Grayboo's Success Stories
August 4, 2008
I don’t’ want you to feel pressured to keep Grayboo’s
stories up to date every time I send an email, but I’m just
SO excited about Grayboo that I have to share it with you.
and Grayboo competed this weekend at River Glen. They were in the
Training Rider Division – there was no junior division so
they competed against juniors and adults (a class size of 22).
They had a very good dressage test and scored a 36. Grayboo knocked
a rail at the second jump in show jumping – I thought it
was going to stay but decided to fall! Grayboo does NOT like to
hit rails, so was more careful the rest of the course and took
care of Amanda at one jump where they hit an awkward distance to
finish with just the one rail down. And then he was a STAR in cross
country finishing double clear. It is just so exciting to see them
gallop cross country. They finished in 5th place (would have been
2nd if the rail had stayed up!). The stadium course was tough – only
7 out of 22 had a clear round.
Grayboo is an amazing horse and
Amanda and he have really formed a partnership! When we were cooling
Grayboo down after cross country, Amanda was describing her run
and said “Mom, I’m just basically lucky to have Grayboo”.
I almost cried!
I just had to share their latest success. Next show
will be at the end of September at Pine Top. Amanda is planning
on doing an Ian Stark clinic in October (sponsored by the Area
III Adult riders). She did the clinic with Ian last year and
loved it. It really gave her (and Grayboo) the confidence they
needed before competing at their first Training Level event.
Elizabeth's Note: We are extremely proud of Amanda and Grayboo.
Grayboo "picked" Amanda to be his mom. He had not "clicked" with
several other prospective buyers. When Amanda got on him, Grayboo
took a deep sigh and said, "I found my perfect match!".
July 28, 2008
Grayboo is certainly a favorite at our barn – he has so
I’ve enclosed some pictures from our barn’s cross
country field and Champagne Run (no action photos). I’ve
also enclosed a picture of Amanda giving her boyfriend, Nick, his
first riding lesson on Grayboo (at a walk!) The picture is very
cute!. Amanda put her cross country helmet cover on Nick’s
helmet. (sending additional photos in separate email).
We’ll send updates as we go through the fall competitions.
Hopefully Grayboo’s success stories will inspire people to
give OTTBs a try!
July 25, 2008
Hi Elizabeth & Barry,
It's been a little while since we've sent an update on Grayboo.
He had a quiet winter working on dressage with plans of Amanda
taking him out at Training again in the spring. In April he was
lame in his front right (right before we were to send in his first
entry for the year!). We took Grayboo down to Dr. Murray's clinic
and had him checked out. After a series of blocks, Dr. Murray diagnosed
the problem in his foot. He x-rayed the foot and the only thing
he saw was very thin soles and concluded that he had a bruise inside
his foot. Grayboo had some time off and different shoeing recommended
by Dr. Murray and was sound by the end of May. It took longer than
we expected to get better - that killed the spring horse trials!
We decided that after the long time off, Amanda should be conservative
and make Grayboo's first outing of the year back at Novice. They
competed last weekend at Champagne Run at the Kentucky Horse park.
Grayboo finds the horse park VERY exciting and is always a little
more "up" when they compete there, but Amanda managed
to do a decent dressage test and scored a 35.8. They then went
clean in stadium and cross country (both at a fast clip!). They
finished in 4th place in a field of 18 riders. They were tied for
3rd but Amanda's cross country time was faster and farther from
optimum time than the other rider, so she got the 4th place ribbon.
A great start after 7 months of not competing.
Their next outing will be at River Glen at Training Level the
first week of August. If Training Level goes well (I'm sure it
will), then the plan is for them to compete at Training at Pine
Top in Sepemter, Middle Tennessese Pony Club in Octiober, then
finish the year at Poplar Place in November.
Amanda would like to move up to Preliminary next year, but they
still have work to do in stadium to get Grayboo more adjustable
and picking up the correct lead after the jump. He prefers his
right lead. They're making progress though. He is SO brave on cross
country and usually doesn't look at anything, but he's very smart
about how he jumps- he helps Amanda balance him before the jumps.
The combinations will be a challenge for Amanda because she is
so small and sometimes can't gather Boo up as quick as she needs
to (they are still running cross country in a snaffle). It really
is exciting to watch their progress in the 2 years since we brought
him home from Bits & Bytes.
Grayboo likes his home and his pasture mates. He has put on weight
and looks very good right now (although he is getting a flea-bitten
coat much to Amanda's disappointment).
If you have any suggestions on improving thin soles on a thoroughbred,
I would love to get your advice.
Hope all is well with you,
Karen, Amanda, & Grayboo
November 27, 2007 - Grayboo at Pine
Top Thanksgiving Weekend
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
I just got home from the Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trials and
wanted to send a quick note about Amanda and Grayboo. They had
another fantastic weekend and finished in 3rd
place at their second Training Level outing. They were 2nd
after dressage with a score of 35. They unfortunately knocked a rail in stadium at a big vertical
which put them in 5th place.
Grayboo just rocked cross country
though – they went double clear which
put them in 3rd place.
Grayboo was a superstar on the cross country course. You can just
see him looking for his next jump. Amanda was extremely pleased
with their first two attempts at training and is looking forward
to more competitions in the spring. Grayboo will have a quiet winter
of flatwork and trying to get his lead changes to make stadium
We were stabled right next to Amy Macintire and Smokey.
