The World’s Greatest Detective

Just call me Sherlock.

Because I am officially on the hunt for clues about Frankie’s past!

The problem: we bought Frankie through a sale barn, and they had only had him for about 4 weeks when we snatched him up. They had minimal info on his history- just enough to be able to tune him up and market him properly.

The solution: use every available resource to track down his past.

Progress: I found a sale ad for Frankie on VirginiaEquestrian.com from back in November and sent a note to the address in the ad. The gist of it:

“Hi I have your horse he’s doin’ great please tell me everything you know about him kthanksbye.”

And I actually got a fantastic response back! It turns out I had contacted his previous trainer (hereby referred to as PT), and she and his old owner had been wanting to track him down to check in on him. She was able to give me some great information, here’s what I learned:

  • He was started late- he wasn’t saddle broke until 5 or 6
  • When PT got him, she could tell he had a nice foundation over fences but did not know much dressage/flatwork, so they did a lot of schooling in that respect, but she noted he was “always so easy and brave to jump and could so easily jump the big fences.”
  • They had bought him to use as a foxhunting horse, but after taking him out a couple times they realized he was NOT a fan of the hounds.
  • When foxhunting didn’t work out, they took him to a horse trial and he had a blast. The owner wanted him to be happy but needed a foxhunter, so they put him up for sale. He had been in training with PT all of last year and only went to Phyllis in the winter because PT didn’t have a ring to keep him going in.
  • Even though he wasn’t the foxhunter they were looking for, PT and his owner “both absolutely enjoyed him” and thought he was a really good guy

I’m so so so excited to start putting the pieces together! My ultimate goal is to hopefully track his history all the way back to his breeder so I can put together a fairly complete picture of his life up to this point. I’m hoping she’ll be able to send me further back up the chain and I can take it from there.

Thoughts on what I’ve found out so far:

He was broke so late! I think this is such a wonderful thing- he’s so tall with such long legs, he needed that time to mature and finish growing. Someone loved him enough to let him grow up and get strong before asking him to jump. And now we know the reason my vet was able to say he had never seen a 10yo with such good legs!  This is also fantastic from a competition standpoint: so many show horses have to start slowing down in their early teens due to over-use, but Frankie has only been lightly used and has only jumped for a couple years. We should have many happy healthy years together doing the bigger jumps before we have to start stepping back.

I’m a little surprised that he was offended by the hounds when out hunting. He tends to LOVE other animals and isn’t overly concerned with chaos so I would’ve expected him to tolerate it fairly well. Though I do realize that foxhunting is a totally different animal.

It sounds like he really only has a solid year of intense flatwork schooling on him, which makes me love his brain even more. We’re not going to go win any dressage shows any time soon (especially with yours truly in the saddle), but he’s responsive, adjustable, and relaxed under saddle so I consider that a win. He’s had a series of trainers that have brought him along fantastically.

More updates as more information comes in! In the meantime, enjoy these two pics I tracked down of Francis going XC last year:

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SO DARK AND NON-SUN BLEACHED AND HANDSOME
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I feel a sudden urge to braid my horse because he is the cutest creature in the world

 

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TRM Blog Hop: Honest Sale Ads

Yay for fun blog hops! I couldn’t help but do this for both Frankie and Addy. Here we go:

Horse #1

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For your consideration, we present Frankie, a 10yo 17hh Oldenburg x TB. Sir Francis has spent most of his career as a foxhunter, with a few weeks of eventing training- brave enough to go XC and jump anything in his path, and kinda sorta has heard of dressage if you ask properly!

This kind fellow will forgive literally anything: missed distances, crawling up his neck, jabbing him with spurs, sticking a crop in his ears, and just about any other inhumane torture you can put a horse through. Even after all this, he will come to you in the field for snuggles and smooches.

We’re not sure how high he jumps, because he refuses to actually use his body to clear fences. Has been jumped 3’6″ under saddle with no problem and we thiiiink he can probably go higher because he deer-leaped over that oxer with all 4 legs. Athletic potential out the wazoo if you can convince him to pick his feet up!

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Franklin is an easy keeper: good feet, healthy coat, big bushy tail, and loves turnout with his friends. He comes inside with a few new small nicks every day- an excellent opportunity to practice your first aid skills! He’s also not quite sure where his legs are- you’ll have the chance of a lifetime to learn all about the different types of protective boots on the market and WOWEE you’ll get great at polo wraps!!

Clips, loads, bathes, ties, stands, gives kisses, reciprocates back scratches, and has mastered the puppy dog eyes to beg for cookies.

Ready to step into or out of any ring. Suitable for a weenie ammy, brave ammy, junior, tall child, or anyone who knows they’re going to make stupid mistakes and wants a horse to put up with said mistakes.

Asking price: >$100k because this horse is priceless

Horse #2

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Next on the block we have Addy aka No Remorse, an 11yo 16.2hh Percheron x TB. This pretty gray mare may look like a weird collage of different horse parts (giant head, short neck, long back, short legs, etc.), but don’t let that fool you! This girl can jump!*

*When she thinks it’s a good idea

This Beastly Creature has perfect ground manners: have your four year old groom her! Let your grandma turn her out! Let your four year old lead your grandma on a bareback pony ride! Have your grandma crawl under her belly and light some Roman Candles! This solid brick of a horse will stand quietly until the sun explodes into a supernova in several billion years.

This horse would be an excellent addition to a lesson program if your goal is to scare the children- let’s be honest, kids these days deserve a little adrenaline rush now and then. She will never actually do anything bad- this horse does not have a spook, bolt, buck, or rear in her EVER- but she will convince the young ones that they cannot stop her. Any attempt to hold her mouth will result in her happily hanging on the bit and continuing on as she pleases.

A great horse to learn jumping on! Bonus: you don’t even need to set up any jumps, she will leap over any pole on the ground! Wowza what a great way to practice jumping without needing to set up those pesky jumps! You’ll also learn to get very sticky- she encourages her rider to keep leg on and a deep seat by periodically ducking out of jumps she has done  before- a helpful  horse that will contribute to your skill development. BONUS: completely auto lead changes. But only if you don’t ask for them. She is a strong independent mare.

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Suitable for…we’re not sure exactly. Some days she’s suitable for anyone and will do everything you ask without problem, others she will test the patience of a saint. She’s a bit unpredictable for your everyday-ammy, not athletic enough for a pro, and scares the children with her power and speed. Would excel at any discipline where she can take a good look at the jumps and leave strides out without penalty, with a rider who enjoys going fast and overjumping everything by 2′.

Asking price: depending on the day, either >$100k or we’ll pay you to haul her away.

Thank you Cathryn for this super entertaining blog hop!!