Spoilers: it's not because I have great discipline or muscle tone. It's because I still haven't ridden my horse except one bareback ride this month.
And honestly, that's okay. It's not really about the riding for me. It's about the horse. I mean, it's nice to ride, and to do well riding, but I am not a competitive person at heart. I'm a curious person at heart, and I haven't settled into that thing that I really want to do deep in my bones just yet, partly because there's so much I know I haven't tried. I'm loving the English riding, and I'm really happy with how it's helped me improve and get better feel for what my horse is doing, but there's not that feeling that I'm on that track I really want to run with. I've been having a blast jumping little baby trot fences (and learning what being jumped out of the tack means the hard way. Jazz jumps like a moose). And there's a big possibility of it just being me projecting, but I don't think Jazz loves it. She loves barrels, something I'm happy to mess around on in my summer Gymkhanas (which I sadly couldn't make this year), but have almose zero interest in pursuing. She likes having things to do like obstacles, so I've considered trying cowboy challenge (which is also put on by the gymkhana club I'm a part of, and which I also was unable to attend this summer). That said, she hates being micromanaged, and I know there would be a lot of tiny steps back and forth and micromanaging to get me lined up for obstacles like gates. You can't argue with a good trail ride, but Jazz is not a trail horse, and would need an experienced horse with her, which can be surprisingly hard to come by. That and her feet weren't the best this summer, so I wouldn't have really considered much trail riding without boots, and I haven't found boots that work for her yet. Jumping is fun, but I'm not sure yet if Jazz really likes it, and I'm not so sure I want to learn to jump on the greenest of the green jumper ponies (not that that's stopped me from learning basically everything else I know about riding from Jazz). I also have two things I really, really want to try still that I think Jazz may like. Of course, I have no real idea, and I don't even know if I like them.
One is polocrosse. I have a few friends who play in the local club, which is close by and has great programs in place for new riders and horses to the sport. For anyone not aware, polocrosse is basically a mix between polo and lacrosse.
Here, have a longish Australian promotional video for the sport. Many will say Australians are the best polocrosse players.
I have basically no hand-eye co-ordination, and at no point before have been good at a sport involving throwing or catching, but polocrosse looks fun.
The other is cattle work. Jazz is a quarter horse, so I figure it's in her blood somewhere. It also looks fun. The other day I was messing around on the ground getting Jazz to trot after me and channeling my inner calf. I learned I am not as in shape as my horse and get tired quickly when running around like a cow, but it was an absolute blast.
Well that certainly got off track. What I really wanted to say in this post was that in addition to this being the busiest week in my second life (the non-horse one), Jazz has been a little sore, so I hesitate to ride. I've been visiting a lot to clean her up, and lots of groundwork, but no riding. Poor horse tends to get upset tummy when hay changes or the phases of the moon don't agree with her or a tree falls in the forest (not really, it's not like it's all the time, it just seems that random occasionally). And when she gets upset tummy, she gets diarrhea and gets her bum all rubbed raw. It makes her generally uncomfortable and cranky (no wonder), so I clean her up gradually. She really hates the cleaning; it must sting something awful. I consider myself lucky Jazz has decided not to hate me often, because in addition to her incredible rearing capability and head-tossing accumen, she can kick. When we were having our hour-and-a-half trailering nightmare en route to our show last month, I handed Jazz over to someone else to try to get her in and she reared up at least twice as high as she'd been popping for me, and K said, "Yeah, she only doesn't rear on you because she likes you."
Of course, it's bad enough I'm telling the internet about the poor horse's tummy troubles, so no photos.
Luckily, I have a few other photos from recent visits and groundwork sessions to catch up.
|She was standing at the gate when I drove up yesterday <3|
|She was not waiting at the gate because the bobcat was running and she thought she was getting hay. Nope. It was definitely that she knew I was coming.|
|You can really see her dished face here, hence the strong belief in her Arab-ness|
Needless to say, I was totally in love with how adorable she looked at the gate. I scurried out to get her and she was still there when I got back with the halter. She was a big sweetheart giving me kisses (literally. It was adorable) and nuzzling me with her itchy head. Yesterday was actually a really nice day at the barn. Jazz was in a good mood (with the exception of trying to clean her up. She is very clear she is NOT a fan), and I saw several good barn friends I rarely run into. One of my good friends even offered to let me try a probiotic she uses to help with Jazz's tummy to see if I like it before buying a whole bucket.
|Indoor pony is also cute.|
|Definitely more awkward though. I prefer liberty photos for a reason.|
|"Are you going to just stand there or are you gonna be useful? I have itchy spots for you to scratch."|
|Stoically ignoring me not petting her.|
|"What's over there?"|
|"Oh no it's gonna eat me!" (Spoilers: it was the barn owner who did not, in fact, eat her)|
And so, to wrap up this incredibly unfocused post, I hope everyone has a good week. Have fun with your ponies no matter what you're trying to do (or not do)!