It was great to see them again!
Enjoy the holidays!
Karen, Amanda, and Grayboo
November 18, 2007 - Grayboo at River Glen
Well, the clinic with Ian Stark really
paid off for Amanda and Grayboo. They finished in 2nd place out
of a division of 14 riders (at the River Glen Horse Trials). They
started with a dressage score of 35 which
placed them in a 3 way tie for 2nd place.
They finished double clear in stadium which
moved them up to a 3 way tie for 1st place.
Grayboo finished double clear in stadium
which moved them up to a 3-way tie for 1st place. November 18,
And of course Grayboo
had a fabulous cross country run, finishing
double clear again and 17 seconds faster than the optimum time for the course.
OTTB Grayboo jumped double clear in both
stadium jumping and cross country. November 17-18, 2007
of the other girl’s
that was tied for 1st finished exactly at the optimum time so
she won the 1st place ribbon and Amanda finished 2nd. An outstanding
start for the pair at Training level!
Their next outing will be at Pine Top Thanksgiving weekend.
I have a DVD with the pictures from River Glen that I’ll
put in the mail to you this week. I have full copyrights for all
of the photos so feel free to use them on your website!
Elizabeth's Note: Grayboo
was always one of my favorite horses. My racetrack
contact told me he would make a great event horse and so I bought
him sight unseen with just a vet check. Amanda is putting in the
time and training to bring out the natural talent that my contact
saw in Grayboo. We are EXTREMELY PROUD of this perfect pair.
October 29, 2007 - Grayboo is in Horse Illustrated magazine's
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
It’s been a while since I’ve
sent an update on Grayboo. Amanda and Grayboo have had a break
from competition since their last outing at Champagne Run. Grayboo
had a few weeks of R&R
in September due to some swelling in his hind fetlock and a mild
lameness. Our vet recommended that we give Grayboo a few weeks
off and the swelling and lameness resolved itself quickly and hasn’t
popped up again.
Amanda and Grayboo attended an Ian
Stark clinic October 19-21
at Pine Top Farm. Friday was dressage day and Ian had Amanda working
on getting Grayboo straight using shoulder fore and worked on some
counter canter. They worked very hard! I was surprised at how balanced
Grayboo’s canter was in the counter canter – they haven’t
worked on it at home at all. Grayboo has really made a lot of progress
in his strength and balance.
Saturday was stadium jumping day.
Amanda was in the Training level group – she wants to move
up to Training level soon and this was a good opportunity to see
if they are ready. Ian started the group out with grids to get
the horses sharp and quick. Grayboo had no problem with this warm
up (after he got the feel good bucks out of his system!). They
moved onto the stadium jumps which were training to prelim heights.
Grayboo did well with all of the jumps and did the triple combination
that was a one stride to a two stride prelim size oxer with no
problems. Ian worked with Amanda on a single vertical jump that
was on a downhill – he taught her to collect Grayboo more
so that he didn’t jump flat. I think Amanda learned a lot.
Grayboo is certainly capable of jumping a training stadium course
and is very quick on his feet.
Sunday was cross country day and
Amanda and Grayboo were the stars of their group! Again, they were
in the Training level group. Ian sent each rider out to jump training
level jumps. After Amanda and Grayboo cruised through the Training
bank complex (up bank, over a log drop, to a jump), Ian decided
that Amanda and Grayboo needed more of a challenge.
When they got
to the water complex, Amanda jumped coops into the water and out
of the water and bigger jumps into the water like the rest of the
group, but then Ian told Amanda to add the Preliminary line through
the water (a big coop at the water’s edge, to a big bank
out of the water to a bounce over a hanging log). Grayboo sailed
through it and Amanda didn’t show a bit of nerve. They also
jumped the Training trakehner jump by the water complex and a large
coop to the Normandy bank.
Both Amanda and Grayboo had huge grins
when they were done! Amanda has an amazing trust in Grayboo and
believes that he’ll jump anything for her. I asked Ian if
he though the pair were ready for Training level – he said
that he thought that they were already competing at that level
and said “Well, it’s time to get on with it then!”.
So after the very successful clinic weekend, Amanda’s trainer
had her change her River Glen entry from Novice to Training, so
they will be making their Training debut this weekend. If all goes
well, they will have their final competition of the year at the
Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trial, again at Training.
I’ve attached some pictures from the clinic. The series
of pictures was from the bank complex. They jumped the truck in
the field and then galloped to the bank, jumped down the bank over
the log and then a few strides to the log pile. I also have video
from the weekend. I’ll put together a DVD and send it to
Take care and thank you for all the work you put into these wonderful
Elizabeth's Note: See Grayboo's
photo in Horse Illustrated magazine's
August 10, 2007
Grayboo is doing very well. Right now he is enjoying a life of
leisure as we aren’t riding because of the heat. Amanda is
back to school so she can’t ride in the morning and it’s
still too hot in the early evenings. I’m sure he doesn’t
mid the break.
Amanda and Grayboo have had a mostly quiet summer. They went to
the Area III Championships in June. Grayboo decided he didn’t
want to do dressage that day and pulled some pretty good antics.
