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songbird 08-14-2011 03:38 PM

All that Jazz...
Meet Jazz.

She's a 14-year-old Connemara who I ride occasionally (but sadly don't own. Actually, this has many benefits).

I decided to start this journal because I recently agreed with one of her owners that I would start taking her out a couple of times a week, get her back into work a bit since at the moment, with her regular rider having moved away, she's lazing around the paddock all day doing absolutely nothing except getting fat. I think she's been getting used to this kind of laziness, because the last couple of times I rode her she flicked her tail and jogged around until I started to think there was seriously something wrong with her. Turns out she's just not happy about the work scenario. I also tried to lunge her which ended in the lunge line snapping:

And since the yard is populated by people I was in Pony Club with years ago, I was pretty embarrassed.

So this is going to be a diary of my attempts to get Jazz to put up with having me on her back, and hopefully to eventually get her jumping properly again (did I mention a fiasco with me breaking the wing of a jump with my back? Ouch). I will try to take lots of pictures and videos to document our non-progress.

Thanks for reading... wish me luck tomorrow!

songbird 08-15-2011 10:19 AM

So today I decided to stick with flatwork in walk and trot because I had this idea of attempting some Pony Club dressage tests over the summer. Originally I had a plan to get Jazz jumping a course by the end of the holidays but then I didn't ride her for the first 2 1/2 months so I think that would be a little unrealistic now, though I will try and get her going over a few little jumps. However, for now I'm going to stick to attempting some very basic dressage tests.

So first of all we worked around the arena in walk, did some 10m circles in the corners, changing the rein etc. In trot we did some transitions (very simple walk-trot and back) because her trot has been very weird lately, she jumps about and throws me off so I'm rising on the wrong leg. We did a couple of 20m circles, a good half hour. I was pretty satisfied with her for today. I think she's learning that I'm bored of her nonsense in trot. Next time we'll attempt a few less basic things.

Here are a few pictures, and I'm going to put a video up for critique. My boyfriend took it and it has alerted me to the fact that I have developed a very lazy seat.

songbird 08-18-2011 06:18 AM

Today we went out to the stables early to see Jazz. I just let her follow me across the field instead of putting a headcollar on which was nice, and we gave her a good groom. I had a look at her saddle but it doesn't look uncomfortable, though she was trying to nip me at every opportunity until I got on her back, when she settled down. We did lots of bending exercises, 10 and 20m circles and so on. She didn't really seem to be listening to me much though I was trying to get her working on the bit, and her trot was fine save for working on the right rein when she was very unhappy. I'm going to have to investigate that. I really don't know what it might be.

I lengthened my stirrups a couple of notches today and my position improved dramatically, and I felt a lot more in control and a lot more relaxed. So one improvement at least!

Until next time :)

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