: : : : :
Earlier last week I brought him in one evening with no more plans than to just spend some time with him. I decided I wanted to move the jumps around to prepare for my next jump session with Q. Griffin grazed beside me while I did this.
I set up a 1'6" oxer and a 2' vertical was already up.
I wondered how Griffin would react to the oxer? Everything else I've lunged him over has been no big deal, but this was definitely different. How would he take it?
He basically walked over the damn thing. -_- NBD.
Fine, I thought, let's see how the vertical treats you.
Okay then, fancy pants, what if I up the ante? 2'6" (which I think may be 2'9" at top of the pole...)
Finally, a little more effort, but still, he makes it look easy!
He's so funny about lunging jumps like this. I'll send him over just a few times and want to call it, Griffin will charge past my cues to slow and halt to jump it again and again. He loves this job! Maybe I'll have to get over my fear of showing and show him in a year or so. Time will tell. Bottom line: he's quite athletic!
: : : : :
Last Saturday I trailered him alone for the first time since he's come to the farm. We headed to the 4-H fairground to help with the kids show. The atmosphere was chaotic and quite unlike anything he'd experienced before so I wanted him to have to deal with a lot of new things.
I walked him around the horse-happy areas. He was a perfect gentleman about everything. All of the time we've spent with groundwork cues really paid off. It was so nice to just be able to give him subtle cues to back up or move a little to the left and have him listen. I didn't even have to interrupt conversations I was having, just give subtle cue and he was back where I wanted him.
He's got such a good mind. Despite everything going on around him, he never had trouble focusing on me when I requested it. I really look for him to be the horse I put friends on in the future because he is so much calmer about life than Q is (or likely ever will be). Its definitely the TWH side of him.
He spent half the time tied to the trailer a couple hundred yards from where I was (yet very near a lot of other horse people and activity so I was never worried about his safety.) From my vantage point, it seemed he was just observing and taking everything in as much as he could.
When were near the ring helping the girls as they went through their classes, he received a lot of very nice compliments from many people. No less than three people noted how "hunter" he looked. While nice to hear, I have a feeling a large part of their tendency to say this was drawn from the observation that his mane is so short. (Little did they know, its only short because I was absolutely fed up with a large chunk of it being so much shorter than the rest! Damn hay feeder in the winter.)
: : : : :
Tuesday night I'd planned to work him on the ground awhile and then potentially ride. However, within seconds of me asking him for a trot I noted that he was ever-so-slightly off in the RF - more noticeable when tracking right. No heat, no swelling, no racing digital pulse, nothing odd looking about his hoof. I decided it was likely just a tweak from playing too hard in the field.
So plans to work were quickly changed and I just toyed around with some at liberty exercises at the walk. Its been months since I've done this so I just wanted to check to see how cued into me he was; still a superstar. He yielded his hindquarters both directions, backed up, moved forward, and (duh) altered directions around the circle all based from my body gestures. I love how focused on me he is during these exercises. Now...to translate that under saddle!
So yes, Griffin is well. Yet another wonderful little equine athlete I'm fortunate to have.