Na na na na
|"I even perked my ears for this one"|
|Between my lack of photography skills and her disinterest in looking at the camera, it's a miracle I have as many decent photos of her as I do.|
The hardest part by far is always convincing myself to get my stuff together and get to the farm at the end of the day. With 4:30 sunsets and a schedule that picked up a lot in other areas of my life over the last three weeks, it's easy to make excuses for my November slipping away from me. All I can really say is that I have no intention of letting my December be the same.
Jazz came in quietly, and we did a tiny groundwork warmup before grooming and tacking up in the arena (the barn isn't heated, and it was too cold to do it in there). I got on and was pleased with how she felt right off the bat. She was really forward, and obviously had a lot of energy, which was totally fine considering the icy ground and her long, semi-unintentional vacation.
And now, a semi-interruption to just be grateful for the bloggers out there. I find that I really look forward to catching up on many different equines all across the continent (and a few international horses) and their pursuits of their many disciplines. For one thing, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one having the annual winter hardships (or being jealous of all the Texan and other Southern U.S. bloggers). More specifically though, I'm particularly grateful to Karen of Bakersfield Dressage for this post , which contained a little hint that made leg yields 9084589720 times easier (you know, when Jazz decides to remember that legs mean she has to move), and Jen of Wyvern Oaks for this post, which motivated me to start trying to rely less on pulling and a possible solution for Jazz's strung-out gross trotting (Jazz, was not in fact rescued from an auction, she was found near the train yard, and it's suspected she was a runaway train).
I started with a dressage kind of mindset and a month's vacation type of fresh patience. Jazz was actually incredibly good considering how she hasn't been properly ridden in forever. That means, of course that she was the usual kind of naughty instead of some unpredicted naughtiness. The back corner of the arena at K is still a cause of random sidepassing, stopping, and dropping shoulders so low I consider it miraculous they don't drag when circling 20m tracking left. There are two reasons for this that don't include the horse getting away with things I can't correct 100% of the time yet, one being that this is the corner containing all the jump standards and other assorted scaries, and the other reason being that the light was burnt out for about six months in that corner under the old management, and it took forever even once it wasn't dark over there to get her to stay on the track in that corner. There were also plenty of crazy strung-out gross trots, and indignant insistence that we canter NOW, including fancy tiny collected canter and head tossing, often simultaneously (which looks hilarious and feels ridiculous). That said, I found a chill place and with one four second exception (curse you, K corner), I didn't get frustrated at the same problems we have every ride lately. Jazz also tried a sassy little canter transition buck at one point, which accomplished two things, making me laugh, and making me grateful for my improved seat. All in all, a decent ride which included a couple of canter departures onto the correct lead on her hard side before she wound herself up too much to canter. Jazz is a slow burn kind of horse. If I ever bring friends to the barn to ride her, I always do a very short walk/trot check in and then let them get on, because so long as she starts okay, she usually will behave for the bulk of the middle part of the ride. It's always when we do too much fast work, especially cantering, that she gets all gooey and won't get off my leg or transition down or half halt. Oh well, she's not a fancy dressage horse... yet (despite her fancy canter skillz).
Another random note: I saw moose for the very first time this week! I was out at a friend's farm and we saw a cow, two young moose, and two bulls.
|Here's the cow! After watching her jump this fence I can confirm that Jazz does, in fact, jump like a moose.|
|Here she is reunited with the two little ones.|
|You know you're Canadian when you stop on the highway to watch five moose.|