September 21, 2014

XC Schooling at Bea Hive


We have sort of an unwritten rule at our barn that no one goes to an event without having XC schooled in the week before: at least/especially at the lower levels.  With Jump Start being NEXT WEEKEND, that meant we were going XC schooling this weekend.  Enter Bea Hive Ranch:

#nofilter.  Does it get any better than this?

That house, oh my god, that house.  It overlooks about 70 acres of XC schooling and a pasture, and the house itself is stunning.

None of us had been there before, making it a perfect show prep venue, since the horses would be facing brand new obstacles in a new environment.  I have no pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  These things happened:

- We survived our first ditch!  He jumped it the first time and my poor riding scared him, so the second time he was less inclined to go over.  By the end he was jumping it reliably, though.
- He never peeked or hesitated at anything I asked him to jump.  The only things that felt awkward were the bad strides.
- My Intec vest hit the back of my saddle and threw me forward after a 2'3 rolltop.  Time for a new/better fitting one?

Gorgeous day.

One thing I did notice is that schooling my new level's fences is intimidating because my brain hasn't really caught up to the fact that I'm beginner novice yet.  Much of the day went like this: "Jen, take the water complex, then circle back to that house."

Water complex

My brain: "That house looks huge!" My mouth: "Okay!"

I wasn't scared, just keenly aware of the height, until we actually jumped the first couple of BN height things and then my brain adjusted to the new height and I stopped thinking about it.

The best part of the day, though, was Connor stepping down off of a down bank like a normal horse instead of creeping to the edge, checking for lions and then leaping off it like a deer like normal.  I wish I had video.  He was like "Ho, hum, business as usual for this champion event pony," and I was like "Whose horse is this?!"  because he has never taken a down bank so casually, ever.  Not even once.

Not surprisingly, down banks aren't nearly as difficult to ride when your horse doesn't try to long jump off of them.  Who knew?

I wouldn't let Connor graze as we handwalked the horses back to the trailer after watering them, so he took a chunk out of this ornamental grass.  "So there!"

Finally, woman!

It's in the middle of nowhere, Indiana, and the middle of nowhere, Indiana is the most beautiful place in the world in September.

I think next weekend should be very successful, at least where XC is concerned.


  1. Glad you had a good experience! That place is gorgeous and looks like so much fun!

    1. Thanks! It was great. We're lucky to have so many places within a couple of hours of home here.

  2. What a gorgeous place, and sounds like an excellent day! Ginger does banks/ditches on the trail on the peek and deer leap program ha ha Best of luck at your event - you'll rock it!

    1. Haha, glad to know we're not alone in deer leaping. It made me feel like a bad rider because all of these lower level riders were doing great at down banks and I felt like a sack of potatoes, but then Connor takes them normally and what do you know...I actually do know how to ride. Haha. Thanks!

  3. What a beautiful place and what beautiful weather! Glad the schooling went well - what a good pony! Good luck at your event!

  4. Sounds like a great school! Lusting over access to cross country like that! I'm swooning over the house too!

  5. Wow, gorgeous! So glad you had such a great school before your show next weekend. Git 'em Connor!

  6. What a gorgeous day you had to school!!! Yeah for Connor and Jen :) Ya'll will rock that event!

    I was so thankful we had my daughter's eventing vest fitted by a pro - I totally would have bought a size or two too large.

  7. awesome day and beautiful venue! glad you got your confidence up over the new height - that house looks bit to me too lol. best of luck next week - hope you guys totally rock it!