Optimum Eventing

Optimum Eventing strives to provide a flourishing team attitude while supplying desirable conditions for success in the competitive equine show world. Optimum Eventing is a subsidiary of and based out of In Unison Farm LLC.

Optimum Eventing was founded by Lee Ann Gilson, an A graduate from the United States Pony Club, who is the owner, manager, and trainer at In Unison Farm LLC. She is currently competing Crack the Code at Beginner Novice and will move up to Novice this year. She started and trained Crack the Code as well as many other horses that have been successful in the show world. She is a certified instructor with USEA for Level I - Training. She has also trained and coached many successful riders over the years in the Eventing and Dressage worlds and also dabbles in the Hunter/Jumper world. She offers instruction to riders who are equine owners and desire to develop a deep connection with their mount. A connection that enables them to capture the best possible performance from their equine partner while sensing that they are a part of that body in motion, moving in unison. She provides a customized quiet approach for her students that allows her to promote the most out of the rider. She has high expectations from her riders, yet, the expectations are within reach for each rider. Some of Lee Ann's and her mounts accomplishments are: 2006 - Phantom of the Opera finished 4th out of 40 in Beginner Novice at the USEA Area III Championships 2010 - Crack the Code was GDCTA Champion for Open Training Level (Dressage) 2011 - Crack the Code was GDCTA Reserve Champion for Pro Beginner Novice and Open High Point Champion at the Poplar Place Farm June USEF/USDF Dressage show 2012 - Crack the Code was GDCTA Champion for Pro Beginner Novice and Foxberry Farm Champion for Beginner Novice 2013 - Crack the Code was GDCTA Champion for Pro Novice 2014 - Crack the Code finished 6th in Beginner Novice with USEA, 2nd in Beginner Novice with USEA Area III, and GDCTA Champion in Beginner Novice at recognized events

[06/04/19]   Well we had fun at Poplar Place Farm's Horse Trials and Area III Championships. Lee Ann & Crack the Code scored a 27.5% and added 4 rails to finish in fourth in Novice Horse Champs, Beverly & Sheldon scored a 34.9% and added 2 rails to finish in 9th in the Sr. BN Champs, and Aubrey & Clean Getaway scored a 35.0% at their first ever HT and even though they had two oops on xc (at the last two jumps on course probably because they were both getting tired) and added a little time they still finished in 7th. Very proud of the team!

[05/06/19]   Crack the Code and Lee Ann scored a 31.4% in dressage putting them in first in Open Novice and went double clear over a fun cross country course. However, today was not our day in stadium because he knocked 5 rails and dropped us from first to seventh. Still a pretty color ribbon and onward to Area III Champs!

Eventing Nation

A lot of good looking horses

Want more trot-up? (Who doesn't?!) Welcome to EN's unofficial and totally ridiculous awards roster, where we distribute ludicrously niche titles that literally no one asks for. But also - there's a gallery of photos, so consider that your incentive to click...

Good points

If a rider cannot tilt their pelvis in all directions then that rider will not be able to ride well at all.
The movement of your pelvis requires your deep core muscle to hold your spine stable, while your lower abdominals and lower back muscles and the oblique muscles move your pelvis as you and all riders choose. If you cannot move and control your pelvis most likely you are not riding very well and in many cases, you will be causing your horse to develop issues (hollowing, unwilling to go forwards ect). The jarring effect of your inability to control your pelvis will transfer to your horse.
Riders spend so much time money and emotion on saddles, massage units, therapy and others treatments and still don't learn "how to ride". The core muscle is not a mystery to train for horse riding, but it does require more than just having strength.

Good balance and good posture demand a functional core as well as symmetry, synchronization, and coordination of all of your riding muscles.

To be able to ride well you must be able to use your strong core in movement patterns that are specific to the riding patterns. Training your core to stabilise your posture while you train specific rider movement patterns will teach you how to transfer your core strength to your riding.

The walk is a movement that requires a lot of movement and stability from your spine and pelvis. The four beat stepping motion of the horse requires a symmetrical rotational, tilt and lateral movement of your pelvis. This is not "neutral spine". This movement also requires your upper body to have a counter movement to keep you upright and straight and appear still.

