2016 in Review

Wow. It’s been a totally huge year! Let’s take a look back:

January: Was still half-leasing Addy and lessoning with her. This was a quiet month as I saved up for Ocala.

February: Ocala!!!!! Total game-changer for me. I took Poppy in the 0.80m-0.90m jumpers and the 3′ Adult Eq, and then took Victoriosa to an 11th place in the 0.95m jumper classic (and a 2nd place in our 0.90m class that morning). It was all horses, all day, all week. This was my eye-opener that WOW this is what I want to be doing. A week after returning from Ocala, I told Trainer to start the horse search.


March: Last show with Addy– we did the 3′ jumpers and she was a powerhouse. It was bittersweet to go out on such a good note, but then we got to try some fun horses. We had a failed vetting on a cute chestnut, tried a SUPER fancy baby TB, and then found our unicorn. Frankie joined the family on the last day of March!


April: The new horse honeymoon! We lessoned, we hacked, we went on trail rides, we got to know each other. I marveled (totally still marveling BTW) at my good fortune in finding this amazing beast. I also drained my bank account equipping said horse.


May: We decided to send our entry in for our first show in June, opting out of a “get-to-know-you” show. It was all in at our new division height of 1.0m. We spent our time learning how to navigate some bigger fences to prepare. We also got my saddle re-paneled to fit Frankie better, so we could have a saddle that made us both happy.


June: We headed to our first show together at Loudoun Benefit (which was so major, we had a Part 1 and a Part 2). There were a lot of nerves on my part that ended up being totally unwarranted- Frankie jumped around at his first show like he had been doing it for 10 years. We hit the ground running at 1.0m and it started out a little sticky, but every round got better and by the end we were confidently navigating the giant ring.

LB_sat_green oxer

July: The dog days of summer. We got creative with our ride times to beat the heat, but Frankie maintained a great work ethic as I started asking for more refined flatwork. We found out more about Frankie’s past and how he turned into such an excellent beast.


August: We headed to our second show at HITS Culpeper to continue improving in the Adult Lows. We finally made it to a jumpoff and earned our first ribbons! Frankie continued to be a horse show star and we even got to play in the GP ring.


September: Frankie went into full training while I was on vacation, and we upped the ante with our rides. Proof that all our hard work paid off: we went to our third show at HITS Culpeper and made it to every. Single. Jumpoff. We even wrapped up our season by bringing home a 3rd in our classic! There were happy tears.


October: We made the switch to private lessons. A full hour of scrutiny every week, and we got to really play with some difficult exercises. Frankie rose to the occasion and turned his motor up a bit. We also discovered that Frankie is totally on board with the whole Halloween thing.


November: A quiet month. Winter was supposed to be show-hiatus time, so we focused on maintaining muscle and improving our adjustability. There was some schedule upheaval due to a crazy work project and Manfriend moving to join the police academy, but Frankie stayed consistently ready to work. My dad came to visit and had a heart attack seeing how tall Frankie is, but admitted that Frankie was a very trustworthy partner.


December: Lots of lateral work as the weather got colder. We were supposed to make our big move up to the 1.10m division, but the show was cancelled due to icy weather. Instead, we had an awesome lesson where we tackled the elusive liverpool and jacked the jumps up.


Overall, this has been a year of HUGE growth, and I don’t just mean in terms of moving up in height. Frankie is a totally different horse than we brought home- he’s still my steady Eddie, but now he’s so much fitter and better equipped to handle the demands of the jumper ring. He can turn tighter, adjust his stride so much more, handle a variety of distances with ease, use his body over the jumps better, rock his weight back off his forehand more consistently, perform a much wider array of lateral movements, and is generally a more broke, schooled horse. We knew he would be a great horse when we bought him (duh, it’s why we bought him), but I had no idea I would have the pleasure of sitting on such an incredible animal! My trainers have been AMAZING with him and I can’t thank them enough for putting in the time to teach and guide us.

It’s been a hell of a year, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for the Frankfurter and me.

25 thoughts on “2016 in Review

  1. Monica V 12/20/2016 / 8:59 am

    Tears. You and Frankie are just wonderful. Its hard to believe your partnership is so new! You will crush 2017 < 3


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 11:17 am

      He’s the actual best, you know I cry about it on the regular


  2. LoveLaughRide 12/20/2016 / 9:04 am

    I found your blog midway through the year and I had no idea you guys were a new partnership! It sounds like a banner year for sure.


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 11:18 am

      I keep forgetting he hasn’t been with me forever! He’s taken us on some fantastic adventures in a few short months 🙂


  3. Heather 12/20/2016 / 10:30 am

    Man, you really had a great year horsey wise!


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 11:18 am

      Seriously fantastic, I would’ve never anticipated this back in January!


  4. Liz 12/20/2016 / 10:36 am

    I wanna be like you when I grow up 😉


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 11:20 am

      Oh gosh stop I’m blushing haha. Let me know if you’ll be venturing to MD/VA any time soon! Or maybe wait ’til the weather sucks less….


      • Liz 12/20/2016 / 11:39 am

        Yeah… Ski season officially begins this weekend which means I’m working every weekend until we close (more $$$ for the ponies and adventures), BUT I’d love to get over any time after mid-March to be your groom at a show so I can learn the scene if you’ve got some VA/MD shows in the spring. Potentially interested in coming down for a weekend once it’s warmer to get a lesson or two with your trainer, too. I love what you work on based on all of your write-ups and would love to get over next year for some lessons of my own!


      • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 1:51 pm

        1. Yes I will let you know when shows are, it would be SO fun to have you along!!!
        and 2. For sure let me know if you’d like to ship in for a couple lessons and I’ll send along my trainer’s contact info! I’m biased but also pretty sure she’s a wizard.


  5. Centered in the Saddle 12/20/2016 / 10:50 am

    What a wonderful recap of the year! It’s certainly been one of change and exciting things for you!


  6. Avery 12/20/2016 / 11:21 am

    Dang good year! Frankie is such a dream guy. I love how he has basically the same expression in all the photos. Worth his weight in gold.


  7. emma 12/20/2016 / 12:18 pm

    Frankie is such a star and just so so perfect for you and your goals. can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 1:52 pm

      I’m so incredibly lucky to have him, it’s going to be an awesome next year!


  8. carey 12/20/2016 / 12:19 pm

    What a year! It’s been fun following along with you and Frankie and I cannot wait to see how far you guys go next year!


    • hellomylivia 12/20/2016 / 1:52 pm

      Glad you’ve had fun on our adventures with us 🙂 Can’t wait to share all the cool stuff coming up!

      Liked by 1 person

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