I didn’t buy a super fancy horse back in 2016. I bought a safe, athletic horse with the kindest eye I’ve ever seen, but I did not buy fancy.
I had very moderate expectations for what we would do together. I had my sights set on the 1.10m jumpers and hoped to compete in some bigger shows, but mostly wanted a safe partner to learn new skills on.
Obviously Frankie blew this out of the water – he’s earned me ribbons up to 1.15m and has even done 1.20m with my trainer, and has held his own at some of the biggest shows in the country. Fancy or not, this horse can jump and walks into the ring with a swagger in his step because he knows how good he is at his job.
And then this past year was a reset of sorts. I got married and went back to school, and our super intense training was put down a notch into a more moderate schedule. Frankie gained a bit of a belly and got a bit fuzzy – like I keep saying, he’s not the fanciest horse. With the scale back in our training came a scale back in my expectations for him.
Within the last three weeks alone, my kind un-fancy horse has won division champion in the jumpers, participated beautifully in a clinic with an Olympic rider, toted me around the Adult Amateur hunters, and carried me to yet another division tricolor in the jumper ring. Expectations be damned, Frankie cheerfully showed up for all of it.
Calmly interested, eager to hop on the trailer and explore new places, always turning around for ear rubs when he thinks he deserves them (which is constantly), and always happy to receive love from his people (which is everyone). His contentment in his job makes it all a joy.
Sometime soon I’ll get around to recapping our clinic experience, and sometime soon I’ll share our recent show where he moved flawlessly from the hunter ring to the jumper ring, but for now I’m just going to shamelessly dote on my imperfect, un-fancy, perfectly fancy horse.