The Dad-Friendly Horse

I haven’t had a full-on lovefest over my horse in too long, guys. It’s been all blah blah blah competition blah blah blah improve our flatwork blah blah blah consistent correctness.

So strap in, because today I just wanna gush about my pony.

My dad came to visit this past weekend, and he got to meet his grandpony. And from the very first moment, Frankie was so SO good with him.

Let’s rewind the clock a few years: my dad came out with me to fetch a horse, they were all going nuts and galloping around, and he ended up getting kicked squarely in the thigh. To this day, there’s a dent in the muscle.

So when we rolled up to fetch Frankie, and saw him playing Wild Island Stallion with his best buddy, my dad was understandably leery about wading into the ruckus to fetch him.

So I went out there, put Frankie’s halter on, and walked him out of the paddock. No dramatics involved. Because Frankie knows that it’s time to play nice and be gentle when mom is there. And if one of the other horses pin their ears, Frankie will move in between us. He may not come to the gate when I call- but Francis knows to be careful with his mama.

So off the bat, Frankie is impressing my dad with his ability to say “OK, let’s not kick anyone when there’s a two-legs in here.”

Then we headed inside….walking right past the tarp that had blown free from the shavings pile, and was flapping like a sail in the gale-force winds.

I think Frankie may have looked at it as we walked by….but he also may not have. He was busy leaning into his daily neck scratches.

Another check in the box for my dad: Frankie does not care about killer tarp animals. Frankie cares about neck scratches and food.

We tacked up- my dad helped brush him- and he stood stock-still to receive the loving. He moved only to greet the cats and to give kisses.


Check: pleasant to handle.

Then I hopped on. In the raging winds. Buildings were creaking, gravel was splatting against the wall, birds were zooming around the indoor. Francis responded to all of this by sneezing four times and going around on the buckle during our walk breaks.

Check: pleasant to ride, even under less-than-ideal conditions.

Naturally, I decided that a pony ride was in order. We lengthened the stirrups and legged my dad up, and sent him off towards a crossrail!

Happy dad, happy daughter, happy horse

JK LOL. We kept it simple. My dad has been on a horse before so I had him do some basic stop-go-turn left-turn right. We then enjoyed Frankie’s neck reining skillz (seriously his turning radius is impressive) before hopping off to put him away.

Check: calm and happy enough to take care of anyone on his back.

Frankie then spent the rest of our time there mooching on my dad for treats- he always hopes that new people won’t know his mean mom’s rule of no treats. Even without treats, Francis was leaning into the brushing my dad gave him, soaking up every spare scrap of attention because his mean mom never EVER pays any attention to him. Obviously.

So we didn’t do anything crazy with the Beast this weekend- just rode around to get our muscles moving and ask for some correct work. But in this week where we reflect on what we’re grateful for, I’m so incredibly grateful for the fact that I can feel safe handling and riding my horse at all times. Because safe for me equals fun.

And I’m so SO grateful that my dad finally got to meet his grandpony! Of course we did plenty of other fun things during his visit- but let’s be real here, folks. We all know that Francis is my fuzzy child and deserves center stage.

My three main men ❤

I’m already planning for my dad’s next visit- I think he needs to come join during show season, amiright???

Do your parents like to come to the barn? How are they with your horse?


17 thoughts on “The Dad-Friendly Horse

  1. Centered in the Saddle 11/22/2016 / 12:10 pm

    That’s so awesome!! He should definitely come during show season!
    My parents live in another city, too, but they come out for as many shows as they can, and sometimes I drag them out to the barn when they’re visiting. They both used to ride so they enjoy it!


  2. Megan 11/22/2016 / 12:54 pm

    my horse is not good with parents. they came to see him this weekend for the first time in almost a year (theyve moved out of the area) and he scared my mom so bad with his pent up pony antics that she hid in the bathroom.



    • hellomylivia 11/23/2016 / 9:19 am

      Ohmygosh I know your mom was scared but also that mental image is hilarious….I’m a bad person


  3. Leah 11/22/2016 / 1:00 pm

    I love everything about this! Frankie sounds like such a solid citizen. My mom rides, but my dad is pretty hands off when it comes to the horses. He has come to watch the occasional show, and tries really hard to buy me useful horsey themed gifts. Rock on, awesome parents!


    • hellomylivia 11/23/2016 / 9:19 am

      Haha providing useful horsey gifts is how my dad tends to show support too 😉


  4. laurelashtonw 11/22/2016 / 2:28 pm

    That’s awesome! My Dad is great with horses, my mom is scared. She held Chance for me once at a horse show though, and he was so good for her – like way better than he is for me!!


  5. Micaylah Strukelj 11/22/2016 / 3:04 pm

    That last picture is so cute!! I had my parents come to a dressage lesson a year or so ago and they mostly were really bored


    • hellomylivia 11/23/2016 / 9:20 am

      Haha I’m pretty sure my parents are bored watching flatwork and scared watching me jump….it’s a rollercoaster of emotions


  6. Stacie Seidman 11/22/2016 / 5:03 pm

    I love this! My horses aren’t parent safe. (I’m not even sure they’re me safe at this point…) but my parents do love the horses. My mom is a little afraid of them but she loves to watch me ride. My dad would never admit he’s afraid of them, but he really likes them. I had a pony a few years ago that liked to unzip dad’s coat, which he really got a kick out of. My stepmom rode western as a kid and before Rio got sicks she used to come ride him a few times a week. It was the cutest thing ever. I need to get a horse that’s parent safe again.
    Your dad looks so cute up there on Frankie! So nice that your family is supportive of your fur kid!


    • hellomylivia 11/23/2016 / 9:22 am

      I’m so lucky, my parents are awesomely supportive of the Frankenbean! We had a pony like that at my barn growing up- he would get into all sorts of shenanigans and my dad thought it was the funniest thing EVER. Ponies, man.


  7. Bette 11/22/2016 / 6:28 pm

    Yay Frankie!!!!! He really is a most amazing horse 🙂

    My parents are pretty supportive of my fur babies and it helps that my mom has a few of her own too 🙂 My dad has no desire to ride but he does feed mom’s horses in the morning!


    • hellomylivia 11/23/2016 / 9:22 am

      That’s so sweet of your dad!! Gotta love that support ❤


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