Heads Up Francis

Brace yourself big guy, because we’re getting ready to leg back up!!!

With less than a month left until the wedding, I chatted with my trainer about the plan post-wedding, when I won’t have the equivalent of a part-time job wedding planning. And you know what?

I. Am. Pumped.


We’re not talking too much about any shows just yet- we both clearly need to get back into shape and that won’t happen overnight. Y’all know how notoriously difficult Frankenbean is to get and keep fit. Homeboy has a big ol’ hay belly that he needs to lose.

As we were talking about the best way to leg him back up, I asked if it would make more sense to have me work him harder in December, then put him into a 2x/week program with AT in January. Ultimately though, I also need to get back in shape and I’m going to get tired and sore and cranky in the process. Trainer said we can do whatever I’m comfortable with, but used the phrase “let us help you.” Because she is an absolute gem.


So after discussing pros and cons of different approaches, Francis is going back in his program in December! I’m really happy about this- Frankie is a million times easier to ride when he’s fit and I know that those 2x a week with AT will get him there much more quickly. She’ll take him out to the hills on the property and get him working and lifting so that I can focus on getting my own strength back instead of carrying Francis around. It’s a total ammy move and I LOVE it.

We’re also getting proactive about his vet care- when he last got his SI done, the vet recommended that we move to a 9 month cycle instead of 12 month. 9 months puts us right in January, but we’re going to have him checked to see if we should make that happen in December instead. We know he’s going to be uncomfortable as he gets back in shape and we definitely want to minimize that in any way we can. If we decide to wait until January to give him the bouncy juice, we’ll likely give him Pentosan to help him out in the meantime.

We’ll also be proactive with his other care- likely add a few massages to the schedule to help combat any muscle aches. If he tells us he needs it, we’ll add some chiro and/or acupuncture to the mix. I’m also intrigued by Magna Wave after hearing Amanda’s account of how much Henny liked it. If other people in the barn are interested, maybe we’ll bring someone in.

So don’t feel too bad for Frankie. Sure, he has to get in shape. But he’s also getting incredible amounts of pampering under the supervision of a whole cadre of knowledgeable pros. Let no one say that I don’t spoil the crap out of my horse.

He’s basically the horse version of this cat

While we’re not putting any shows on the schedule just yet, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t talk about that at least a little. There’s quite a few within a two hour drive in the winter months that Trainer said we could likely ship into for the day. I love the idea of getting out there more often for a MUCH smaller amount than all those 5 day long sagas. We’ll see where we are at the end of December/early January and potentially make an outing in the Lows to get our sea legs back. I’m in zero rush to get back up to speed so we’ll see how Frankie is feeling as we move along and let him tell us when he’s feeling good to get back out there.

In the same vein, I’m going to kinda let him dictate what we decide to do this show season. If he’s going great and feeling really good and solid in the Highs, we’ll try a 1.20m to see how it goes. If the amount of support he’ll need at that height surpasses my skill level, or if he tells me that he’s most comfortable at 1.15m, we’ll stick with that. My job is to give him the fitness and tools he needs to succeed, and from there he gets to tell me what that looks like.


It’s officially time for me to get my workouts in- I may not be motivated to build strength for myself, but you bet your butt I’ll do it for Francis. So excited to get back to work with my bestest beast!!

16 thoughts on “Heads Up Francis

  1. Liz 11/05/2018 / 8:41 am

    Yahoo! Psyched for you both. Frankie will get over having to work off his hay belly quickly enough I’m sure haha


    • hellomylivia 11/05/2018 / 1:19 pm

      As long as we keep the constant attention flowing, I think he’ll be fine hahaha 😉


  2. Boss Mare Eventing 11/05/2018 / 1:07 pm

    Sounds like a winning plan!


  3. Nicole C 11/05/2018 / 1:59 pm

    I signed up for a Buck Davidson clinic in March to give myself the motivation I tend to lack over the winter as far as keeping both myself and my horse in shape. He’s going to be 17 next year, and it will be much easier on both of us if we stay in at least moderate work over the winter and can be ready to hit the ground running come spring. Your plan sounds like a good one! I’m hoping we can get out into a field for some conditioning work (fingers crossed for a mild winter). Here’s to beating those winter weather blues in 2018/19!


    • hellomylivia 11/06/2018 / 10:16 am

      That’s so smart to set that kind of goal! Perfect incentive to stay consistent in the yucky months 😉


  4. Centered in the Saddle 11/05/2018 / 2:50 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about not being motivated to get strong for myself but I’ll do it for the horses! Almost every time I work out (or do a plank daily) I imagine how much better I could be at dressage, or how much the fitness will help me over a cross country course!


  5. Tracy 11/05/2018 / 3:10 pm

    I’m working hard to get stronger this offseason too — I’m at the gym 4-5 days/week now!


    • hellomylivia 11/06/2018 / 10:16 am

      Girl check you out! I seriously admire that kind of dedication!


  6. Stacie Seidman 11/05/2018 / 3:52 pm

    Woohoo! Time to get back to business! Sounds like a great plan to me!


    • hellomylivia 11/06/2018 / 10:17 am

      It’s gonna be so fun 🙂 I’m beyond psyched to get the big guy legged back up!


  7. carey 11/14/2018 / 2:25 pm

    Eee!! So much fun getting back into shape for showing! Mo and I are in the same boat. Except we didn’t take time off to get married. After how awesome he was at the end of year show in Oct (and how poorly that local schooling series is run) trainer and I have decided to move up to a few A shows. Since Mo is no spring chicken this might be my last chance to push it in the show ring. Not to say Cosmo is having any issues, but he’s gonna be 23, he won’t be able to hold up to a full show season much longer (especially with how pumped he gets). So. I have budget for 3 week-long shows and I am SO EXCITED to pick them out. And then there is the part about us getting back into shape……I’m excited about that part too. I guess I’m gonna have to start writing on my own blog now…


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