From Endurance to Dressage
So we seriously schooled some First Level stuff on Sunday. And when I say First Level, I mean the actual movements as they're done on the first test.
Some good, and some hilariousness ensued …
I get the little half circles at E and B. We're actually not too bad at that. The one issue we had was that I have the horrible habit of looking down at Speedy's neck instead of through his ears. After several attempts at the half circles, I realized that I was way overshooting the mark in the first half circle which made the 10-meter circle at E more like 13-meters and the half circle at B more like 7 meters. It worked much better if I looked up to C so that I knew where the mid-point was. Then, I could do the change in bend to track right.
We also schooled the 15-meter canter circle for a few minutes. Truthfully, those are about as good as I can get them without some eyes on the ground. I just have to be very vigilant with my outside rein so that Speedy doesnt't drift wide. Otherwise, we do have the ability to ride a 15-meter canter circle without looking too idiotic.
When schooling the extended canter (lengthen stride), on the other hand, we had a few issues. What did I say the other day? Extended canter shouldn't be much of a problem. Well it wasn't. Speedy extended alright, but what I forgot is that my court is only 50-meters long which means if I want to return to a working canter, I had better downshift long before I get to the corner.
The extended canter is from M-P and F-R which is only 36-meters, but I get to develop a working canter from P-A or R-C which is 18-meters plus the corner which is another 10-meters. I did the extended canter down my long side, but I only gave myself about 6-meters to return to working canter. Poor Speedy had to hit the brakes hard!
What I also discovered was that if I half halted too strongly, he dropped down into a trot instead of a working canter. We had to work on that a little bit so that I could go from a lengthened canter stride to a working canter without trotting. The good thing about working in a short arena is that when I do show in a full-sized court, I have tons of room to get the job done.
The trot lengthenings I left for another day. We're not going to get that in the next few weeks. I am hoping that a little work with Chemaine will help get me on the right path. And, the trot lengthening doesn't have a double co-efficient, so it's not as important as our working trot and canter.
I know both of us enjoyed doing something other than 20-meter circles!
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%: