The World’s Greatest Detective

Just call me Sherlock.

Because I am officially on the hunt for clues about Frankie’s past!

The problem: we bought Frankie through a sale barn, and they had only had him for about 4 weeks when we snatched him up. They had minimal info on his history- just enough to be able to tune him up and market him properly.

The solution: use every available resource to track down his past.

Progress: I found a sale ad for Frankie on from back in November and sent a note to the address in the ad. The gist of it:

“Hi I have your horse he’s doin’ great please tell me everything you know about him kthanksbye.”

And I actually got a fantastic response back! It turns out I had contacted his previous trainer (hereby referred to as PT), and she and his old owner had been wanting to track him down to check in on him. She was able to give me some great information, here’s what I learned:

  • He was started late- he wasn’t saddle broke until 5 or 6
  • When PT got him, she could tell he had a nice foundation over fences but did not know much dressage/flatwork, so they did a lot of schooling in that respect, but she noted he was “always so easy and brave to jump and could so easily jump the big fences.”
  • They had bought him to use as a foxhunting horse, but after taking him out a couple times they realized he was NOT a fan of the hounds.
  • When foxhunting didn’t work out, they took him to a horse trial and he had a blast. The owner wanted him to be happy but needed a foxhunter, so they put him up for sale. He had been in training with PT all of last year and only went to Phyllis in the winter because PT didn’t have a ring to keep him going in.
  • Even though he wasn’t the foxhunter they were looking for, PT and his owner “both absolutely enjoyed him” and thought he was a really good guy

I’m so so so excited to start putting the pieces together! My ultimate goal is to hopefully track his history all the way back to his breeder so I can put together a fairly complete picture of his life up to this point. I’m hoping she’ll be able to send me further back up the chain and I can take it from there.

Thoughts on what I’ve found out so far:

He was broke so late! I think this is such a wonderful thing- he’s so tall with such long legs, he needed that time to mature and finish growing. Someone loved him enough to let him grow up and get strong before asking him to jump. And now we know the reason my vet was able to say he had never seen a 10yo with such good legs!  This is also fantastic from a competition standpoint: so many show horses have to start slowing down in their early teens due to over-use, but Frankie has only been lightly used and has only jumped for a couple years. We should have many happy healthy years together doing the bigger jumps before we have to start stepping back.

I’m a little surprised that he was offended by the hounds when out hunting. He tends to LOVE other animals and isn’t overly concerned with chaos so I would’ve expected him to tolerate it fairly well. Though I do realize that foxhunting is a totally different animal.

It sounds like he really only has a solid year of intense flatwork schooling on him, which makes me love his brain even more. We’re not going to go win any dressage shows any time soon (especially with yours truly in the saddle), but he’s responsive, adjustable, and relaxed under saddle so I consider that a win. He’s had a series of trainers that have brought him along fantastically.

More updates as more information comes in! In the meantime, enjoy these two pics I tracked down of Francis going XC last year:

I feel a sudden urge to braid my horse because he is the cutest creature in the world


32 thoughts on “The World’s Greatest Detective

    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:42 am

      I wasn’t expecting much of a response, so it was WONDERFUL to get so many details!


  1. Lauren 07/18/2016 / 11:26 am

    Cool that you were able to find out some more information!


  2. Courtney 07/18/2016 / 11:36 am

    omg so cool!!! That’s amazing you were able to find all this! Hopefully the trail doesn’t go cold, there’s more to know!
    You truly are the world’s greatest detective. I hope you only use your powers for good.


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:43 am

      I want to know EVERYTHING. Stalker-style. With great sleuthing comes great responsibility.


  3. L. Williams 07/18/2016 / 11:55 am

    It’s always nice to get some background info on your animals 🙂


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:43 am

      So so interesting to put the pieces together of how they developed into the creatures they are today


  4. Hillary H. 07/18/2016 / 1:07 pm

    As others have said its always fun to find out history on your horses.

    And what a cute XC machine!


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:44 am

      Super fun! And now I mayyyybe definitely can’t wait to take him out XC in the fall 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hillary H. 07/19/2016 / 8:48 am

        You should!!! If he is as game as you say you will have so much fun! I literally am
        Still on a high from how fun my run at my last event was!


      • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:55 am

        I took Addy out last fall and was basically running on the adrenaline for weeks afterwards- I think taking Franklin out would be even more fun! Soooo exhilarating

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Britt 07/18/2016 / 1:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, I wish I could have put you on Foster’s case. Such a mystery. And Frankie really does sound like he had a wonderful start to things!

    Foxhunting takes an oh-so-specific kind of brain. My eventing mare that was fine around dogs, cars, kids, insanity, etc in general absolutely lost her shit on my one attempt to fox hunt her. Damn near killed me when she reared up, lost her balance and flipped over backwards. Never took her foxhunting again!


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:47 am

      Mass emails to anyone vaguely related to Frankie’s past and persistence has gotten me this far haha. We’ll see how creative I have to get moving forward!
      Oh jeez glad you made it out (relatively) unscathed! We have a foxhunter in our barn and she’s said that it’s totally different from pretty much any other discipline.


  6. shelbyrallen 07/18/2016 / 1:25 pm

    Looks like he’s all ready to take you to an event to run some cross-country then!! 🙂


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:48 am

      Yes!! My barn usually goes to a HT every fall but I missed it last year- I will DEFINITELY be going this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Heather 07/18/2016 / 1:35 pm

    That’s so fun! It’s possible that he wasn’t a fan of the dogs running around and under his legs on top of everything else going on. But that worked out well for you! I wish I could find something from my boy’s racing days, but the only races he did well in are fairly undocumented.


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:49 am

      Absolutely, foxhunting’s loss is my gain! He’s just brave enough to be my jumper 🙂 That’s one thing I loooove about OTTBs, their histories are usually pretty well documented (even if there isn’t always photo proof)


      • Heather 07/19/2016 / 8:57 am

        All I’ve been able to find are a few race videos where he was so slow he fell out of the frame. Lol. But I do at least know most of his owner history.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. sarahczspots 07/18/2016 / 1:45 pm

    Having bought two of my horses from the breeder, I know how amazing it is to know their entire past. Thus why Copper gets the wtf face when he does something that I know he knows better. 😉 I’d love to know more about Paige’s past, but her breeder won’t message me back on facebook. lol Oh well…

    LOVE the two throwback pics of Frankie!


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:51 am

      Ahh I want to find Frankie’s breeder! I may or may not have a secret dream of buying myself a whole herd of Frankies…… A girl can dream


  9. Monica V 07/18/2016 / 1:58 pm

    Wanna do the digging for the Yankee? My teenage self tried way hard a decade ago but with no luck.

    Freaking seriously cool that you discovered all those things, with pics and all! YAS PICS. My fav is that the was started so late, which as you stated, will be awesome for the later years.


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:52 am

      The power of google and the brain of a stalker is a potent combo haha. I’m really hoping to get photos from each person that has worked with him so I can put together a little scrapbook of his life. Like a baby book for the world’s biggest baby!


  10. Stacie Seidman 07/18/2016 / 10:26 pm

    That’s awesome you were able to find out more about Frankie! He looked great as an event horse!


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:53 am

      I had pretty low hopes for getting any info at all, so I’m already thrilled with how much I’ve been able to track down and how helpful people have been. He definitely is happiest when he’s outside, can’t wait for the weather to cool off a bit so we can get back out there!


  11. Allison Stitzinger 07/19/2016 / 7:50 am

    How cool that you were able to find out so much about him! Dino’s life from about age 4-8 is a bit of a mystery to me, and while I have the name of his breeder in his papers, I haven’t been able to track the guy down online.


    • hellomylivia 07/19/2016 / 8:54 am

      That’s my worry- so far I’ve been able to track people down fairly easily online, but if the trail goes cold and someone isn’t online then I may run into a roadblock. We shall see!


  12. Liz 07/29/2016 / 12:13 pm

    History is THE BEST. And so fun and sometimes terrifying to look up. Super exciting to hear they started him so late. That’s so rare these days it seems!


    • hellomylivia 07/29/2016 / 12:32 pm

      It’s SO fun tracking everything down! And agreed, I was thrilled to hear that he was started so late and so slowly.


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