Their dressage score put them well out of the running for a ribbon.
On a positive note, they had a clean stadium jumping round and
a clean cross country round. Nothing on the novice cross country
courses is giving him any problems and he’s not showing any
signs of backing off on new jumps.
When Amanda started riding Grayboo
last year, they had some issues with ditches but that seems to
be in the past – he doesn’t look at them at all now.
They went to Champagne Run in July. The dressage test was better
this time except for the left lead canter depart, where he cantered
in place a few strides and then proceeded to canter perpendicular
to the long side for half the length of the arena. At least Amanda
has learned to laugh about it when the test is over. Sometimes
he’s rock steady in dressage and other days he would just
rather skip that phase. Oh well!
Again stadium was great (they
really had a nice, flowing, pretty round). And again, Grayboo rocked
the cross country course. They had a half- coffin (1st time for
Amanda and Grayboo) that he jumped smoothly, several combinations
on bending lines, and a coop that was painted in shiny paint that
caused many stops for other junior novice horses. Amanda said that
she didn’t feel Grayboo backing off of anything. He is a
very brave horse!
We’re still deciding on plans for the fall. Amanda and Grayboo
qualified for the AEC’s in September, but Amanda decided
not to go this year because of the inconsistencies in dressage.
They will probably do a lot of schooling this fall and then compete
at training level at the November Poplar Place show. I think the
training level show jumping and cross country will not be a problem
for Grayboo (as long as he doesn’t get too strong on cross
country) and dressage should be OK. We’ll see how the training
is going this fall.
Hope all is well you and the horses at Bits and Bytes!
April 16, 2007
Amanda finished in 2nd place at Pine Top in the Junior Novice
division in April.
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
We have exciting news. Amanda and Grayboo
finished in 2nd place out of 21 competitors in the Junior Novice
division at Pine Top this weekend. They were within 1 point
of 1st place. Amanda is just so thrilled – she had the biggest
smile on her face as they crossed the finish line on cross country
Sunday afternoon. They started the competition with a 34.2 in dressage – their
best score to date. They were in 3rd place after dressage. They
then went on to show jumping and finished double clear, which moved
them up to 2nd place. They were spot on in cross country, jumping
every thing in stride and having nice gallops on the long stretches.
Both Amanda and Grayboo looked like they were having a blast running
cross country. Amanda made one circle on course near the end to
make sure they didn’t
finish with speed faults, and finished the course with no time or
jump penalties. They were 1 of only 6 horses in their division to
finish the course with no time penalties and 1 of only 6 to finish
on their dressage score. The 2nd place finish qualified them for
the Area 3 championships and the AEC’s in September. It was
just an awesome weekend and I was so happy to see Amanda be successful
after putting in so much work. Debi remarked again how she can’t
believe how much both Amanda and Grayboo have improved over this
The future plans include going to the Area 3 Championships
at Poplar Place June 8-10 and Champagne Run at the Kentucky Horse
Park July 20 -22. We’re not sure about the fall schedule
yet as we have to fit in some family vacation time! Debi wants
to start schooling some training level jumps this summer and then
if the summer shows go well, move Amanda and Grayboo up to Training
at a fall show. They’ve
schooled training level jumps at Pine Top and Grayboo jumped better
the bigger the fences were.
Again, we had people recognize Grayboo
from your website. Hopefully Grayboo’s successes will encourage
people to buy an OTTB. They really are special horses.
God bless you for your dedication to these wonderful animals.
March 22, 2007
We just returned from a cross country schooling trip to Pine Top
and I just had to share. I just can’t tell you how exciting
it was to watch Amanda and Grayboo school the course. They have come
so far in just a year. Grayboo has really started to figure things
out. Not too long ago ditches were a worry for Amanda and Grayboo
but this week they confidently jumped both the novice and training
level ditch at the first attempt with no hesitation. They schooled
several training level jumps and banks and Grayboo confidently jumped
everything the first time. And to finish up they jumped a Preliminary
level bank up-bounce- to a log jump (with a 4’ drop). Grayboo
did the combination with no hesitation and came back and did it even
more boldly the second time. It was just a joy to watch (quite the “goose
bump” moment!). I just can’t get over the difference
in both Amanda and Grayboo in such a short time. You would have been
very proud of them both!
We’ll give you another update after the Pine Top show in mid-April.
March 12, 2007
Grayboo and Amanda Cunefare at Ft. Rucker Horse Trials. March 2007
I wanted to let you know that the DVD of Amanda and Grayboo is on
its way. It includes dressage and stadium from Rocking Horse and
dressage, stadium, and a short cross country clip from Fort Rucker.
Amanda rode Grayboo at a local dressage show this past Saturday.
It was judged by Dolly Hannon, an “R” judge from CO.
They scored a 69 on their test (the USEA Novice B test), their
best score to date. I wasn’t’ there to see the ride,
but Debi said they were fabulous!
We’re off to Pine Top next
week for 3 days for cross country schooling (spring break) and
then back to Pine Top mid-April for the horse trial. Maybe Amy
and Smokey will be there too.
Enjoy the DVD!
