What did you think of Charlott Schürmann’s ride on Frankie? Has he been exposed to many other riders, or have you just been his main rider prior to this?
“She was honestly fantastic! I think it helps that she was small and clearly fitted with him quite well, but I like the way she played with him. It wasn’t a pressured ride but more of an experimental one, and he responded so well to that. She really got him upping the ante. She may have herself a horse if she ever moved to Australia!
“Dave (McKinnon, Robbie’s husband) and I have shared the training of Frank. If I’m unsure about something it helps if Dave can have a feel and vice versa. So we swap sometimes. Frank has also had some of our grooms and students sit on him occasionally for a feel of something we might want to explain.”
With horses it is always a gamble and lots of keeping your fingers crossed, but do you have any future plans for him?
“It really is a fingers crossed type thing. We do everything in our power to keep the horses on a steady path to Grand Prix, and that is always our goal eventually. But this takes a lot of management and time. So here is hoping we get him to that point. You never know what the future holds but I think for now we will keep training him at home.”
You and Dave have successfully trained many horses to FEI and Grand Prix, what do you look for in youngsters?
“Three good basic paces and a want to work. It’s not always that easy picking them as babies. It’s always a gamble buying them young. But sometimes they surprise you when you start getting them going and they are positive and forward thinking. These are fairly important traits.”
What is your training program like for your team of horses?
“Monday and Tuesday it is arena rides; Wednesday cross training over poles or trail rides; Thursday, ride in the arena; Friday, arena ride or hack out, depending on the horse.”
Do you and David work together as a pair when it comes to training, i.e., eyes on the ground for each other or bouncing training ideas and tools off each other? If so, how do you feel that benefits you?
“Yes, we do most of the time. We have our couple fights, for sure! Half the time we have a domestic then the next time I try what was suggested and realise it was a good idea! But we do help each other daily. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and use each other as eyes on the ground. We are very lucky like that.”