Friday, June 14, 2019

Frankie Trots

Disclaimer:  These pictures would be much better if I'd remembered to wear my helmet.  While I never ride without one, it didn't dawn on me that I'd forgotten it for driving this afternoon until I was almost finished :-/.  

When I adopted Frankie I knew he was bred to pace and had been trained as a pacer.  I knew he preferred to trot under saddle and on the lunge line, but I also understood I was taking a chance with driving.  I really liked him though and decided to gamble on developing a trot in harness.

The first day I drove him I asked him to trot just to see what he'd do.  He mostly wanted to pace at first, but acted like he might be willing to learn to trot.  Since then I've only asked him to walk while he develops strength and fitness.  

Interestingly, one day last week I decided to lunge him in his full harness rather that just a surcingle.  With the britching (the butt straps) touching him, he tried to pace.  As he hadn't done that before, and I hadn't used the full harness before, I can only assume the straps felt like racing harness...

Yesterday, after a few days off due to rain, I rigged him up the same way.  This time he marched around the circle and gave me some very nice trot work.  I decided to ask him to trot a little with the cart this afternoon.

You can see by my smile how well he did :-D.  He struggled a bit to get started and couldn't hold himself together for more than a few strides at a time, but boy, when he did put himself together, he felt really, really nice.  We'll continue to take things slow as he gains condition, but I am really excited!


We also drove some cones, mostly at a walk, but did trot through a set or two.



Just a little something to keep him from getting bored with just walking.



With his bright dressage future, early aptitude for cones and the fact that he's been negotiating a driving "hazard" (maneuvering through two offset gates to get into the arena ;-) since day one, I may have to consider un-retiring and begin working towards competing at a combined driving event (like ridden three day eventing, but with a carriage) next year.

A big thank you to my cousin Karen for taking such great pictures of Frankie this afternoon.  I think she's a natural.  Now if she could have just made me look young and thin... ;-)


19 comments:

The Dancing Donkey said...

Frankie is gorgeous and he looks amazing all dressed up. You both look amazing and like you are having a lot of fun!

pattyb said...

I totally agree with the Dancing Donkey! and....wouldn't any one of them make a lovely puzzle?!!!!!!! Thanks for posting your new adventure, this does look like fun and beautiful all around!

Vandermolen said...

Better talk it over with Frankie.

knitski said...

I love it and what a horse Frankie is!!!!! He is a treasure and so glad he landed in your hands!

katherine littrell said...

Oh, so you used to compete? I wondered how you got interested in carriages. Looks wonderful!

sophy0075 said...

How exciting for you. I’m so pleased. After so many sad events in your life last year, it’s a delight to see you have such joy.

Leslie said...

Young and thin is way over rated - mature and experienced is much better!
Frankie looks great and cant *wait* for you to get seriously back into driving. Perfect sport for a mature intelligent person!

Michelle said...

HURRAY!!!

Goatldi said...

Hey! You and I have the same hair color. Perhaps we were twins separated at birth?😂 Yippee for Frankie and you. Lovely photos kudos to your your cousin. One of my favorite events was Dressage in the Wine Country at Santa Rosa fairgrounds .A friend (who exhibited in Dressage) and I went twice and then I moved away. How much fun for you both to cart. Thanks for sharing!

Terry and Linda said...

I just love those photos! And your HUGE smile says everything!

Delrene said...

Oh boy, you look so happy and he looks very pleased with himself. He is a beautiful horse. And you look pretty in pink! What fun and you make a wonderful partnership

Grey Horse Matters said...

Frankie is gorgeous, he looks sensible too, and like he’s having as much fun as you are! Great pictures.

Shirley said...

You and Frankie look fabulous! Good work helping him to trot in harness. The Standardbred mare we once had was a pacer too, but she did trot if we just asked her to slow down. Trying to ride a pace under saddle is weird!
I hope you do get back into competing, nothing like goals to get one motivated.
I gotta tell you a story: Doug Williamson rides and shows in Working Cowhorse, and recently won the big Derby show in Paso Robles. Now, the scoring system is 5 judges who award points between 60 (basic score with no plus points) and 80 (everything executed perfectly). Now Doug is 77 years old.... and all 5 judges awarded him 77 points! How inspiring for us older folks! Here is a link to the video if you care to watch it: https://vimeo.com/342403848?fbclid=IwAR2UahjE_eGyPcJHS1pDNPOiti87q1eN0LALbBtQ0NF7TXMPMayADAWz2Kw

Anonymous said...

WHAT are you on about.....NO ONE is looking at you (younger and thinner) we only have eyes for Frankie!!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thanks for all your kind comments. This *should* definitely be a Frankie only post as he's earned the glory and shouldn't be penalized by my insecurities about my appearance.

Yes, I used to compete in CDEs (Combined Driving Events). The most fun I ever had with a horse! I hadn't driven very much since I retired Handy at age 18 and haven't sat on the box at all for probably 10 years. I thought I'd drive Frankie just for awhile to let him finish growing and strengthen up, but I'm having so much fun with him that I'm pretty sure I'm going to focus more on driving than I'd originally planned.

Loved the working cowhorse video. I don't guess I'd ever watched that class before. VERY impressive! Thanks for sharing.

The Odyssey Farm said...

Looking good! I bet you could talk Jack into gatoring for you...

thecrazysheeplady said...

He's hired! :-D

Ruth said...

He looks amazing! This is one of my dreams, actually, to learn how to drive horses. I'd love to learn with my Blue Belle. One day perhaps! :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Frankie looks great! That cart is a beauty...love your smile! :)

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