March 6, 2007
Hi Elizabeth & Barry,
Time for another update on Grayboo – he’s been a busy
boy! This past weekend Amanda and Grayboo competed at Ft. Rucker
Grayboo and Amanda Cunefare at Ft. Rucker
Horse Trials. March 2007
They had a good dressage test – not as good as
they had at Rocking Horse last month but a respectable score of
39. Grayboo warmed up nicely but got a little tense during the test.
He swapped behind during one of the canter’s and broke from
a trot into the canter during a trot 2 loop serpentine. They continue
to make progress and Grayboo is getting more & more consistent
Amanda had a blast during cross country. The whole course
is in the woods following 15 feet wide paths. Some horses are not
sure about going into the woods but not Grayboo – he thought
it was great fun. Amanda was so happy with him on cross country because
she was able to let him move on during the few long straight runs
and he came right back to her when they needed to make a turn or
go to a jump. The water on the course is not the most inviting and
Grayboo came down the hill to it a little hesitantly but listened
to Amanda and ran through it. They finished cross country with no
penalties and with the fastest time in their division (although not
too fast as to incur speed penalties!).
Grayboo and Amanda Cunefare
at Ft. Rucker Horse Trials.
The stadium course is extremely colorful with lots to look
at – and Grayboo definitely looked! It wasn’t their
prettiest jumping round ever but they got the job done with
no rails down, no stops, and do time penalties.
Grayboo and Amanda Cunefare at Ft. Rucker
Horse Trials. March 2007
They finished the show in 7th place on their
dressage score. It was a very competitive division with the top 5
dressage scores under 32 penalty points. So Grayboo’s move
up to Novice and been successful so far. They are off to the Pine
Top HT in April.
I’ve attached stadium pictures and will be
sending a DVD that has footage of Grayboo and Amanda at Rocking
Horse and Ft. Rucker.
Grayboo is an amazing horse and gets recognized
everywhere we go. Amanda is having a lot of fun riding and competing
More to come in April….
February 14, 2007
Sorry, we didn’t buy any pictures from Rocking Horse. I promise we’ll have pictures from the rest of the spring horse trials to send to you to put on Grayboo’s website.
There’s no way that Amanda would change Grayboo’s name. I think that she likes all of the attention she gets when people recognize him from your site. She has lots of internet horse friends that have seen Grayboo on your site and wish they could have bought him. When she was riding her stadium round at Rocking Horse, a woman was talking to Debi and when they announced Amanda and Grayboo she told Debi that she was a friend of yours and recognized Grayboo. He really is a celebrity.
Elizabeth's Note: We ask that you do not change a horse's name as the former owners, trainers and riders can follow their successes by searching the Internet on the horses' names. We have had breeders, grooms, riders and former owners find their former horses listed on our Web site. They have contacted us to let us know how happy they are that their favorite horse is safe and has not gone to slaughter.
PS It is also supposed to be bad luck to change a horse's name. Barn names can be changed but the horse should always be shown under the registered name.
February 10, 2007
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
I wanted to give you an update on Grayboo.
Grayboo spent the month of January in Florida at Rocking Horse Stables with Amanda’s trainer, Debi. Debi goes to Florida every winter to train and we decided that it would be great for Grayboo to have a month of training with Debi with access to lots of cross country jumps and in a warmer climate! With the cold winter weather here, Amanda would not have ridden him very much. Debi did a lot of work with Grayboo. Amanda has been having some issues with him galloping on cross country – he was leaning on the bit, running on his forehand and not listening to her. Some of the same issues were also coming up in show jumping, although with the smaller jumps being on his forehand didn’t keep him from clearing the jumps, but Debi wanted him ready to move up to bigger jumps and wanted him to be more responsive to Amanda. The month with Debi has made a big change in Grayboo, and we plan to continue to have Debi ride him weekly to continue his education.
Amanda went down to Florida for the Rocking Horse Winter Horse Trial (Feb. 3-5) to compete at Novice level. Unfortunately, we had horrible weather Thursday evening with tornadoes surrounding us! It was very scary and we’re glad that the stables and the horses were not hurt. They had to cancel the Friday competition day and squeeze as many phases as they could into Saturday & Sunday. Unfortunately, they cut out the Novice and Training level cross country phase.
Amanda rode her Dressage test on Saturday and they had a wonderful ride. She received their best score to date, a 35 (much improved over the 42 they received at Pine Top). Amanda was very excited. Grayboo has really settled down with the dressage phase and in the words of the dressage judge was a “very obedient horse”. They have some work to do on the downward transitions to make them more supple and less braced, but the test is steadily improving.
They had a lovely show jumping round with no rails down but were a bit too slow. Debi wanted Amanda to keep Grayboo in a nice canter without letting him get strong. Grayboo was very responsive (Debi’s training pays off!). Now that Amanda knows that Grayboo will listen to her, Debi wants her to work on show jumping with more pace but still insisting that Grayboo respond to her aides.
They were in 7th after dressage, but dropped to 12th after show jumping because of the time faults. Debi and Amanda were not concerned about the placing. Debi is more concerned about proper schooling and education so that they can successfully move up the levels and be safe! Except for the tornadoes, it was a great weekend for Amanda and Grayboo.
