Bootcamp for Francis

I’m heading to Greece for two weeks for a family vacation at the end of August and I can’t wait! Two weeks of lounging by the pool, playing with my niece, laughing with my brothers, sailing the Aegean with my parents, telling stories with my sisters. Two weeks of paradise.

We’re heading back to the same villa we stayed at 5 years ago. It is not terrible
Five years younger but we’re still all fresh to death. We get to bring another sister this time around!
Accurate. Will be doing this in every picture.


Two weeks away from my Francis.

Sadface. I hate not seeing him two days in a row, so to go two full WEEKS is going to be a major bummer. I’ll miss my sweet boy so much! Not to mention I’m going to lose all my muscle because I refuse to work out on vacation. I’m sorry but I just won’t do it.

For the first time, I’ve had to consider what to do with my horse when I can’t be there for a solid 16 days. I can ask buddies to hop on him once or twice if I’m gone for the weekend, but I like him to be ridden 5-6x a week and I simply can’t coordinate 10-12 rides for while I’m gone.

So after talking to my trainer and discussing the different options available, I’ve decided to put Francis into full training for the month of September. He will get ridden by a pro 5-6x a week including flatwork, gymnastic work, and conditioning rides. I’ll be having a chat with Trainer before I leave to discuss what we want to work on with him and formulate a plan to get there.

Priority numero uno: snuggle him tons while I’m gone because he needs his smooshes.

In an ideal world I would then compete at HITS Culpeper finals at the end of September, but it’s looking like the finances won’t be in place for that. Because I will have just paid for a month of training. So my wonderfully tuned up horse will just have to dazzle me at home. Womp womp.

Honestly though, this is going to set us up really well. Our first show at 1.0m this year was very manageable once I got over my stage fright, and I think with some hard work at home over the winter we can move up to the High Adults (1.10m) in the spring without too much fuss. This month of training will kick us into gear and get him ready to tackle some bigger fences in the fall and winter training season.

I’m dreaming pretty big with Frankie. It’s no secret that I want to make it to the 1.10m classes, but I do think he has the potential to take me even higher. I don’t think he’ll ever be the most traditional jumper- he doesn’t have that FIRE to attack the jumps like a lot of the top finishers I see at the shows- but I simply love competing and progressing on him. Despite the expense, I think putting him into professional training for the month is going to be fantastic for both of us as we pursue our goals!

Clearly scope is not an issue for him

What arrangements do you make for your horse when you travel?

25 thoughts on “Bootcamp for Francis

  1. Allison Stitzinger 08/11/2016 / 8:31 am

    Have a BLAST on your vacation! It’s always so hard for me to leave my critters to go away, too. Hurts my heart! I usually let Dino just have time off while I’m on vacation since there aren’t too many people I trust to ride him unsupervised, and I don’t have access to an in-house trainer.


    • hellomylivia 08/11/2016 / 12:51 pm

      It’s going to be amazing, but I just know I’m going to be DYING to get back to my boy ❤ I totally know what you mean about the unsupervised thing- I feel much more comfortable having friends hop on if I know there are other people (i.e. me or my trainer) around.


  2. Monica V 08/11/2016 / 8:40 am

    Thats how it was for me when I had B in training for a month before she rode him at his first HT….not only was the HT expensive but the month of training was insane and then pay her to ride at the show….I’m still feeling the hurt hahah.

    When I leave its rarely for that long of a period of time, so I dont have to worry about that (sobs) so they just dont get worked. I’m usually gone for a max of 4 days, ever. Even if a friend would ride him, they wouldn’t train, just hack, so kind of pointless.

    Greece though, OMG. Take me with you


    • hellomylivia 08/11/2016 / 12:52 pm

      That whole “train your horse for a show but then can’t afford to show because you just paid for training” thing is totally harshing my vibe, man.
      Hop in my suitcase?


  3. shelbyrallen 08/11/2016 / 8:53 am

    Knowing your horse is 1. being exercised properly and 2. being looked after under a knowledgeable and experienced eye is the most comforting feeling! I tend to obsess over every square inch of Justin, so it’s really nice when you know someone else is when you can’t.


    • hellomylivia 08/11/2016 / 12:53 pm

      Absolutely!!! There’s no one I trust with Frankie more than my trainer- she loves him and I love how she rides him. If I can’t be there to make decisions for him, it’s SO comforting to know she’ll be the one calling the shots.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda C 08/11/2016 / 10:00 am

    Henry is going to camp next week too!


  5. carey 08/11/2016 / 11:46 am

    I”ll be out of town for a week in Sept, and just started to think about what I will do with Cosmo. Most likely I’ll have a friend or two hack him for me that week. He’ll get to stretch his legs, and I get to commiserate with someone else about how much f’ing leg he takes!


  6. SprinklerBandits 08/11/2016 / 12:37 pm

    And C will be in boot camp for September too!! It’s a good month for it apparently.


    • hellomylivia 08/11/2016 / 12:55 pm

      ‘Tis the season for cute bay geldings to get learned how to do stuff gooder 🙂


  7. Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership 08/11/2016 / 1:49 pm

    My horses just get time off if I’m away. Sometimes the college kids are around and I can convince them to ride, but usually not. Nilla would be perfectly happy to be left alone. Eugene would probably go stir crazy, but we haven’t had to deal with that yet.


    • hellomylivia 08/15/2016 / 7:59 am

      Frankie thinks he wants time off, but he usually gets antsy when he goes more than three days without work haha.


  8. Karen M 08/11/2016 / 1:52 pm

    If I am on vacation, my pony is on vacation. Not seeing Eli for a few days was tough, but I think he may have missed his daily apples from me. Francis will be super cuddly when you get back, I bet.


    • hellomylivia 08/15/2016 / 7:59 am

      I hope so! He’s getting snuggles no matter what, so he should probably just lean in and accept it

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kaity C 08/11/2016 / 7:34 pm

    I was on vacation about a month ago, and I was lucky enough to have friends that wanted to work him while I was away – he’s only been at the barn for 3 months, so not a lot of people have tried him out yet!


    • hellomylivia 08/15/2016 / 8:00 am

      That’s so great you friends you can trust with him! Horse people are the best people


  10. Stacie Seidman 08/12/2016 / 8:48 pm

    You two will have zero problems in the highs! I don’t see any reason you couldn’t move to the amateurs together. He’s definitely scopey enough! I think that’s a great decision to get him some training rides while you’re gone. Certainly won’t hurt!
    Since I keep most of my horses home with me, I have a small army that takes care of them while I’m away. Unfortunately though, they don’t get ridden or worked while I’m gone. It’s ok for now, especially with the older two, but I think next year I’ll have to find someone to work Romes if I go away.


    • hellomylivia 08/15/2016 / 8:01 am

      I’m definitely excited to see where we go together, it’s gonna be fun no matter what 🙂
      Can I volunteer to ride Romes???? I swear VA isn’t thaaaat far…..


    • Stacie Seidman 08/15/2016 / 3:05 pm

      YES! It’s just a little train ride, right?? You might need some roller skates though… he’s pretty short!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Micaylah 08/15/2016 / 1:07 pm

    My pocketbook is glad I don’t have that option! Although I do hate not having anyone be able to ride him when I am gone


    • hellomylivia 08/16/2016 / 12:09 pm

      My wallet is just seething with hatred at me right now haha. Definitely a tradeoff


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