He's a bit of a tricky ride - he's quite sensitive, but he also has that bull-headed Haflinger streak. So I'll do something like switch my whip hand and he'll simultaneously go "EEEK" and then use it as an excuse to grab left rein and try to take off. I can shut him down pretty quickly, but I do have to be more situationally aware with him than with Paddy or Taran. He also looooves to lean and will happily get into a pulling match if I let him. Maybe this is a Haffie thing because Paddy is a pro at this move.
Getting a leeetle leany here - If I ask for just a titch too much trot, we lose the balance. It's a fine line.
The coolest thing about Griffy is how balanced he can be and how much he will go off my seat. I start every ride with a lot of walk/halt and then walk/trot transitions. He starts off ignoring my seat, but about 5 minutes in he starts listening. The reins become almost unnecessary as he becomes buttery off my leg aids, and I feel like I'm riding a well-tuned little pretzel. Right up until the point where one of us gets a little quick or grabby and then it all falls apart. But at least I know where we can go!
Right now we're mostly working on balance and tempo and me carrying my hands (see above with the pulling). Taran isn't really a leaner or a puller, so I'm having to re-learn how to correctly use my core to resist the Haffie lean. Maybe this time it will stick?
I would like all our trot work to look like this please
But let's be real
Griffy's canter transitions are... interesting. They really feel like nothing, but he's hugely expressive about them, even with a very small ask. And when he's super balanced, his canter feels like riding a cloud. Taran's canter is nice (especially now), but Griffy's is a whole other level.
I barely asked, I swear
In the canter, I have to focus on really following with my seat and sitting UP to sort of hold him to a balanced canter, with just minimal support from my hands. Lots of inside leg helps, but no so much that he's leaning on my leg. Sometimes picking the inside hand up (NOT back) helps get him off the inside rein and gets him to rebalance himself, but doing it while cantering is still tough for both of us.
Spoiler alert: we're way better to the left
I'm excited to be riding this guy - he's really a lot of fun, and as always every horse teaches you a lot. I know he's supposed to be hubby's next jousting horse and all, but uhm... maybe he's more cut out for dressage?
Especially given this on point bouffant .... FAHBULOUS