The Novice and Training riders were allowed to school the cross country course after the show was over (there courses were still flagged). Debi had Amanda ride the Novice course from start to finish. Amanda had a blast on course and found Grayboo was responsive to her and doing better about getting off his forehand. The only jump that Grayboo looked at was a chevron (he hadn’t seen one before) and jumped it with no hesitation when Amanda represented him to it. There were several oddly colored jumps on course, a ditch, and water – none a problem for Grayboo. They ran the course a second time and Amanda felt comfortable letting Grayboo move out between jumps a little more (now that she knew that he was listening to her). They even jumped the training level jump at the last jump on course.
Sorry for the book, but we are so excited about Grayboo’s progress! He is such a wonderful horse and quite the character. Amanda and Grayboo really are a good match and she loves him very much.
Amanda’s current plan for the spring is to ride at Fort Rucker HT in March, Pine Top in April, and Poplar Place in May. Debi wants Amanda to spend the year doing Novice and if that goes well, start schooling Training level in summer/fall, and hopefully compete at Training in late fall (if the team is solid at Novice).
Here’s some links to photos of Amanda and Grayboo at Rocking Horse.
Link one, two, three, four .
Will send updates as we go through the spring competitions.
Karen & Amanda
November 29, 2006
Sorry it took me a few days to send you an update from Pine Top, but it took me that long to get the pictures from my camera to my computer. Although Amanda and Grayboo didn’t place this weekend, I think it was a very successful weekend for them. Their dressage is getting better every day and they have been much more consistent in their dressage work (no bucking during the dressage test!). They had a very good dressage test, starting out with 6s, 7s and an 8 on their trot work. They did not score as well on the canter work (all 5s for upward and downward transitions, and the canter circle) but I think the judge was a little harsh. Looking at the video of the test, Grayboo did get tense in the transitions but the circles themselves looked very good. Amanda’s trainer, Debi, thought they should have gotten at least 6s on the canter circles. Oh well, that’s the nature of dressage – you get scored on what the judge sees at the time. The halt at X though has been an ongoing problem – Grayboo doesn’t really want to stop and stand still. Their score (a 42) wasn’t as good as Poplar Place but Amanda is very happy with the consistency she’s getting at the shows.
After a quick change into their jumping saddle, they went immediately from dressage to show jumping (with only 3 warm up jumps!) Grayboo got a bit strong after fence 2 and got in too deep to fence 3 and took down a rail (well actually several rails!), but the rest of the course flowed nicely and they ended with the 4 jump penalties.
The Novice cross country course was very large (I think all of the courses were maxed out!). Amanda had to convince Grayboo to go past the warm-up area to fence 1 (he didn’t want to leave the other horses) but was able to get him going and they jumped the max height table at fence 1. The rest of the course flowed very well except for a run out at fence 10 (a large fence in the middle of a field after a long gallop from fence 9).
Grayboo and Amanda in the show jumping phase doing the Novice level at Pine Top.
Amanda immediately got Grayboo turned around and they jumped it on their 2nd attempt. Grayboo got a little strong on the 2nd half of the course, so Amanda will have to work to teach him to listen to her more out on course, but he ate up the rest of the fences with no hesitation. They finished with the 1 run out but no time penalties.
I think it was a great first Novice outing for both Amanda and Grayboo on a very challenging course. Amanda is looking forward to competing at Novice in the spring (probably starting with Fort Rucker in March).
Amanda met Roman Ripple’s owner (Amye Morris)while she was warming up for dressage. I think she was there watching. We also met a girl who had looked at Grayboo when he first arrived at your farm! It’s amazing how many people know your horses! It’s like being with a celebrity.
Grayboo and Got Um Smoke Um with their talented young riders at the Pine Top Combined Training Event in November 2006. Both horses were former horses for sale at Bits & Bytes Farm.
We watched Amy (Got Um Somke Um)during her cross country ride – WOW! She looked awesome! We got the girls and their horses together for pictures. Amy told us about her stop at your farm on the way to the show. We would like to find an opportunity to bring Grayboo back to Bits & Bytes for a visit. I’m sure you would love to see him again!
Karen and Amanda Cunefare
Horses have a way of bringing people together. Smokey and Grayboo have brought together Amy Macintire and Amanda Cunefare. Both girls love their grey horses and enjoy doing combined training events with them.
Elizabeth's Note: We LOVE to have our former Horses For Sale come for a visit!
Grayboo was one of my "Special Reserve" horses. He will always have a special place in my heart. I am just so proud of Amanda and happy that she loves Grayboo as much as I do! Amanda is extremely brave and talented. Grayboo is lucky to have her for his mom! We look forward to many more updates as the move up through the levels of the eventing world.
November 15, 2006
Hi Elizabeth and Barry!
Amanda and Grayboo had a very successful weekend at Poplar Place this past weekend. They finally put together a good dressage test and scored a 37.9 which put them into 5th place after dressage.
Amanda is figuring out how to warm Grayboo up and how to ride him when he gets excited with the things going on around him at the show. She’s been working hard at home on her dressage and is learning to get the correct bend. They’ve made a lot of progress and were able to demonstrate it at the show!
They had a very nice, quiet show jumping round and went clean – they moved up to 4th place.
On Sunday Grayboo had fun running and jumping and had not jump or time faults on the cross country course. They finished in 3rd place in their junior beginner novice division and have added a yellow ribbon and a saddle pad to their collection. (WOW! We are so proud of Amanda - Elizabeth)
Amanda was absolutely thrilled. She was all smiles after their dressage because of the struggles she has had at the past shows during the dressage phase. She knows she still has work to do but is seeing progress.
