Francis has the bouncy juice!
Myself along with the rest of Frankie’s healthcare team have been talking preventative maintenance for a while, and decided that spring would be when we made a decision on what to do. We know that Frankie is very sound, we manage his schedule carefully so he doesn’t get over-jumped, and he’s never shown any sort of discomfort with his job. And we also know that we very much never want him to deal with discomfort if we can avoid it.
So after consulting with my trainer, my vet (who btw I LOVE because he is brilliant and cares so much and is genuinely the nicest guy) and consulting my bank account, we decided to go ahead with an SI injection last week after we got back from the show. Frankie also got his sheath cleaned while he was doped up, ha ha bro deal with the indignity.
But back to the bouncy juice.
Frankie got several days off post-injection, just getting some groomings from Yours Truly. I then had a barn kid hop on him while I was out of town for the weekend to flat him around and let him start getting back into work after a solid week off post-show- he never gets kooky after time off so I wasn’t worried about him. He got a very good report card and lots of loving from his little friend! (She’s not so little really, she’s got super long legs and fits him fantastically. She loves Frankie, Frankie loves her, and I have a trusted barn rat to hop on when I can’t get to the barn. We all win.)
And then we had a lesson yesterday to start pressing some buttons and see how he’s doing! It was a very low-key lesson, nothing crazy. Pretty basic WTC warmup, I threw in a couple leg-yields to get him off my leg FRANKLIN. But his canter felt really fantastic! I’ve always loved his canter of course, but he had some great “bounce” to his step yesterday.
We tried out a couple courses- again, nothing crazy. At their highest I don’t think anything topped 3’ish (though what do I know) and the courses themselves were pretty simple. A couple singles, a bending line, a long approach oxer, all very comfortable. We got some cute jumps!
In the past we’ve gotten sub-par jumping efforts when we ask him to take off from a closer spot- he leans his body to give himself some room, legs go askew, basically he loses track of his body and flings himself across the jump. That’s a bit dramatic- it’s not all that bad and he’s not that contorted. But not great usage of his body.
But I asked for the base to pretty much every jump last night (c’mon dude they’re not that big, you can trot these fences) and he gave some great lift through his shoulder and used his neck and back more! I don’t think this was due entirely to the injection- we’ve worked hard to build fitness and education, and he gave some lovely efforts at the show last weekend- but I do think increased comfort in his movement is only a good thing.
I know I’m a broken record on this, but I really am thrilled with how Frankie continues to get better and better. We’ve worked hard to build fitness and muscle, we’ve worked hard to educate him on his job, we’re doing everything in our power to make sure he is healthy and comfortable, and he is responding to our efforts with a wonderful work ethic. It’s really a pleasure working with my trainers to mold Frankie’s natural athleticism into such a fun sporthorse.
I’m not sorry about being a broken record. Frankie is my unicorn.
I know some of you have gone the SI-injection route. What did you think? Did you notice a difference?