As you all know, a few weeks ago I had The Talk with my trainer, and we decided to go on a search for my very own unicorn. We very quickly found a super cute chestnut, and just as quickly realized that while he was a FANTASTIC pony, he wasn’t our pony.
So the search continued.
And we found Frankie.
I won’t even keep you in suspense: Frankie is perfectly perfect in every way. I’m totally not biased or anything, that’s just scientific fact.
He’s a 10 year old Oldenburg x TB, 17hh, dark bay without a single bit of chrome (and it looks like his summer coat has some lovely dapples), and I LOVE HIM.
Side note to the eventers out there: do you know the name Phyllis Dawson? She went to the Olympics for the U.S. back in the day. She’s the one that sold us Frankie, and she called him a “jumping machine.” So yeah, no big deal, an Olympian just called my boy a jumping machine. Super casual.
On the flat, he’s super duper comfortable. He could use a bit more polish before we step into the eq ring, but he’s very willing to do whatever I ask of him. He really gets swinging beautifully over his back in the canter and is very easy to leg up into the bridle. He also has the rhythm of a metronome- you could seriously set your watch to the consistency of his stride.
Which makes it really easy to see a distance on him. It doesn’t matter what the jump looks like or how high it is, he approaches it with the same steady stride. Which is a POWERFUL stride- even when I got tight to a one stride, he powered out with very little assistance from me. He’s a little rusty on his changes- because he’s been a foxhunter, he’s never really been asked for them- but I got a couple and I don’t think it’ll be a problem to install them. He’s got the brain, the balance, and the muscle.
He’s also a big sweetheart. He loves scratches and snuggles and has fantastic manners. It was so important to me to find a horse than I could be buddies with, and Frankie fits that bill perfectly! So let’s see what my checklist was:
- Good attitude. Yup. He’s kind, he’s friendly, he’s sweet, he’s willing.
- Safe. Yup. He’s super sane and bombproof.
- Able to jump. YUP. He basically took a slightly bigger canter stride over a 3’3″ oxer. We may want to teach him to use his body a bit better, but he has scope for days.
- That “X” factor. You know that feeling when you sit on a horse and something just clicks into place? Like not only could you be partners in the future, but you’re already partners. He’s got that.
The vet came out Tuesday and loved him just as much as I did. He’s sound, maintenance-free, an easy keeper, and ready to get to work. Less than 24 hours after the vetting, Frankie is home and settling into his new life with me.
This big brown boy is going to be spoiled rotten. I can’t wait for our adventures together.