It is absolutely amazing how quiet Grayboo is at the shows. Nothing seems to rattle him (except maybe the cows in the field next to the warm up arena – I guess he wasn’t bred for cow work!). Amanda can hack him around the show grounds on a long rein and he is an angel. He’s very quiet in his stall and a real gentleman.
Sorry I don’t have any pictures from the show – I forgot the cameras at home. Here’s the web site from the show photographer so you can look at their pictures: http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventthumbs?event=0BEF0035. Amanda was competitor number 6. If this link doesn’t work, try www.hunterjumperpix.com, then follow the links for proofs, then the Poplar Place November Horse Trial.
Grayboo and Amanda will be heading to Pine Top Thanksgiving weekend for their Novice debut. I believe Amy and Smokey will be there too!
Notes from Elizabeth: We had two former Bits & Bytes Farm horses competiting at Poplar Place that weekend: Grayboo and Captain Arias! Click here to see the full results of the Poplar Place Farm November Horse Trials.
October 22, 2006
Grayboo is getting ready for Halloween!
Photo copyright Mark Walter Lehner.Go to HoofClix.com to see more photos of Grayboo. www.HoofClix.com Thank you Mark for the use of these beautiful photos!!!
October 9, 2006
Hi Elizabeth & Barry,
I wanted to give you an update on Grayboo and Amanda. They attended their 2nd recognized horse trial this weekend – Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trial in Franklin, TN.
Grayboo and Amanda spent Friday afternoon walking the grounds and doing a little flat work in the dressage warm-up arena. Grayboo still gets a little tense and looky when asked to work in a new arena so Amanda tries to get him out the day before the competition starts.
They had a pretty good warm up for dressage on Saturday – Amanda was getting some decent trot work and canter transitions, and left the warm-up arena thinking they were finally going to do a relaxed dressage test. Well Grayboo had different ideas. As soon as they approached the arena to start trotting around the outside waiting for their entry bell, Grayboo got very excited about the car (where the judge was sitting because there is no judges box) and started hopping around inverted and wanting to canter. Amanda tried to get him relaxed before they had to enter the arena but with no luck. He went through the whole test at warp speed and tense (the judge’s remarks for one of the test components was “belligerent”!). Of course Amanda was disappointed especially since the warm-up was good. At least the dressage work at home and in the warm-up arena is getting better. Hopefully the actual dressage tests will get there too!
Then, they were on to something that Grayboo likes to do – stadium jumping. They put in a clear jumping round with no time faults and moved from 15th to 10th place.
On Sunday, Grayboo moved on to his favorite part of the horse trials -- cross country. They ran through the course with no problems (other than a slip on the gravel cantering down to the water). They even had a small ditch on course that Grayboo cantered right over. Amanda worked on keeping Grayboo at a nice pace without letting him get too strong and they finished with no jump penalties and within 4 seconds of the optimum time. There were several horses that did have problems with the cross country course, so at the end of the day Grayboo and Amanda finished in 5th place and have a beautiful pink ribbon! Amanda was very excited especially after the disappointing start.
The next five weeks will hold lots of dressage work for the pair to get ready for Poplar Place. They are entered in Beginner Novice again there and then will probably move up to Novice for the Pine Top Thanksgiving weekend Horse Trial.
We met Amy and Smokey this weekend. Smokey and Grayboo got along very well as the girls chatted and introduced themselves. We watched Amy’s Training cross country round – they looked great!
We’re sorry we missed your clinic this weekend – sounds like a great day. Maybe we’ll find another opportunity for Grayboo to come visit!
Karen and Amanda
August 21, 2006
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
Just wanted to give you a quick update. Grayboo continues to do well at his new farm – he loves his big pasture, although the lack of rain has really cut back on the available green grass! Amanda and Grayboo are still having a great time together. The jumping training is going very well – Grayboo has a lot of natural talent for jumping. They have been schooling Novice and Training level stadium and cross country jumps and they have been no problem for him. They did a cross country school at Jim Graham’s place (Meadow Run Farm) and did a canter up a very big mound, over a vertical at the top of the mound and then canter down the mound and through the water. They also jumped a down bank into the water to an up bank, one stride to another down bank into the water – Grayboo ran through it with no hesitation. Dressage training is progressing, but is going to take longer than the jumping. He has his good days and bad days. The shows seem to be trying for him because of everything going on around him – it’s more difficult for Amanda to get him to relax. After slow, patient work hopefully he’ll get the dressage part of his training too!
Plans for fall shows are: Middle Tennessee Pony Club HT in early October, either River Glen or Poplar Place in early November, and Pine Top Thanksgiving weekend. Debi is targeting Amanada doing Novice at the Pine Top HT – she may have them move up earlier if their schooling and the October show goes well.
Hope all is well with you. I check your website several times a week. Sounds like you have been very busy finding homes for the OTTB in need! Keep up the great work!
July 11, 2006
I just put the DVD of Amanda and Grayboo competing at the Kentucky
Horse Park in the mail. I’ll be interested if you agree with
me that Grayboo looks like he’s have a great time on cross country.
