From Endurance to Dressage
3... 2... 1...
And almost done. I teach my students today, tomorrow, and Friday. Three days, and then I am done teaching for 2020. This time of year is always a struggle. Kids are usually rambunctious in the days leading up to Christmas, although I am not seeing any of that behavior right now. I've actually read some things in the chats that have saddened me, things like my mom's not buying me anything for Christmas.
So while the kiddos aren't bouncing off my classroom walls, there's still a lot to deal with. The reduced daylight hours also get me down. I am certain I suffer from some degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and working from home means I go outside a lot less often than when I am at my school site. Saddle Up Anyway, the words are live by, are the only thing getting me up and out to the ranch each day.
Even though I desperately wanted to curl up in front of the fire with a good book yesterday - I am currently reading F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, I pulled on my breeches, determined to ride. The Big Brown Horse always fools me. He's really just an over-sized sloth. He lumbers around his dry field in no particular hurry. He happily nibbled my hair and clothes while I groom, hiding the devil that only comes out when it's time to work.
I put him through a series of warm up exercises which he was happy to do. Once the work began though, his devilish self popped out of hiding, and the fight was on. He spooked and bolted and dodged all in an attempt to convince me that he COULD NOT BE RELAXED. And then he let go through his body in a resistance free shoulder-in.
Good man, I told him as I patted his neck. Good man. And then we moved on to the canter where we started it all over again. As I had done in the trot work, I kept both legs on and pushed him forward. And when forward was too much, we circled. 10-meter circles can do a lot to convince a horse that 20-meter circles are a lot easier. Eventually, he let that tension go as well as he cantered politely where I pointed him.
Today is another day and another chance to saddle up anyway. I am always glad I do, but some days, it takes more cajoling than others.
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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%: