Chubby Bunny

Frankie’s mama may be a TB, but Francis is alllll warmblood in pretty much every way.

He is the epitome of the big dumb warmblood gelding ( I say this with love), he’s built a little thicker than many TBs, and he sheds out more on a warmblood schedule (literally still shedding). So while he’s technically only half Oldenburg, I definitely think he takes after that side of his breeding much more strongly.

Including the fact that his natural state is a little chunk-a-roony. Manfriend has gleefully taken to calling him “Ol’ Frankie Dad-Bod.” Francis has a great work ethic, is athletic, but he loses fitness practically overnight when he’s not in a pretty intense program.

cn_fri_waiting
OK fine there’s a bit of a belly there I admit it

His fitness has improved over time- but his job has gotten a lot harder too. As I’ve mentioned a few times now, fitness is our main focus in the lead-up to finals. So that people can stop calling my sweet boy names like “chubby bunny” and start being like “wow what a shredded ripped Hulk of a horse.”

He’s not obese or anything, and is probably slimmer than most show hunters, but still. He’s only 11, is jumping 1.15m with tentative hopes for higher, and he has a total dad bod. A DAD BOD.

upp_sat_nap
The most flattering picture ever taken

With 6 weeks to go until finals, what are we doing to turn Francis from Andy Dwyer to Star Lord?

  • Training rides. AT will be hopping on 2x a week to put some pro rides on him. We wanted to hit a balance of still giving me plenty of saddle time, but often enough to let the pro rides build on each other. 2x a week it is.
  • A 6 on/1 off schedule. Frankie will be worked with varying levels of activity 6 days a week. We’ve worked this schedule with him before with good results, so we’re getting back into that stricter rotation. It’ll be 2 pro rides (which will vary in time/intensity based on his schedule for the week), 1 lesson, 1-2 days hill work/terrain hacks, 1-2 light days.
  • Hill work. As mentioned above, we’ll be incorporating more hill work in our schedules. Some days will be more dedicated to this- there’s a low-traffic road near the barn with a nice shoulder and gentle slope that’s just perfect for trot sets- and we’ll be searching out more hill terrain for cool-down walks after other rides. I haven’t taken enough advantage of the terrain we have nearby in the past and I’m excited to make use of it. I think this will also help us have a good balance with rides- while we’re upping the intensity, we’re also going to be doing more hacks and trail rides to let him get out of the ring and decompress.
hillwork
Ambivalent ears
  • Raising the expectations. My “practice rides” with him often end up being fairly short, and I don’t make him do too much. Especially in the summer heat, my motivation to sweat even harder wanes a little. But enough of that crap. Francis knows how to carry himself on the contact. He knows how to collect with impulsion. He knows how to counter-canter and leg yield and shoulder-in. We won’t drill for the sake of drilling, but I will be asking for more out of our rides- he knows the right answers, I just need to be more insistent about asking the questions.
  • No stirrups. What, you thought Frankie was the only one who needs to get in shape?! I’ll be jumping on the fitness train and spending a lot more time without my stirrups. I’ll also be making more consistent use of the gym during my lunch breaks- with free access within walking distance, I have zero excuse not to go. I’m gonna need to get my own butt in gear to keep up with Frankie.

As always, we’re doing all of this in close contact with a whole team of professionals to make sure Frankie is getting the right nutrition, has healthy balanced feet, and is as healthy as…well, as healthy as a horse.

We ask an awful lot of him and finals will be a real test of that- three straight days of long championship courses. We owe it to him to give him every single tool that we possibly can, so he can perform his job comfortably without exhausting himself.

frankie_sleeping
Like that one time he literally fell asleep every time I wasn’t actively asking him to move.

I’d also like Manfriend to stop calling him Frankie Dad-Bod, but I think he finds it too hilarious to ever stop saying it.

 

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16 thoughts on “Chubby Bunny

  1. Rocking E Cowgirl 07/17/2017 / 9:53 pm

    If you think he has a dad bod, please don’t ever look at my geldings… Because they legit look preggers.

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    • hellomylivia 07/18/2017 / 8:05 am

      haha Frankie has only gotten chubbier since those pics were taken, poor guy is just naturally fluffy

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  2. Liz 07/18/2017 / 5:54 am

    Lololol. Dad-bod is so spot on.

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    • hellomylivia 07/18/2017 / 8:06 am

      Like not humongous, just….not the most svelte at the moment 😉

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  3. Allison Stitzinger 07/18/2017 / 9:05 am

    I LOL’d at “Andy Dwyer to Star Lord”! Poor Frankie. He can’t help that he’s big boned.

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    • hellomylivia 07/18/2017 / 1:19 pm

      Haha I’m convinced Frankie is just Chris Pratt in horse form- can be adorably pudgy or gorgeously in shape, and either way he’s the funniest most awesome creature

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  4. L. Williams 07/18/2017 / 11:13 am

    I’ve met plenty a fat TB, you just have to have that right combination of muscle and gains.

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    • hellomylivia 07/18/2017 / 1:20 pm

      Definitely- we had a TB at the barn for a while who stayed fat on air, everyone thought he was a quarter horse haha

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  5. Stacie Seidman 07/18/2017 / 3:11 pm

    I like his dad bod! It suits him just fine 😉
    I didn’t realize the extent of Jampy’s dad bod until a memory from the first year I had him popped up on Facebook. He was all svelte and fancy prancing! Now? Small chance he’s carrying twins, and the prance is more of a shuffle. But hey, he’s 18, we all get a little fluffy as we age!
    You have a solid get-ready-for-finals fitness plan all lined up! I’m sure it will pay off for you guys!

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    • hellomylivia 07/19/2017 / 12:57 pm

      Jamps is just livin’ the life!! He’s totally earned a little extra fluff 😉

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  6. Tracy - Fly On Over 07/19/2017 / 10:21 am

    Poor Frankfurter — he’s so abused with his nicknames!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 07/19/2017 / 12:57 pm

      He gets called so so many different names, he probably has no idea that his name really is Frankie haha

      Like

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