With hooves trimmed and time left on our plates I put Q out to pasture and tacked Griffin up. I lunged him awhile and then tossed Jordan up on him to see how he would handle a new rider and how she did with a green horse. Her cues are different from mine (less leg, more hands) which he was pretty snotty about at times, but overall he was very well mannered for her.
I kept her on the lunge with him for the first several minutes having him move out at a walk in both directions. He was being a very good boy so I removed the halter (on over his bridle) and turned Jordan loose with direction as to how I'd been cuing him.
They walked big circles, figure 8s, and serpentines around the barnyard as he learned what she wanted and she learned how to best cue him. There were a few snotty headshakes when she was heavier than he liked with hand cues, but nothing more than that. He was such a good little citizen!!
I hopped on after her and walked him, backed him, and trotting him a circle or two - even posting on him for the first time. He was confused by the posting, but plodded along with my encouragement. My biggest goal with it was just to have him move forward without hesitation and stay out of his way as much as I could. There will come a time for me to provide him with more guidance and support through maneuvers, but for now I just want him to move out with a rider and know that its okay to do so.
|Griffin conformation shot with tack on Tuesday night|
The following Wednesday night I went back out to dig a few ramps (wild leeks). They're on the other side of the creek. I could easily have walked over but I thought it would be a good opportunity for Griffin to have to stand tied while I did something else away from the barn.
I pulled him from the field, tacked him up, lunged him shortly in both directions to gauge his attitude, and then mounted right up. For it being the first evening that I didn't mosey around with him but instead went straight to business, he was very good.
We walked out of the barnyard and circled in the side yard for awhile. It was a really windy evening
and I wasn't certain about how he may choose to respond to that. Other than wanting to chase Kenai (those two, I swear), he was a good little citizen. Circles. Figure 8s. Serpentines. Halting. Backing. Good boy.
|Where orange is the route traveled; red is incline; blue stream;|
tan is mud obstacle
We entered the little copse of trees and I tied him off to one (he had on Q's endurance bridle so his halter was on underneath) and walked about 15-20 feet away from him to dig up some ramps. He tested the tie off once, and then settled to stand and wait like a seasoned
trail horse. SUCH A GOOD BOY.
I lead him out the backside of the copse, running under some low branches that would scrape across the saddle to see how he handled it - he just trotted out after me, ducked his head, and appeared completely unbothered by the trees. SUCH a good boy!
He stood like a rock for me to remount and we headed through a little bit of mud and muck, back across the stream where I let him play for 30 seconds, and then back to the barn. A total outing of about 25 minutes with a total distance traveled (including the serpentines etc.) of around ¾ mile. The perfect mini trail experience complete with three mini (20-30 foot incline) hills, mud to navigate, a creek crossing, and woods. You'd be hard pressed to find a better mini-experience for a young horse.