Stoicism, Thy Name is Francis

Emma was talking about how Princess Charlie likes to scare his mom, and it got me thinking about Frankie and how he handles the ouchies.

Because despite both being cute bay geldings, Frankie could not be further on the other end of the spectrum here: Frankie don’t give a shit. (Dad if you’re reading this I know you don’t like it when I swear but I will make it up to you somehow, probably with gratuitous flattery, you handsome talented smartest best dad in the world)

But seriously. Francis is one stoic dude. Sprung shoe? Not noticeable under saddle. Lost shoe? We kept it light, but still not noticeable under saddle. Scrapes up and down his leg from playing too hard? Threw some ointment on it and he was perfectly sound with no heat. Chomping bite mark-shaped lump on his neck? Yep, he’s fine. Weather changes and location changes and stressful situations? He seeks out the water bucket and chills. In the almost year that I’ve had him(!!!!) he hasn’t taken a single ouchie step or had a minute where he felt anything less than healthy (omg please don’t jinx this I’m knocking on every wood surface within reach).

This works out really well, because homeboy LOVES to play with his buddies outside. His favorite game in the world is Wild Island Stallion. To the point where we bought him a muzzle because STOP DESTROYING EVERYONE’S BLANKETS YA DINGUS. But all that playtime means he comes in with a new bump or scrape pretty much every day.

A split second before squealies and bities

If these bumps and scrapes seemed to bother Frankie at all, I would probably look intoΒ  changing his turnout situation. But Francis is SO happy to be outside with his buddies and clearly doesn’t much care about his battle wounds. He does fine when the weather forces him to be stuck in his stall, but he’s noticeably happier when he’s had his romping time outside.

68F in February means bath time for the Big Man

In my mind, Frankie is like an overgrown 5 year old boy. Super friendly and wants to play with the kids at recess, but doesn’t realize that he’s so big and is playing too rough. But like he’s a happy kid so when he scrapes his knee he just gets back up and says IT’S ALL OK EVERYTHING IS FINE and keeps playing. And wants to get into everything. And puts everything in his mouth. And isn’t very smart. But listens to the teacher really well. And he def won’t get into an Ivy League college but he’ll probs get recruited to play football at a good school so that’s ok. I have a whole persona for him in my head, it’s a fun one.

So maybe it’s not that Frankie is that stoic, he’s just not smart enough to realize that things hurt. It’s one of the reasons that my trainer and I discuss preventative maintenance fairly regularly to keep an eye on things: by the time Frankie actually shows us he’s hurting, he’ll likely already be in a decent amount of discomfort. So we want to really stay on top of things BEFORE he displays any ouchie behavior.

Is your horse more of an ouch-mom-this-hurts-cannot-horse-today type, or more of a rub-some-dirt-in-it-let’s-go type?

EDIT: Between writing this post and actually posting it, Frankie’s leg has gotten fat from a scrape he got while playing outside. He’s totally sound and we’re treating aggressively so it doesn’t get worse, but seriously this is what I get for talking about how sturdy my horse is. Horses, man. They’ll humble you real quick.


17 thoughts on “Stoicism, Thy Name is Francis

  1. Avery 02/10/2017 / 9:28 am

    I am not even going to answer for fear of jinxing!


  2. tntibbetts 02/10/2017 / 10:13 am

    Last summer when I was riding my 23yo QH (whom I rode to the AQHYA World Championships in reining when he was 5, then my mom showed him in open shows until he was 13, then I foxhunted on him) I felt something weird in his hind end. Had the vet come over to check it out, expecting a diagnosis of being old and needing injections. Yah. Homeboy’s left hind was basically broken. Not like bone broken, but the mechanics of the stifle/patella/femur were busted. The vet assumed he had some major injury to the leg in years past and this was the culmination of use and age. Yah. Nope. He had never ever been lame. My vet was astonished and told me that most horses with this injury would do nothing more for the rest of their life other than stand in a stall and some would need to be euthanized. Not Jaguar. He’s turned out every day with 4 other horses (3 of whom are 5 or younger) on 8 acres and is happy as a clam. He doesn’t go much faster than a trot more than once a month, but he will still ramp it up every once in a great while to play hard. The exact description my vet used of Jaguar was stoicism. Maybe this is what Frankie will be like when he’s old and gray!


    • hellomylivia 02/10/2017 / 10:41 am

      What a cool horse!!!! How awesome that he’s still loving life and getting to play with the young’uns!!! I def hope that’s what Frankie will be like when he’s old πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Centered in the Saddle 02/10/2017 / 11:11 am

    Haha your description of Frankie playing outside is the same as Drifter! He would play soooo hard and get banged up with new bite/kick marks practically every day. But he was rarely sore or sensitive about stuff. It just made him look super mangy especially in the winter when his lighter winter coat would be in and he’d get chunks bitten out so the dark undercoat showed through. He looked very battle-hardened haha. Luckily in the summer the bite marks would blend in pretty well for shows!


    • hellomylivia 02/10/2017 / 12:04 pm

      Oh my gosh, Frankie’s coat is disgusting. He looks like he’s fresh from the slaughterhouse, honestly. Silly boy haha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shelbyrallen 02/10/2017 / 11:58 am

    Oh geeze! Of course he swells from a scrape right when you’re praising him for being so stoic… horses πŸ™‚ Fortunately Justin has historically been very stoic. He’s a I’m-not-ouchie-until-it-really-hurts kinda guy. I will say though, the one time he coliced he was visibly ouchie immediately. I like to think he’s smart enough to know that’s a serious thing for mom to know about ASAP.


    • hellomylivia 02/10/2017 / 12:03 pm

      Seriously, I was just asking for something to happen with this post haha. Womp womp. Thank goodness for Justin knowing when to “speak up”!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lauren 02/10/2017 / 12:51 pm

    Simon is the same way. He has worked through his fusing hocks like a pro, and I know they were stiff and probably mildly painful from time to time (especially in winter). The only time in recent years he’s been a little bit “ouchy” is when he had a suspensory strain, but even then was BARELY lame. Took me being super aware to find the problem, so I told him to please start letting me know how he’s feeling a little bit earlier!


    • hellomylivia 02/15/2017 / 10:43 am

      Exactly, I appreciate the chill nature, but pls let me know when things hurt!!!


  6. Stacie Seidman 02/12/2017 / 12:47 am

    Jampy is pretty stoic but the other three are total wimps. The baby Badger throws epic tantrums if he has a booboo. I’m hoping he’ll outgrow that….
    I hope Frankie’s ouchy is better asap!


    • hellomylivia 02/15/2017 / 10:40 am

      Oh baby horse, life is tough when you’re cute and yellow ❀


  7. Heather 02/13/2017 / 12:32 pm

    Val is super stoic, unless he hurts his little tootsies. And then OMG CANNOT WORK MY FEETS HURT. Seriously. He got the weekend off because it’s been really dry and his feet are tender and he stepped on a rock or something and can’t hang. But puffy leg? No biggie. Giant bite mark where his saddle goes? Totally game to longe over a jump without tack. Those TB feet suck though.


    • hellomylivia 02/15/2017 / 10:39 am

      Hahaha poor Val and his little feetsies!! Maybe that’s why he’s so careful to not touch the rails πŸ˜‰


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