Why Does My Horse Keep Outsmarting Me: A Memoir

Guys.

He did it again.

My darling Francisco played me like a fiddle.

You’d think after almost 3 years I would’ve learned by now, but apparently only ONE of us actually retains anything.

Basically since I’ve gotten back from Ohio and gotten Frankie back into work, he’s been….blah. Not bad at all, just kinda….blah. Rushy behind at the trot, short-strided at the canter, very behind my leg with no inclination to come up and meet me.

And in true dumb-dumb fashion, I responded by lightening my seat, softening my reins, and encouraging him to move out more. In my defense, that doesn’t sound like a crazy reaction, right?! Opening the door to invite my pokey horse to move forward?

lb_classicturn
You’d think I would’ve learned at our FIRST SHOW that a light seat has literally never been the right answer for the Frankfurter

So the other night in my lesson, I was doing this and getting “meh” reactions to it. Again, nothing terrible. Just….meh. We started popping over a few small jumps and again, he was kinda tuning me out, mincing little steps, adding strides in (which he almost NEVER does). I was at least partially blaming the belly band I’ve started using to prevent spur rubs – be careful what you wish for, because it certainly does dull my spur for better or for worse. And at that point my trainer chimed in:

“Olivia go wrestle with him a little. Stop asking and start insisting.”

Does that sound familiar? So I sat down, took a feel, booted him up, and stopped allowing the mincing steps.

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Unlike this day where I encouraged the mincing sorry for the conflicting messages Francis

What did I get?

I GOT MY HORSE BACK. HE ACTUALLY CARRIED ME TO THE JUMPS AND WENT STRAIGHT TO GET HIS CHANGES AND COULD BEND LEFT LIKE A NORMAL HORSE THAT IS TOTALLY FINE.

He was SO mad (which in Francis-world means his ears were at neutral position and he tossed his head twice #dramatic). His plan was finally foiled.

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Throwback to a few weeks ago when he fake-spooked at something so I made him canter a few laps and that made him pout and act exhausted for the next 45 minutes because he is so completely uncommitted to being bad

But guys. Next time I say anything about Frankie being less than ideal, please remind me that it’s 100% my own problem for letting him get away with it. Literally as soon as I gave him a solid whack behind my leg and got in his face a little he was a million times better. It’s like he didn’t want to show up to work until I had committed to showing up for work.

WHICH I SHOULD KNOW BY NOW BECAUSE THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE.

 

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4 thoughts on “Why Does My Horse Keep Outsmarting Me: A Memoir

  1. Stacie Seidman 03/21/2019 / 11:37 am

    I feel you! They are so smart…
    Eros has been in light work for his sore ankle. So that meant letting him poke his nose out and plod around like an old man. He loved it. That’s his life goals right there. But the last few weeks as he’s feeling sounder, I’ve started asking for some work in a frame at the trot only. Once around each way. And he was PISSED. Like he’d take the bit and pull right down to his feet pissed. HILARIOUS! Though I think my laughing at him made him a little extra annoyed. Sorry buddy.

    Like

    • hellomylivia 03/21/2019 / 12:34 pm

      Hahaha that’s exactly what Francis did! Sorry guys, vacation is over!

      Like

  2. HunkyHanoverian 03/25/2019 / 1:27 pm

    Ahahahaha well in your defense your response did seem reasonable!!!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 03/25/2019 / 1:33 pm

      Right?! I swear I’m not crazy, he’s just tricked me like this before haha

      Like

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