I was the one operating the video camera, so don’t expect
great quality. Especially during cross country – I get too nervous
to keep the camera steady!
Amanda and Grayboo had a jump lesson today – he was absolutely
fabulous, stayed very relaxed in his canter, not rushing the jumps,
even the vertical – oxer line. Debi thinks he has great potential.
June 29, 2006 - Grayboo Competes at Midsouth in Lexington, KY
Hi Elizabeth and Barry,
Well, Grayboo and Amanda completed their first recognized horse trial and it was a big success.
The Kentucky Horse Park is a tough venue for green horses because there is so much activity in the stabling area – golf carts, kids on bikes, dogs, horses coming and going. None of that phased Grayboo – he acted like he’s walked next to golf carts all of his life. He was such a good boy.
Dressage day was OK – Grayboo was a little tense in the warm-up, throwing his head and scooting when asked to canter, but Amanda kept working with him and he got better…. Until he got into the ring to do the test. He got very tense again and Amanda had a hard time getting him to settle – he’s going to just need some time to get used to all of the activity. He’s doing very well with dressage at home so more show experience should help them. Grayboo thinks he’s not really sure about this dressage stuff, but he REALLY likes to jump!
He was fabulous in show jumping posting a double clear round. He was very excited to do cross country, with his ears pricked after each jump looking for the next thing to jump. They were clear cross country but had some time penalties for being a little too fast! They had to circle near the end of the course because they caught up with the rider in front of them who was trotting most of the course. Amanda knew they were already ahead of time, so wisely decided to circle and not pass the other rider. Amanda will have to get a better feel for the Beginner Novice and Novice pace, but I think she was having so much fun she didn’t worry about looking at her watch!
They would have finished in 6th on their dressage score if they didn’t have the cross country time penalties – they placed 9th. This was a great first big show for Amanda and Grayboo. They’ll be doing lots more training this summer and then compete at several more horse trials this fall. I just wanted to let you guys know how well Team Grayboo did this weekend. I know you’re very proud of them!
I’m enclosing three pictures with this email, and three more in a subsequent email. I’ll be mailing you a DVD with video of their 3 phases. I thought you would enjoy the action shots!
June 12, 2006 - Grayboo Wins Third Place!
They just posted the final results from Pine Top (Amanda left before they had the final scores up and gave out ribbons). Amanda and Grayboo finished in 3rd place on their dressage score. They were 6th after dressage and moved up with their clear jumping and cross country rounds! Yeah Grayboo and Amanda!! And Smokey also finished in 3rd place. A good day for all the greys from Bits & Bytes!
Amanda thanking Grayboo for being so wonderful!
Amanda told me that she saw that another Bits & Bytes horse was competing at the Pine Top show this weekend – Got Um Smoke Um. Amanda didn’t get to see him go and didn’t get to meet his owner as she was very busy doing all three phases in one day! Grayboo was a trooper with being tacked up and ridden three times though. He is such a sweetheart! It’s great to see other Bits & Bytes horse out there competing!
Photo copyright Mark Walter Lehner.Go to HoofClix.com to see more photos of Grayboo. www.HoofClix.com Thank you Mark for the use of these beautiful photos!!!
June 10, 2006 - Pine Top Farm Combined Tests
Amanda and Grayboo went with their trainer, Debi, to a schooling show at Pine Top Farm this weekend (Amanda’s first trip without me!). They had a cross country schooling day on Friday and then competed in dressage, stadium, and cross country all on Saturday. Amanda and Debi said that Grayboo was wonderful schooling on Friday. He jumped everything the first time (beginner novice jumps). They are working on keeping Grayboo relaxed and not too quick to the jumps. He’s decided that running and jumping in the field is very exciting and he’s been getting a bit strong to the fences. So they are working on making jumps relaxed and no big deal, jumping them from a trot if he get’s too strong. Debi said that the first few fences he got too excited about but then settled down the rest of the schooling.
Photo copyright Mark Walter Lehner. Go to HoofClix to see more photos of Grayboo. www.HoofClix.com
He walked right into the water, but Amanda had to get him going quickly out of the water because he started to paw and wanted to roll!! After that Amanda made sure he cantered through the water.
Grayboo with Elizabeth in 2004.
CAUTION: Grayboo LOVES water!
Amanda called a few hours ago and gave me today’s competition results – they had a so-so dressage (45 penalties), but went clean in stadium and cross country. Grayboo warmed up well for dressage, but Amanda said that he got a bit “looky” during the test and didn’t pick up one of his canter leads at the correct place. I see lots of dressage work in their future! This is the first stadium course that they’ve done together – they’ve been working on grids most of the time. Amanda said that the jumps were decorated with lots of silk flowers and other colorful things, but Grayboo didn’t miss a beat. What a super guy! Amanda had fun on cross country. The only problem she had was between the last jump and the finish line because they had to pass the way back to the stabling area. Grayboo insisted that he was
done and wanted to head back to the barn. Amanda had to convince him that he really did have to cross the finish line first. Amanda won that disagreement!
Team Grayboo will be heading to the Kentucky Horse Park June 23-25 for the Midsouth Pony Club challenge. This will be their first recognized event. It will be a real test for Grayboo because there are always things going on and a lot of entries. Hopefully he can keep his head and not get too worried. I’m sure as these two spend more time together the dressage will get better and better. Jumping does not seem to be an issue for Grayboo as long as we can keep him from getting too excited at the prospect of running in the fields! We’ll let you know how it goes (and hopefully send pictures).
