May 8, 2014

Penny Oaks Takeaways and XC Time Contest Winners!

Takeaway #1: Dressage warmup needs to be about 20-30 minutes, and focused first on relaxation.

Takeaway #2: When we're cruising around the outside of the ring waiting on the bell to be rung, I need to do lots of bend/counterbend and leg yield.

Takeaway #3: Lungs Himself isn't going to have trouble making time around a BN XC course.  See below for the contest winners and official Penny Oaks XC time...

Takeaway #4: Trainer says we're ready for BN.  WAHOO!

We are tossing around the idea of our first BN being Fox River Valley near Chicago in June.  Whether it's that or Leg Up (schooling HT in July), it will be BN.  Tonight's lesson will probably include a roadmap discussion on what we need to work on before then.

I wonder if he'll stop overjumping so much as the fences get bigger, or if he'll just overjump the same rate over higher fences...

Also, while Connor and I are assuredly fine over 2'7 fences, let's all hope and pray the 3' brush that's allowable at BN doesn't show up before we get a chance to school it.  Preferably with my trainer on his back the first time.  Can you imagine Mr. "NO TOUCHING!" over 3' brush?  Me neither.

And now, XC time!  Optimum time was 4:51 and the speed fault time was 3:20.  In eventing, if your time is slower than optimum or faster than speed fault, you get penalty faults added to your score.  Connor and I's time was...

3:42!  Or 360mpm.  That's Novice range, (one level above BN).  Yes, we were going fast, but we weren't going fast enough to garner time faults, I was still very much in control, and he's finally got his job figured out to the point that he knows XC means go forward - and he enjoys that.

The way I see it, I'm not trying to develop a Starter horse, I'm trying to develop an eventual Training horse, and a pull ride rather than a push ride.  I want to encourage his enthusiasm, within reason and control.  I did, however, go for a nice relaxed open field canter on Tuesday just to prove that we could and remind him that open field doesn't always = 360mpm.

Short pony, long stride, big lungs!

Connor's breeder did comment with my exact time, but I had texted her with it right after I saw it, so she is lovingly DQ'd in the exact time contest. ;-)  Ma Greenlee of is the winner of a $25 Amazon gift card (since she is overseas, no Smartpak!) with 4:20!  And in the random draw for all entrants, with 24 entries, Erika is the winner of a $10 SmartPak gift card!  Fun fact: Erika owns Castleberry's Gavin!

Erika's Castleberry's Gavin
Ladies, please shoot an email to my spam address at jalean 11 @ gmail dot com to claim your winnings!  Thanks!


  1. So there I was, minding my own business, taking a little blog break at work when I recognized the pony on the page as my Gavin! And I won $10 from SmartPak! I'm experiencing a strange amount of joy from this! Whoop, whoop!

  2. Love it! What a good boy. I love a pull ride so much more than a push ride. :)

  3. Woohoo, well done! Happy impending move-up!

    BN speed is definitely too slow for many a forward-moving horse. If you're in control and in balance, much better to take the turns a little wide or do a big circle in a field somewhere than to choke him down. :)

  4. Hehe I have a mare who had similar feelings about touching things. I secretly loved it though :)

  5. Looks like a wonderful time! Well done.