The Art of the Deal

You know how versatile Frankie is. I just recently told you about our fall plans to go out and Do All The Things.

And Frankie really does seem happy to go along with all of these different schemes- the most “bad” behavior we’ll ever get from him is a little sluggishness at the beginning of our rides. The most “spiciness” we get from him is jigging when he thinks we might canter soon. He’s a genuinely happy relaxed dude 24/7.

But see, we have a deal. Frankie carts my butt around and does everything I ask without complaint.

And in return, I never ask him to canter bareback.

That’s his hard limit. That’s his big NOPE. He turns into a total fruitloop, tucks his head between his knees, and dolphin-leaps until you can manage to pull him to a stop. It’s not just with me- he pulled this with the tiny 12yo girl who is WAY lighter than I am (she’s weirdly strong for her size and was able to hang on no problem, luckily).

He’s not back-sore (I checked and had other smarter people check too). He will happily let me sit the trot bareback ’til the cows come home. But he has decided that cantering is for when you’re wearing a saddle, dammit.

frankie_bareback
Trotting: fine
bareback
Standing around: also fine

Is this something we could work on? Yeah. It takes more than a little porpoising to unseat me, and I’m sure we could work together to convince him to stop being such a banana about it.

But you know what? Frankie puts up with a LOT from me without complaint. So I don’t mind giving him this one thing. Our bareback rides can just be walk/trot/stand around and chat with our friends.

Do you have any “deals” like this with your pony?

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Wordless Wednesday

frankie_bareback
Thank you Courtney for the photos!!!! I’m sorry that I can’t look majestic on cue. And sorry that my horse looks like an 80 year old goat here. This face of his seems to be popping up pretty often and I like to call it “Seriously mom you’re lucky I’m tolerating this.”

 

Dusty Troxels, Internet Fame, and Horse Show Plans

This past weekend was chock full of awesomeness on the horse front! After a bit of a roller coaster last week, I’m so excited to share the awesomeness with you.

  • Addy and I had a bareback day. This may sound super minor to most of you, but I haven’t had a “goof-off” day since I owned my own horse in high school. There just isn’t the time to do that when you’re lessoning once a week on a school horse. Getting to hop on and bump around the farm a bit was so relaxing and made me feel like a “real” horse person again! I rode in street clothes and a dusty old Troxel (the dead bug was removed from the helmet before I used it) and got absolutely covered in hair, but it was totally therapeutic.
  • I’m on the internet! I submitted a picture from a recent lesson to Judge My Ride and I got a really quick response from Rob Gage! He didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t expect- I know Addy has perfect form, I was pretty happy with my upper body, and my legs desperately need strengthening- but it was awesome to get that feedback from him. Check out my post on their website here, or see it on Pinterest! Having my picture in two places totally makes me internet famous, right??

  • We have scheduled our first horse show!!! We’ll be attending the LTD show at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA on February 21. The plan now is to do the 2’6″ Schooling Hunter division, but that’s still under discussion. It’s right down the road from our barn and a fairly small show, so I think it’ll be a perfect low-key low-pressure way to enter the show ring. A little nervous and a whole lot excited.

Lots of good things, but as always in the horse world, something had to go wonky. Owner Lady said that Addy was a bit of a nut on Saturday, so Sunday I showed up (crop in hand) ready to WORK. She clearly had excess energy and I was going to flatwork that right into the ground. I was ready to go, and I felt that I needed a grueling ride to get my mental focus back- so of course I went to pick out Addy’s feet to get her ready to rumble. And she was missing a shoe.

Argh! The farrier will be there this week so we won’t lose too much time, but I have a feeling that these days off are going to make her even more energetic. I did stay on Sunday and groom her for a solid hour, so I still got my horse therapy that day and Addy got her scratches and treats.

Not the best wrap-up to the weekend, but lots to look forward to! Wish me luck when I do get back on…

Who else has a post on Judge My Ride to share? When’s your first show of the season? Anyone heading to Morven Park on the 21st??