From Endurance to Dressage
Well, it won't be that funny unless you were there, but for those of us who lived it, it was hysterical.
Most of you probably remember that I was/am(?) dealing with chronic migraines. So chronic in fact that for nearly two months I had a migraine every single day. I've had more drugs pumped into me in more ways than I can keep track of (nose, neck, butt cheeks, arm, mouth, hand ...). I was admitted to the ER for treatment where I wondered how many more veins they could tap into (two at a time seemed to be the answer).
During all of this, I powered through and went to two different shows. Even though I was a bit loopy, we did pretty well at the first one, especially since it was the first time I had shown at Second Level.
For the second show, I was feeling really crappy. I couldn't concentrate and lived in a bubble of slow motion. I wasn't sleeping which added to my list of problems. I asked everyone who would listen to forgive my current state of stupidity. I actually felt like my IQ had dropped substantially. And hey, it's not like I am a rocket scientist to begin with. I need all the brain cells I can get my hands on.
So there I was doing my warm up, doing my best not to crash into anyone while desperately trying to process everything that my trainer was trying to get me to do. The first test went pretty well; we scored a 62.8%. I rode the second test two and half hours later. Whatever medication I was on at the time must have worn off.
The test started off well. Mixed in with a a couple of 6.0s and a lone 5.0, Speedy and I racked up eight 7.0s. And then the wheels fell off our little bus. I picked up the wrong left lead canter - you're OTHER left my trainer wanted to yell. And not only did I not fix it, I then proceeded to ride a medium canter into - you won't believe this, a 10-meter half circle AND HE HELD THE LEAD! We counter cantered a 10-meter half circle. That takes serious skill.
What makes this so funny is that I never even noticed! I was so lost in my own LA LA Land that I finished the test thinking that wasn't too bad. I about fell off Speedy when my trainer pointed out my mistake. I didn't believe it until I read the judge's comments.
Wrong lead ... still wrong lead ... still wrong lead ... She must have thought I was looney tunes. We all laughed so hard when we saw that comment. But hey, at least she gave me 4.0s. I figured I was getting a string of zeros for picking up the wrong canter lead. My total score for that test was a 58.846% - not bad for doing half of it wrong! We even earned four more 7.0s after that mess!
The good news is that I have been migraine free for two weeks. I am sleeping again, and while I still feel a bit loopy at times, I am feeling more and more like my old self. Our next show is at the end of May, and I am feeling pretty confident about it.
Now if I can just remember my left from my right!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read