From Endurance to Dressage
5-Day Challenge: Day 4
And still more from Tracy's 5-Day Challenge and My 5 Things.
16. One thing you’d like to change about your horse: I love both of my guys the way they are, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that could be improved upon.
If I am to be totally honest, I wish Speedy was a bit happier with contact. He can be a bit lazy, and his way of escaping work is to drop behind the vertical. This happens more at home and less at show, thank goodness, but I do wish he was more enthusiastic about the contact.
As for Sydney, I wish I could turn off his anxiety button, especially away from home because this is so much fun to ride. Grrr...
17. Your horse’s future: Speedy's future is much clearer than Sydney's. I don't know how far he can go in dressage, but I hope that we can at least play around with Third Level someday. The good news is that it might take us a long time to get there which means that we have a long time to play around together.
Sydney's future is a little hazy. I hope we can start showing dressage with some success. SInce I don't know if that is going to happen, I am looking more into fox hunting, which he seemed to enjoy. Either way, schooling him has taught me to be a better rider which is worth a lot. For now, I am happy just learning to be a better rider. And if that's all he is, my schooling horse, I can live with it.
18. Your worst show ever: scoring a 48% at a California Dressage Society rated show probably qualifies. I haven't had any "bad" shows with Speedy G. Yes, I've been disappointed, but I always learn something, and I always come home feeling good about the experience. That show with Sydney, however, where we earned a 48%, kind of hurt, and it wasn't the judge's fault. Sydney simply wasn't prepared, and obviously I wasn't either. Moving on.
19. Favorite horse show venue: El Sueno. The show secretary is awesome, the arenas are beautiful, my camping spot is always so peaceful, and I always have a great time! What's not to love?
20. Your show day routine: get up in the middle of the night, dress, throw my breakfast and lunch in the ice chest, drive to the barn, halter my horse, load him in the near dark, drive for several hours, warm up, show, eat, and then drive back home several hours.
But, I prefer two-days shows where I can drive the several hours on Friday afternoon. When we do that, I can arrive in the middle of of the day, get my horse stabled, get my own camp set up, and then do a warm up ride on Friday evening.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, I always get up early and feed and take Speedy for a long walk/ lunge to help him get his wiggles out. He's never "high," but he's not used to being cooped up in those small show stalls so he really appreciates getting out for a look around.
I like to hang out with him in his stall, but I also leave him to go and watch others show. I usually begin my warm up ride 20 - 30 minutes before my test, and if my next test is an hour or more later, I untack and let Speedy rest in his stall (or at the trailer if it's a one-day show). Once the day is over, he gets a beet pulp/rice bran/electrolyte mash and all the hay he can eat.
Once my final test is finished on Sunday, I always give Speedy at least an hour to rest and nap before I load up for the drive home.
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%: