Nani Nani Boo Boo


The High Stepper prior to his brazen escape

So Ike decided that today was the day that he would not respect the stall guard’s authority. 

I noticed a popped nail while grooming Ike for our ride, and had Mr. D come check it out.  He decided that it needed some attention,  so he went to get his farrier supplies.  I left the stall as well to get some treats from the tack room.  Ike typically stands quietly…but today was not that day.  In the 20 seconds that Ike was left alone, I heard a metallic “Snap!” and then saw a large dark form trot by the tack room…

Ike made it all of 30 feet from the barn before he was distracted by a juicy patch of spring green grass.  My appearance was unwelcome so Ike showed off his Hackney trot and pranced off to the arena which, he would soon realize, would mean the end to his freedom.  Haha, big boy, Mom knows how to close the gate…(but obviously not stall doors.)

Mr. Hot Stuff high stepped his way past all the other horses who had come racing to the fenceline to check out the mayhem.  He stopped to visit with his barn buddy Joe, caused some squealing, and pranced away again as I slowly approached. I am pretty sure he was chanting “Nani, nani, boo, boo” as he tossed his head in my direction.  Mr. HS was yet again distracted by some grass in the corner of the arena.  At this point, I finally caught up to my naughty pony and was able to clip the lead rope to his halter to end the hijinks.

Someone was not happy that I ended his walk about because he was wretched for tacking, tried to bite me when I buckled the girth, and tried to run me over as we headed back to the arena.  Fearing the worst, I swung my leg over for our session.  Luckily Big Man settled down for a very positive workout.  We held our countercanter in both directions with uphill simple changes to the correct lead.  Our 10 meter circles were fluid.  Our shoulder in and travers had steady bend and rhythm.  While I was pleased with our work, I don’t think I will encourage Ike to repeat his freeform warmup.

Tomorrow the stall door will remain closed.



Ike Culpeper Aug 2015

Yes, that’s right puny human, come closer…

Move over Frankenstein (or Fraank-en-shteen if you are more of a Mel Brooks fan), there is a new monster in town to terrorize the villagers.  If you are attending a dressage show in the mid-Atlantic area this year, keep your eye out for Frankenhorse.  This creature is typically one of the larger equines in attendance with a ginormous, block-like head and a long bed body.  He might look like any ordinary horse, but if you look closely at the button braids, they will be hiding the bolts in his neck. 


 In the stabling area, you might see him dragging around a young-ish maiden as he bulls his way to the nearest grass patch.  Stud chains and lead ropes are no match for this monster who can be very single minded when hunger pains strike .  It is suggested that you just step aside and let him pass rather than risk having him dent your $800 Deniro boots and/or your foot with his sizeable hooves.  If you see him in his stall, do not be fooled by the friendly expression on his face as he watches your approach toward his temporary living quarters.  Frankenhorse’s long neck makes easy work of nipping at unsuspecting passersby.  Barn visitors should also be wary of flying feed buckets.  This monster can be very grumpy when hungry.  You might consider wearing your riding helmet when visiting the barn housing this creature.

 Frankenhorse typically reveals his awkward self during the more challenging movements in the Second Level tests, so mosey over to the ring to catch a glimpse of the Second Level classes to see this creature in action.  Ten meter circles are more hexagonal than circular since a supple midsection is not typically seen on a FH.  Countercanter is also not FH’s strong suite since that also requires a supple body rather than bullish shoulders and a board-like ribcage.  Most often, FH gives himself away with the turn on the haunches.  That movement exaggerates FH’s stiffness.  If you are quiet and listen very closely, you will hear him grunt and groan when asked for the turn.  Pinned ears and a swishing tale are also telltale signs that you are watching a Frankenhorse.

Thankfully, with regular work, timely feeding, and appropriate training to keep his mind occupied, Frankenhorse’s reign of terror can be minimized and peace can be maintained. 

Consider yourself warned!