Wednesday, September 16, 2015

State of the Grey

Griffin is doing well. We're still plodding along steady as ever. September is total and complete chaos due to work (I'm gone something like 16 days this month due in some fashion to my job). I'm not riding as much as I'd necessarily like to, but c'est la vie. All is well regardless.

Our rides

While the frequency is erratic at best, I'm striving to ride Griffin at least 1x a week, though I always try for more. We'd been more focused over jumps for a month or so, but as more bobbles presented themselves in certain areas (nothing major in any fashion), I decided to dial back to more flat work for a time. (We always spend at least half the session (emphasis at the beginning to warm up) with flat work regardless.)

The back and forth nature of focus on flat vs. a blend of flat and jumps seems to be really good for Griffin's mind and body. He's grasping concepts more easily and his body is keeping up better than it did before. Areas where he would protest either mentally (herd members nearby distracting him) or physically (not strong enough) are far less than they were. We're both enjoying this as it is allowing me to build with new blocks now.

But I don't want to try to build with too many new blocks before I have some formal dressage lessons (coming in October, I hope!) just so I avoid building up bad habits that are harder to break in the future.

Top: June 11, 2015
Bottom: Sept. 15, 2015


Griffin is a lesson horse 1x a week. I've got my 4 year old student on Q (there is a lot of adoration on both sides of this partnership) and my new student, a 7 year old, on Griffin.

It's quite the case of kismet, these two paired together as they are. See, this little girl's mom was the one who gave me Griffin years ago. When the girl was little, I held her astride her first big horse for her first trotting moments. And now, the first big horse she's successfully ridden is Griffin.

She's had a miniature horse for several years now (complete with itty bitty bridle, itty bitty English saddle, and itty bitty breeches and boots and the whole get up...*cue "awww"*). She is right on the cusp of out-growing that mini though, and he's been thrashing her about as a result.

She didn't have great luck with "big" horses before Griffin. She's so very thrilled with him. He is attentive to her requests and they're becoming a good team. It helps that I am there to set both parties up for success, too.

I'm excited to see where things will go with these two. I'm also really proud of Griffin for being such a doll with a new rider aboard.

Yes, we mix it up with saddles all the time. It depends on what the goal of the day is. As of last night, she is trotting
on the bareback pad with arms extended out like a plane for up to 20 seconds. She's stable in her position and comfortable
with the Griffin's motion. A big change from 5 weeks ago when she was anxious about trotting more than 3 or 4 steps.

First float

Griffin got his first tooth float at the end of August. We've been over due for this since March, but with no great objections from Griffin so far as discomfort went, I wanted to wait until my vet's new 5,000 sq. foot facility opened up so I could trailer him over there for the float. I knew it would be easier on all involved.

Then summer happened and we all got busy for a time, but we did finally make it over.

It was quick and very routine. Griffin even walked right into the stocks first time with no more protest than giving it the stink eye at first. Griffin seemed to be a pretty cheap drunk, though he wasn't a sloppy cheap drunk. ;-) He just kind of blissed out and went with things. He didn't sway and flop about either during it all despite having some leeway with which he could have moved about in the stocks.

While we had him on hard, level ground, we sticked him so I could ascertain his true height. (Tape is always so questionable seeming.) He was right at 15hh. When he was a youngster, we string tested him to end up somewhere in the 15-15.1hh area at maturity, so he's right where I'd expected. It's still a little shocking that he's grown so much!! While I held hope he would be that big, I (and others) never thought he'd actually reach such a size.

Ugly duckling to beautiful swan indeed.

Investigating the hospital

"Lady..what are you doing back there?!"

I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm really, really pleased with this horse! He's so much fun. I love his temperament and his work ethic.

It's certainly taken a lot of time and effort on my end (and his!) to get to this point, but it's been so very worth it. I know starting horses from scratch when they're young isn't for everyone. It is a lot of work. For me though? I love the process of it and I love the rewards I'm gaining along the way. It's been, and continues to be, an absolute blast.

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