From Endurance to Dressage
Last weekend's show report continues ...
Sunday morning dawned gray and rainy, but it didn't dampen my spirits one bit. Best Friend and I had had the best time ever over the past two days. We laughed all Saturday evening as we shoveled down our dinner of burritos and white cheddar popcorn. Don't ask.
My rides were early on Sunday morning - 7:14 and 8:10, but that only meant we would be getting home that much sooner. What I haven't yet mentioned was that our drive down on Friday had been anything but easy. Our plan had been to stop on Interstate 5 at the In-N-Out for a quick lunch, but after I dropped BF off at the door and parked the truck and trailer, I saw that she was standing in a line at least 30 people deep.
We both said forget it and decided to walk over to the nearby Subway where we were met with a similarly long line. By that time, we simply gave up and dug some string cheese and chips out of the cooler and hit the road again. We ended up getting a sandwich at a Subway in Fillmore, 45 minutes from the show grounds.
Less than 10 minutes from the El Sueno Equestrian Center, we came upon a wreck and fire on the road that had us parked for more than an hour and a half with fire trucks racing by us over and over again. Speedy was an absolute saint. He stood quietly the entire time without making a single bit of noise. What should have been a two and a half hour drive ended up taking us more than five hours.
Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, was supposed to come and give me a lesson on Friday afternoon, but because of the wreck, the road that we came in on was closed right after us. We were very, very fortunate to have made it through. That meant no warm up lesson.
Because my rides were so early on Sunday morning, I didn't need Chemaine to come and coach me. I figured I would just ride to the best of my ability which turned out to be about the same as on Saturday (here and here). Before I share my scores, check out the final halt from Test 1. I am not sure what spooked Speedy, but I love that he finished the halt decently square. The judge gave us a 6.0.
For Second Level Test 1, we scored a 59.242% - my absolute least favorite score. I'd rather have a 58 than a 59. We missed a 60% by 2.5 points. On the final medium trot the judge commented, "rider appears to be posting? needs more ground cover thrust & reach". Guess what posting gets you on a Second Level test. Yup, a two point error. Crap. It wasn't that I was posting on purpose. My sitting trot on the medium trot still sucks. Here's the test.
I said that this was a blooper filled weekend which means there was more. I've only ridden Second Level Test 3 three times, and the third time was this past Sunday.The first two times I had a reader. It's not that it's a particularly hard test to memorize, but there is a lot of canter work to remember.
I got lost on the twenty-fourth movement, the three-loop serpentine. I simply forgot where we were going. And frankly, up until that moment, we were doing pretty well. Speedy and I scored a 7.0 for our entry. We had two 5s, four 5.5s, fourteen 6s (!), and two 6.5s. All of that means that we were riding a 60% test (with the double coefficients). As soon as we went off course, I got a two point deduction. Here's the test.
What made it so bad was that the three-loop serpentine is a pretty tough movement. Speedy and I need time to set up for it so that we're balanced for the counter canter. Since I was lost, I didn't set us up for it very well so Speedy dropped to trot, and I couldn't convince him to pick up the counter canter. The whole thing went to hell in a hand basket earning us a 2.0 on a movement with a double co-efficient. For those of you who don't speak dressage, that means that single movement was worth twenty points, or nearly 5% of the whole test. Ouch!
We ended up scoring a 56.098%. That's kind of an ugly score, but truthfully, I know that we lost virtually all of our points on that serpentine. It's a movement that we can do pretty decently. We earned a 6.0 for the first one and a 6.5 & 6.0 on the two from Saturday.
Yesterday I promised you the best worst comment ever. I bought a grey horse on purpose. I know many of you cringe at that, but light colored horses often deal with the heat better. Speedy was bought as my next endurance horse long before I ever thought of doing dressage. He replaced a black Arab who struggled mightily with the heat. I got lucky with my grey; he HATES to get dirty.
While many people might call Speedy a white Arab, he is actually grey. His skin is black except for below his knees; he has white socks. You can see them when he's wet. He is also lightly flea bitten (little brown dots). So I leave you with this last comment from the judge. All I can say is ... Is that the best almost compliment you've got?
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%