I know my posts have been a bit few and far between lately, but with school starting up again and many, many pictures from London left to share, I've found my motivation waning. Jazz is doing awesome, and I've been having so much fun with her since I've been back, I don't think I've stopped even to take a single photo. She lost a lot of condition on her ten-day vacation, and gained probably a hundred pounds, so it was a lot of quick walk-trot rides to get her stamina back up. Now that she's finally fit enough for normal work, we've been doing more of the same working over poles to help me improve my position and balance.
Jazz also recently went on a short little trail ride! A friend of mine at the barn wanted to go around a small loop that goes around the back pastures at my barn, maybe a kilometre long, if that. Both Jazz and my friend's horse are relatively green and not used to trails, so the pasture loop was a bit iffy. I ended up just getting off and leading her, which was a big help, but the geldings in the assorted pastures we were going past were mucking about and trying to see what was going on, plus the other mare was in heat and not wanting to leave the geldings, so it wasn't quite the pleasant trail we'd envisioned.
There is a farmer's field across the road from us that we have permission to ride around the edges of all year round, and it's a short ride in a well-kept ditch with safe fencing and plenty of room to be away from the road, so we decided to try it. It was beautiful, and much more enjoyable to be riding on nicely mowed grass next to fences that were neither barbed wire, nor electrified (the two boundaries for the pasture loop). Jazz was doing very well (she had seen this trail once before, not so with the other one), and both horses were much calmer and moving much more willingly. We got a few blocks down the road, and the distance between themselves and home was becoming quite apparent to both horses, so we decided to turn back and not push our luck. About halfway back, Jazz started really acting up and being a jerk because we weren't heading home fast enough for her liking, so I hopped off and lead her the rest of the way home. She was being kind of pushy, so there were lots and lots of halts to push her back out of my space, which of course meant that the other horse was too far for comfort and caused more silliness. Of course the very second we stepped back on our driveway, my usual pony made a reappearance. Funny how that works. Either way, both horses did really well considering their level of trail experience (read: approximately one trail ride each), and were really just fussy because they knew they were homebound. Nothing that can't be fixed with a few more trails. I think I'm going to need the contact information for a few more people at my barn, since there's lots of people who trail ride regularly where I board.
I also finally got around to putting my western saddle back on, and I'm pleased to report Jazz was her old western pony self. I was worried after the last few rides in it that she was going to rebel against the western saddle now that she's decided she's an English pony, but she was excellent. I even let a little girl I know at the barn ride her for a few minutes.
Lessons start up again this week too, so I hope to have some more interesting goals to work towards soon!