Instead, I rode a mare named Jazzy. The whole grooming and tacking up process made me start my lesson a bit discouraged. First, Miss E has a lot of horses, and I have been to her barn a total of three times. I cannot possibly remember who all the horses are in that amount of time. She told me I was riding Jazzy, pointed to the mare's stall, and said, "You're riding Jazzy. She looks kind of like a mule, but she jumps well. Close the stall door when you go to put her halter on or she'll try to barge out of there." I kind of laughed to myself and went to the stall. I get into the stall and brush her off. As I'm doing so, I take a good look at her and think to myself, She doesn't look like a mule. I finished brushing off the horse and went to the tack room to grab a saddle. Miss E and a couple of other people were in there talking to each other. When I entered the tack room, Miss E saw me and quickly grabbed the saddle pads she wanted me to use. "You'll need the extra padding for Jazzy's sway back," she noted. At that point, I thought, Huh? The horse I brushed off looked nothing like a mule, hadn't even thought about running out of the stall, and didn't look at all to be suffering from equine lordosis. So, as a confused me lugged the saddle back to the mare's stall, I noticed 1) the mare was not in the stall, and 2) the mare was with another student who was tacking her up. I went up to the adult helping the student and asked what the horse's name was. She replied, "Penny." I asked her where Jazzy was. She pointed to the stall directly next to the stall that Penny was in. Long story short, I brushed off the wrong horse. At least I hadn't tacked her up yet.
I put the saddle down and got some brushes to groom the real Jazzy with. Let me tell you, Miss E was not exaggerating when it came to that horse looking like a mule. She's a sweet pony, but her ears are just long and her face is quite coarse. The sway back and desire to bust out of the stall were also obvious. After I got her brushed off, I took her out of the stall and tied her up to the cross ties so I could tack her up. I put the saddle on with all the pads and whatnot, and this mare would not stand still. She kept moving around and turning her but and walking forward and walking back. I got a friend to hold her for me, but she was still moving around a whole bunch when I was trying to girth her up. My friend had to go tack up her horse, so she traded positions with Miss E's daughter. Miss E's daughter is a very educated horsewoman and could tell that something was wrong when Jazzy refused to stand still. She took a good look and blankly said that the saddle was too far back. I wanted to just drop dead right then. First impressions are really important for me, and it didn't appear that Miss E's daughter was having the best of days. I can imagine that I only irritated her more and came off as the most beginning of beginners that can't even tack a horse up correctly. That was definitely not the impression that I wanted to make.
Moving on, I finally manage to actually get the horse entirely tacked up and I mounted. At this point, I was feeling very discouraged due to my double screw up from earlier, and I'm not the most confident person in the world to begin with. I get into the ring, walk for a little while, then Miss E asks us to pick up a trot. This mare Jazzy becomes a lot like Duke at this point, not in that she's a lazy bum that would rather do the slowest western pleasure jog in the world as opposed to moving out like she was born to but more because of the fact that she has a coughing fit when she starts trotting. The reins on her bridle are the same as the ones pictured below . . .