https://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/https://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/p/about.htmlhttps://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/p/hug-sheep-day.htmlhttps://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/p/farm-shop.htmlhttps://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/p/punkin_11.htmlhttp://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/p/equinox-farm.html

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Frankie Was A Rockstar

When I jokingly said "Go big or go home!" I really didn't think going to the Lexington Carriage Classic would be that "big".  Not the show itself, although it was a nice size show with competitors from quite a few states, but big as in what Frankie would have to handle.

I've shown at the Kentucky Horse Park before, but it was always for Combined Driving Events (CDEs) which were held "out in the country".  Our dressage and cones competitions were on remote polo fields and the marathon all over the back roads and tracks of the cross country course.  

Frankie spent the week "downtown".  He was stabled in a "city" of other horses, carriages of all sorts, shapes and sizes, billowing carriage covers, cars, trucks, golf carts, mopeds, bicycles, heavy equipment, horse drawn tour wagons, the Mid South Pony Club Rally, tractors, mowers, leaf blowers, loud PA announcements, mounted patrol units, tight warm up areas, sand, concrete, pavement, rubber bricks... 

To be honest, I think he had to deal with way more "craziness" than my seasoned horse, Handy, ever faced in all his years toting me around.  I walked him around the afternoon we shipped in and tried to expose him to as much as I could, by his side.  We were even able to walk around the indoor arena for a few minutes.  That evening we hooked him up and drove.  

The next morning we were able to go into the show ring and school before the show started.  I got there early in hopes of being the only one in the ring for at least a few minutes.  It was a noisy place, but he did really well.  As some other drivers joined us he got a little rattled, but remained safe.

The other horses were the most concerning to him and I'm not sure if it was just the noise and excitement of the other horses or if he felt some racetrack pressure and wasn't sure what he was supposed to do.  On several occasions he switched into a pace which makes me think it was more racetrack confusion.

In an attempt to get him to better relax, it was suggested that I drive for a few minutes, leave the arena for a few minutes so he could relax in a "safer" setting and think about everything and then go back in for a few minutes and back out to relax...  This worked great until another horse in the ring blew up and was heading right towards us on his hind legs as we were coming in the gate.

The other driver had zero control of his horse as he leaped and spun.  I had plenty of control, but not enough room to try to turn around to get safely away.  This was a very dangerous situation and I was horrified not only from the fear of injuries, but also that I'd put my young horse in this unbelievable spot.  

All of the sudden the horse took a fortuitous rearing jump to the side and a sliver of room opened up in front of him and I sent Frankie forward!  He charged past the other horse and we were finally safely away.  Handy never faced anything even close to a carriage wreck with another horse.  Carriage wrecks seldom end well.  Frankie's quick action saved the day...and probably so much more.

We drove in two flat classes (group driving, no obstacles) and two (one horse at a time) cones classes.  He was very brave in his first cones class and a bit rattled in the first flat class.  The next day I warmed him up a little differently and between that and him having some more time to think about everything, I could not have been happier with him and we even won a third place ribbon!

We took the cones classes very slow and steady and when I saw one of the pictures below and realized how close the cones were set, I sure didn't feel a bit bad about hitting one.  I'm surprised we didn't hit all 10!  A friend overheard the judge comment favorably about me making a time sacrificing circle to better set up my young horse rather than trying to force a short turn he wasn't ready to make and that made my day.  

There are several fun videos on Instagram and Facebook.  The beautiful pictures here were taken by a good friend and they are wonderful mementos of a fabulous experience that I will treasure forever.  I remember telling Frankie, when we started driving, that Handy had left some mighty big shoes for him to fill.  They are filled.






Of course my biggest thanks goes to Frankie for being such a safe and willing partner, but there were so many folks who came out to help and cheer us on and make this such a great experience.  I am forever grateful.

19 comments:

Deb said...

Well done to both of you!

Deb

Michelle said...

Appreciate the thorough report, even though the part about the near-wreck was nerve-wracking just to READ about; I can't imagine facing that! You both look so professional and polished in all those beautiful photos; fantastic job, both of you!

Rhumpelthreadz said...

You look so comfortable together.

Camp said...

Thrilled for you and Frankie! The pictures are amazing. Can't wait for the next chapter. Proud to know you two :-)

debbie

Dos Galgos said...

Seems to me you and Frankie got everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you and you came out the other side well in hand! Great job Team Frankie! And BTW very nice turnout - you both look very spiffy

Anchor Cottage said...

The photos are great! Frankie looked very handsome and you are the coolest lady I know! Thanks for sharing.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Frankie was definitely a rock star. Especially facing the “almost” wreck. That had to be so scary. He’s a smart and handsome guy. You look great together and work so well together too. Love all the photos, they’re beautiful. Especially liked the silhouette ones. Congratulations to you both.

ineedorange said...

Yay, Team Frankie!!! Nice work.

(That "almost wreck" sounds awful! Hooray for both of you keeping your cool and evading disaster!)

Shirley said...

Rockstar? Heck I think Frankie earned a halo for doing what was needed to avoid the wreck!
Fabulous Frankie looks great, and so do you. Congratulations on the ribbon!

Shelley said...

And you're 'tacked' up very nicely Sara. I love the hat!

MeridianJacobs said...

Congratulations! Frankie looks great!

Anonymous said...

Yes, you both were 'tacked up' nicely as someone said :) I loved it for both of you. So, Frankie was a race horse? I missed that along the way and how you had done this or something similar with Handy.
quite the achievement for both of you. Hip Hip
Stay cool, 106 today......IDAHO

Linda said...

Holy Cow! You and Frankie both experienced so much activity! Great job handling everything that was thrown at you. You looked great in the ring and Frankie's coat just shone! All that hard work paid off. Well done.
And your photographer is phenomenal.

Delrene said...

I feel like I was there! what a great job you both did and as you said Frankie really handled all in stride. Frankie is a real hero in my book. I saw some Facebook photos and thought about you two yesterday. He is such a good job I’m so glad I met all of you in May. Hugs to Frankie.
He filled those shoes . Good job. Well done❤️

Helen said...

The two of you look like you will make a good team for a long while! :)

MarmePurl said...

What a post. I felt the fear, the excitement and the pride. Well done team. (and team includes the fabulous photographer!)

farm buddy said...

You scared me with those words "Frankie WAS"! I was like, oh no! Don't tell me something bad happened to Frankie! Therefore, I was so relieved to see your pictures and read your story!! Good for both of you!!!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Congratulations! You and Frankie are a team! I watched a video on Facebook...I was impressed! :)

Karen at longwell said...

Bravo!!!!!!! Well done :-}

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin