From Endurance to Dressage
Lord have mercy. Just how many things can I possibly have to say about this one show? Four day's worth apparently. I'll try to make this quick.
I did learn a few new "tricks" to help ride some of the Second Level movements a bit better. The first is to have more bend. That's not really a new trick, but I continue to have doh! moments about why.
For example, I learned that for the turn on the haunches, I need to think about doing a lot of things before I actually do a turn on the haunches. I need to 1) keep the walk marching. 2) I need to think shoulder in. 3) I need to make sure I keep the inside bend otherwise Speedy will be counter bent and my outside rein does nothing.
I also learned to keep off the rail for the rein back. It's a bit like parallel parking - you don't want to get too close or you'll scrape your tires as you back up. It helps to give your horse a little more room too. And besides, you don't need your elbows in the judge's face as you back up. Just saying.
As much as my sitting trot needs work, I wasn't the worst rider out there. I am not fishing for compliments here, but it did my heart good to see that we pretty much fit right in. There were riders better than me and riders who had their own struggles. There were nicer horses than Speedy, although not many; you gotta love the one you're with after all.
And finally, while we didn't hit it out of the park, we did earn four scores that were ever so close to being satisfactory. Our first score of the show, the 61.97%, was actually good enough to count for a whole slew of things. It gave us another CDS Championship qualifying score which means we only need one more. We also earned another score towards our Second Level USDF Rider Performance Award leaving us only two more before we earn our patch. And best of all, we earned the final Second Level score needed for a Bronze Medal.
Each year Speedy and I prove that we are certainly Not-So-Speedy Dressage. We are ever so persistent though. It may take us longer than the average rider, but we get it done. Believe it or not, we have another show on Sunday. It's only CDS-rated so we can't earn a USDF score, but my GMO's scores count for so many things that you can bet your butt we'll be bringing it. If you're in the Tehachapi area on Sunday, we ride at 1:20 and 2:00. We'd love to see you.
Wish us luck and have a great weekend!
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%: