From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy must have read yesterday's blog post because when I went out to ride, he decided right away to behave himself.
It's been exactly two years now that he's been in "full work." In case you're late to the party, or maybe you just need a recap, here's how his under saddle work has gone.
At three, he had 60 days put on him by a trainer. His owner then rode for another two months or so until she became pregnant. He then spent the next two years growing up in a large pasture.
I bought him in November of 2014 as a six year old and immediately shipped him to a trainer for a "tune-up." Within a few weeks, he suffered a pretty ugly laceration to his hind leg which took a year to heal. I started "riding" him in the spring of 2015, but it was mostly lunging, sacking out, and being careful of the leg. By June of 2015, we started working on go, stop, turn right, turn left.
The first summer I had him was about getting off the property without anybody dying. We loaded up twice a week for a trail ride or a lesson. We hit all of the local trails, sometimes even bushwacking when things were overgrown.
The next summer, 2016, I introduced Izzy to the show ring doing Intro at four schooling shows and one CDS show. We never broke 60%, but we didn't die either.
Here we are, starting a third summer. While I constantly feel like we're running in place, never actually getting anywhere, I know that's not true. I can't say that he's that much farther along, but he has grown up some. He gets in the trailer willingly and rides quite calmly. I know I can get on him wherever we are, and I won't die. He can walk, trot, and and canter pretty much wherever I point him. And when he's paying attention to me, he looks amazing.
I feel like we should be tearing it up in the show ring by now though, and we're not. We're still just slogging away, trying to get a rounded topline with some (heaven forbid) relaxation. When I rode on Sunday, it took an hour to get anything close to obedience, and I wasn't expecting a lot. An ear flicked in my direction would have been enough.
Yesterday? I rode him for 12 minutes. His back was supple, and he was almost too elevated and sproingy for me to ride well. It wasn't a perfect ride, but his body was accessible. We did some walk and trot work, and then he picked up the correct canter lead each direction without an F-You.
Other than to continue the not dying part, I don't have a plan for this summer. If I could just convince him that he's not going to die, we could clean up at a show. I just need to figure out how to convince him that this is worth his time. I guess I do have a plan for the summer.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: