level one myler eggbutt comfort snaffle (that's a mouthful, literally).  It is the one and only bit Jazz has ever had, and I absolutely love it.  As I'm sure I've gushed about before, Jazz has a wonderfully soft mouth, and I love the myler because it's essentially the gentlest bit I know of.  

This picture shows the curve of the mouthpiece.  It's also got nice copper bands.
Jazz was started on bridlework before I ever knew her, and at the rescue she came from, they always start horses with mylers.  They have a nice curve and the joint in the middle helps keep it from poking them in the roof of the mouth too much.  

This is just a little more detailed picture of the fancy sides.  
 She did most of her initial work in a D-ring myler or a loose-ring myler, but when it came time to get my own, I was having trouble finding them because they aren't sold in a lot of tack shops near me.  The owner of the rescue heard of a place that had just gotten some, and offered to pick me up one since she was planning to go and get herself a couple more anyway.  I was picturing a very plain, standard sweet iron bit, but I was delighted when the rescue owner sent me a picture of this bit with the caption "It's a bit fancy on the sides.  I figured you wouldn't mind."

Jazz doesn't seem to mind either.  (This picture is from last summer, and I would like to note that I am not wearing a helmet in this picture because I wanted a nice photo of me on my horse and took off my helmet only for the sake of taking the picture)

Friday, May 2, 2014

April showers bring May


I am not a fan of today's weather at all.  Well, I was until I wasn't.  It was a steady drizzling rain all day, and I actually love the rain.  It makes it really feel like spring.  Of course this evening as we arrived at the farm, the raindrops were turning to big, wet snowflakes.  I brought Jazz in planning to check on her feet (which have been a little thrushy lately, but nothing serious), and it was apparent she was weird.  She looked soaking wet, but that's to be expected following almost an entire day of rain.  It wasn't till I caught her and started trying to get the halter on that she seemed weird.  She was being kind of uncooperative of putting the halter on, and not in a way that I would have considered normal for her.  I immediately thought of a time last summer that she was fussing about putting her halter on and she had a big puncture on her lip that I couldn't see from the left side.

(Warning: slightly gross picture)

This was it.  It was super hard to clean because she REALLY did not want me to touch it.  It must have stung something fierce.  Note for clarity: this was not today. This was last summer.
Luckily, I checked and saw nothing that looked out of the ordinary.  So, I got the halter on and tied and started walking her in and that was when it got really strange.  She was hesitant to move and actually sidepassed about half the distance of the pasture.  I'm not sure exactly what that was all about, my best guess was that she was just really cold and her muscles were stiff.  About halfway down she started mostly walking normally, but I could see she was shivering badly.

I brought her into the barn intending to pick her feet quickly and head straight into the arena, but she was shivering so much that I couldn't have even done that.  I toweled off the water that was beaded on her back, and headed to the arena.  I trotted her to get her muscles warm, lunging her both directions until she stopped shivering and actually seemed to get warmed up a little.  Then I pulled out the blanket I've owned for almost two years and never used until today.  Jazz has always been kind of a goober about blankets (not that she's had to wear many), so it took a while doing groundwork and pulling it on and off to get it settled on her.  Once it was on properly and buckled, I lunged her again so she could really get the feel of it. She seemed to perk right up. She was trotting along very happily and seemed to really enjoy herself.

Plus tell me she isn't just too freakin cute in her little blue blanket.
 I gave her a few oats and walked her indoors a few more minutes before letting her go.  It's too bad I didn't have my camera ready because it was just hilarious once I'd let her go.  The other horses were much more concerned about Jazz's new blanket than she was.  They were all crowded around her biting at and investigating the blanket.  It was funny because Jazz was trying to be annoyed an push them away like the lead mare she thinks she is.  It was like she was trying to assert herself but they were all too curious to remember they're supposed to be listening to her.
Plus she's finally easily distinguishable from all of the other short sorrel mares in her pasture. 

Side note: I am still planning to do my mane event posts, but Jazz was just too freaking cute in her little blue blanket not to share

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coming soon!

Wouldn't you know that the week I have two or maybe three long, picture filled posts with stories planned is one of the busiest weeks of my year so far? I'll get them together as soon as I can, but in the meantime here's a quick hint of what's to come...

Stay tuned!