The sitting trot requires your spine to have a lesser range of movement, but a faster-synchronized pattern as well a symmetrical movement, so your seat can be flexible and in rhythm with the two beat movement, this is not "neutral spine".

The canter has your pelvis not only tilting forwards and backward but also in a rotation movement in time with the three beat, asymmetrical movement of your horse, this is not "neutral spine".

Being able to recognise and control your pelvis is key to riding well.

[03/25/19]   Great weekend at Poplar Place Farm HT. Both Bev and Lee Ann got their personal best on dressage scores. Bev and Sheldon scored a 31.4% in dressage, went double clear xc, and picked up two rails in stadium to finish in fourth in senior Beginner Novice. Lee Ann and Crack the Code scored a 20.20%, picked up a little time xc, and had two rails in stadium to finish second in open Novice. The event was run beautifully and we enjoyed the free competitor dinner Saturday night.

[02/15/19]   Had fun schooling Ashland today. Cannot wait to go back next week.

[02/11/19]   So proud of my students. I couldn't coach at the show because I was working it but they all still had great rides. Lindsay and Newsworthy scored 25.28% in dressage and added one rail and a little time in stadium to finish in 2nd BN CT; Hailey and Velvet scored a 38.44% and added 6 stadium penalties to finish in 2nd Tadpole CT; Kari and Political Man did well in Training Level dressage, while she may not have had the rides she would like because of Pym's show nerves she still stayed in the ring and rode very tactfully still managing to score in the 50's. He will only get better the more he goes out and she and he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Some changes to the USEF/USEA rules of eventing that are effective immediately. Read up on the new rulebook so you are aware. A big one is you are now allowed TWO hits with the whip for a disobedience (per incident) not three like you used to get.

Excited for the schooling shows!

Schooling Show Alert ! Prizelist will be online this week . Our calendar is on the website under event calendar. Watch for special awards and new perpetual trophies that will be part of the Poplar Place Schooling Show Series.


New rules force horses with repeat cross-country eliminations to step down a level - Horse & Hound

I cannot wait for the U.S. to follow this rule.

horseandhound.co.uk British Eventing is also tightening up on sanctions for fallers who go home before visiting the on-duty doctor at events

This applies to life and course work. If you drop a rail there is nothing you can do about it after the fact, but you can focus on preventing the next rail from coming down as well.

[12/25/18]   Merry Christmas

[12/21/18]   Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on your goals when you keep getting interruptions. This too shall pass.

[12/02/18]   So proud of my students. They toughed out the rain at Poplar Place Farm today and did very well. Aubrey and Clean Getaway finished in the modified Novice 3 phase (it became 2 because of the rain) on their dressage score of 36.19% in 3rd and Lindsay & Newsworthy scored a 26.94% in their Beginner Novice CT to bring home 2nd. Well done girls!

[11/22/18]   Happy Thanksgiving

[11/04/18]   One final show of the year coming up, December 1st, at Poplar Place Farm.

[10/16/18]   while the show season starts to quiet down, training is increasing on the farm


In Unison Farm LLC

If you are looking for a good place to board In Unison Farm LLC has openings for training horses, full board, and pasture board. Visit their website for more details at www.inunisonfarm.com


[09/15/18]   So proud of Hailey and Phantom of the Opera today. She was competing Tadpole at Foxberry Farm today and needed a stand in horse considering Velvet decided to cut herself right where the girth goes on Sunday. With only two rides (Monday and Tuesday) on him she took Cisco and competed three phase. Scored a 37.25% and finished on her dressage score to bring home second place. Way to go kiddo!

Very impressed with Alyssa and On My Honor because she had a difficult first test of the morning scoring a 58% on her Training Level Test 2 (he had shenanigans) but then rallied and got a 63% on her Training Level Test 3. Good job kiddo!


US Equestrian Announces New Safe Sport Training Requirements

usef.org On August 27, 2018, the US Equestrian Board of Directors approved a rule change requiring that effective January 1, 2019, all USEF adult members with a Competing Membership must complete USEF’s Safe Sport Training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities.

[08/06/18]   It was a hot but fun weekend at River Glen. Lauren and Phantom of the Opera competed in JBN and finished on their dressage score of 37.5% bringing home second; Bev and Sheldon competed SBN and had a good dressage score of 35.2% but gathered some rails in stadium, however went double clear in xc to finish in 9th; Lee Ann and Crack the Code competed ON getting a 29.5% in dressage but gathered some time on xc (those hills are tough on heavy set guys I guess) to finish in 6th with a 40.7%. Our team of three finished in 7th out of 16+ teams though at the team challenge River Glen offered. Pretty proud of us!

[07/08/18]   So proud of both my students who competed in the USEA Area III Champs this weekend. Laurie and Uno Momentum finished on their dressage score of 44.1% moving from 13th after dressage to riding the victory lap with a 4th place ribbon. Lauren and Phantom of the Opera got a dressage score of 36.8% and with no warmup because of the holds for the thunderstorms and then rushing the last few riders to get in the ring before the next storm came through. She went double clear on xc yesterday and then made a very adult decision today of withdrawing so she could go to the hospital with her memaw when her memaw had to be transported by ambulance because her blood pressure dropped considerably (like really bad). Lauren told me there will be other championships and competitions and she needed to go with memaw. My heart swelled with pride on this adult decision.

Good news, all tests came back fine and they believe she has a little virus and that coupled with dehydration probably triggered the episode. She is released and they are headed home.

[05/21/18]   So proud of everyone over the hot weekend at Chatt Hills HT. Star Shrek scored a 31.7% in dressage and added only the one rail in stadium (my fault, came down too soon and caused his back feet to knock the rail) but went double clear on xc to finish in third; Lauren and Phantom of the Opera finished on their dressage score of 31.7% to finish in fourth; and Laurie and Uno Momentum had great runs this weekend finishing 9th scoring a 39.8% in dressage, only picking up a little time in stadium and a (safety) stop on xc (she landed from the drop with only one stirrup and didn't feel safe going to the B part of the combo). Well done ladies!

[05/14/18]   Gearing up for Chatt Hills Horse Trial this weekend.

[04/16/18]   Need to brag on Lauren & Phantom of the Opera for finishing on their dressage score of 32.5% at SR Eventing Rally. They keep improving each outing. So proud of them and thankful she has a very supportive family that allows her to ride and compete.

[04/09/18]   Over the moon with Star Shrek at the Chatt Hills Horse Trials, we scored a 32.6% in dressage (when he wasn't sure if we were jumping or dressaging considering our ring was in the stadium course), then we got 4 time penalties on xc (not bad for our first run together, I have learned his pace), but we jumped double clear in stadium to move us from 10th to 6th. Love this horse and so thrilled I get to play on him for awhile.

[04/03/18]   Superb day schooling at Ashland with Laurie Broome and Hailey. Glad I took Shrek because he apparently forgot what a bank and ditch were because he hasn't schooled "real" xc in a long time.

[04/01/18]   Happy Easter! Enjoy this beautiful day.

[03/25/18]   So proud of my students, Laurie finished with a 46.1% in 5th and Lauren finished with a 45.9% in 4th. It was not Crack the Code's day today in stadium, pulled three rails and finished with a 42.2% in 8th.

Native Americans

So true

Pass it on!

[02/21/18]   So much fun schooling Ashland Farm today with Aubrey and Lauren.

[02/19/18]   Started working on my suntan yesterday and today teaching some great lessons. Taught my students at Foxberry yesterday and got to teach the Chattanooga Pony Club members today. Had a blast both days!

[02/15/18]   Had two awesome jump schools and a great cardio ride today. Good way to spend the day, especially when you cannot stand this particular holiday.

[02/12/18]   Show season started two weekends earlier than originally planned and with great success. Beverly & Emmitt showed Training Level Test 1 & 2 scoring 63.261% and 62.885% respectively, bringing home a second and first. Aubrey & Clean Getaway finished on their dressage score of 36.7% in Novice CT and brought home 5th. Way to go girls!

Unplanned, but we grew in height the way we lined up. I am so proud of my students, those who earned year end awards and those who grew a lot in their abilities this past year. Looking forward to 2018!

[01/25/18]   That moment you realize that last weekend kicked off a long line of Saturdays with things to do. I don't have a Saturday "off" until March 31st and then not again till April 28th. What happened to down time in the winter?

[01/14/18]   On a morning when it is 15° it is hard to imagine that our first show is scheduled for the end of February.

[12/25/17]   Merry Christmas

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