May 13, 2006
Hi Elizabeth & Barry,
I received Grayboo’s papers in the mail. Thank-you for sending them.
Amanda and Grayboo had their first outing on Saturday to the pony club dressage/cross country show. I can’t say enough about how wonderful he was with everything!
There were 150 riders so there was lots of activity and noise in the field where the trailers were parked. Grayboo was a little nervous when he first got off the trailer, but Amanda walked him around so he could see everything and then let him eat grass near the dressage arena – he settled down quickly. He was calm in the dressage warm-up and did a decent test – he didn’t react at all to the judges tent at the end of the arena. We let him eat grass near the cross country field so that he would get used to the horses galloping by – at first he stared as the horses went by and then watched as they went off in the distance. After a short time he decided it wasn’t a big deal anymore and went back to eating grass.
Grayboo is brave and Amanda is braver! We are so pround of this pair.
I think the warm-up area for cross country was the scariest part of the day – lots of novice riders on green horses that weren’t paying attention. And of course Grayboo handled all the commotion without missing a beat. Amanda has lots of experience in these types of warm up areas so she is very good about looking up and riding well to avoid accidents. Grayboo did the Beginner Novice cross country course as if he had done it before! I can’t believe it was the first time that Amanda and Grayboo have done a whole course – they looked like they had been together for a while. They were just great! Amanda was very comfortable on him and said that he came back to her easily when he got too quick.
Grayboo loves eventing.
It was a wonderful first outing. Amanda’s trainer could not believe how well Grayboo handled everything. She thinks that Grayboo is a fabulous jumper and just loves his mind and attitude. We’re looking for great things from these two. And of course we had many comments on what a gorgeous horse Grayboo is – we certainly think he was the best looking horse out there! We had several people talk to us about Bits & Bytes Farm and of course we passed on lots of praise for what you do and encouraged them to call you.
Amanda is absolutely thrilled with Grayboo and can’t wait to work more with him over the summer. He continues to do well at his new home. We’ll update you again after the next outing.
Thank you so much for trusting us with your special boy!
Karen & Amanda
March 25, 2006
I just had to write you again to tell you how extremely happy we are with Grayboo. When Amanda rode him at your farm he was very quiet, but you never know what you’re going to have when you take him to a new place. Well Grayboo exceeds any expectations I had! Amanda has walked him all around the property on a long rein with other horses playing in the paddocks, across a bridge that goes over a creek, up and down hills and he’s been so quiet. Most horses that are new to our farm have a problem crossing the bridge for the first few times, but not Grayboo! He is truly a special horse and says volumes about your training methods.
On Friday Amanda had a wonderful ride working on the flat. It took them 15-20 minutes of warm-up, negotiating contact, but then the rest of the ride Amanda had him going nicely in a frame at the trot and canter. Amanda still has to work on picking up the left lead canter (sometimes he wants to run into it) but they’ll get there. Amanda had a short jump lesson on him today. It was very cold and windy and Grayboo came out a little fresh and forward at the canter, but Amanda got him settled down (after his 15 minute warm-up time) and they did some gymnastics and a small line of 2 jumps. He was just wonderful – kept the same rhythmical canter going around. Amanda’s trainer really likes him and thinks he’ll make a great event horse. We’re planning some cross country outings to run him through water and he’s going to compete Beginner Novice at a local show on April 15th.
Amanda really loves Grayboo! I think they are going to be an awesome team. Thank-you so much for trusting us with your special boy. He is certainly getting lots of love and treats (from anyone that walks by his stall!) The attached pictures are from today’s lesson in the jump arena (sent in 2 emails). I’ll let you know how the cross country schooling and the local show goes.
I will get Amanda to send you email updates too!
March 22, 2006 - Day One
Grayboo has settled in today. He’s catching on to the routine at our barn and knows when the hay and feed carts are coming! He’s been drinking and eating well today.
Amanda spent the whole day at the barn. She rode Grayboo around the property and did a little flat work in our indoor arena and some in the outdoor arena. He was a little curious about the indoor and Amanda didn’t have as many moments of connection with him. It could be a different bit also. I’m sure they’ll get that all figured out and form a great partnership. He was great walking around the property – curious but not spooky. Everyone that came by the barn today commented on how beautiful he is.
The farrier was also here today, so Grayboo got new shoes. Of course he was great for the farrier.
Karen (Amanda's mom)
March 21, 2006 - Grayboo is SOLD!
March 18- 19, 2006 Taking Grayboo for a Test Ride(s)
Amanda Cunefare plans to compete in Combined Training Events so she needed to test Grayboo to see how he would measure up in all three phases. She and her mom Karen spent two days riding Grayboo to see how he was to ride - both inside and outside the arena.
Grayboo loves dressage.
Grayboo is a bold and brave cross-country competitor.
Grayboo hates to touch a rail in stadium jumping.
Grayboo was a Horse For Sale at Bits & Bytes Farm when Amanda Cunefare
purchased him in March 2006.
Click here to see Grayboo's old Horse's for Sale page.