Frankie (USEF name To Be Frank) is a 10 year old, 17.1hh Oldenburg x TB who has endless tolerance for my ammy mistakes. He spent some time as a foxhunter and played around as an eventer, but he’s been doing wonderfully in his new role as my showjumper.
The Handsomest is my first horse as an adult and he just came home with me at the end of March 2016- it was love at first jump and we clicked instantly. First trial on a Friday, second trial on a Monday, vet out on Tuesday, signed the check Wednesday. I hopped on for a lesson that night and he has been a steady Eddie from hour one.
Homeboy loooooooves nose scratches, being groomed and pet, and getting ANY sort of attention because if I’m not petting him it must mean I don’t love him anymore. All he wants in life is to be best friends with every living creature in his line of sight. The barn cats are not amused by his overtures of affection.
He is also a jumping machine. Come hell or high water, he is jumping the jump I point him to. He keeps a nice steady rocking canter all the way to the base whether the jump is a 2′ crossrail or a 4′ oxer into a combo. Fill, no fill, mounting block, traffic cone, yoga mat, triple bar, liverpool, brush, we’ve jumped everything in our path. Nothing phases him. Picking his feet up? Ehhhhh he’d rather jump high enough that he doesn’t have to bother.
He is the definition of ammy-friendly: he doesn’t hold a grudge, is the same horse every time I pull him out of his stall, loves his job, and is happy to do it. We’ve yet to find anything that flusters him or gets him worked up. Zero prep at horse shows: I pull him out of his stall and hop on, and he settles down to work immediately.
We bought him with the intention of moving up to the 1.10m High Adult Jumpers in a year or two- after 8 months, we realized there was no point in waiting around and decided to move on up! I’m still in disbelief that I have a horse this incredible and every day is more fun than the last.
In doing some detective work on Frankie’s history, I found that he wasn’t started under saddle until he was 5 and then spent several years after that lounging in a field. Homeboy has only been in serious training for a few years and is brand new to showing, but acts like he’s been doing this gig forever. I am so grateful to those who trained him up- they clearly did so thoughtfully to create such a confident, calm horse.
Horses that made me:
My beautiful girl Addy (often referred to here as Pretty Girl).
I half-leased this sweet girl for over a year and we had so many firsts together. She took me from juuust getting back in the saddle after several years off, to my first show in over 10 years, to my first 3′ division, to my first jumper show ever, to my first XC schooling, all sorts of firsts.
She wasn’t always the easiest ride- she had a habit of saying NOPE to unfamiliar jumps, and slowing down was a struggle for her- but I could always trust her to be sane and safe for me, no matter the setting. She taught me so much and helped mold me into the rider I am today!
My handsome boy Star.
After winning a Short Stirrup year-end final (impressive, I know), my parents decided that I was dedicated enough to warrant getting my own show pony. We got this big Holsteiner beefcake a few months later to take me from crossrails up to 3′. I fell off him more times than I can count and he was a bit of a handful on the ground, but he was my absolute best friend in high school and taught me SO much.
Star went on to teach some other kids the ropes, then spent some time on the Dartmouth equestrian team, and now is happily semi-retired down in Florida with a family that dotes on him.