From Endurance to Dressage
I worked for a decade to earn a USDF Bronze Medal. In all the years I rode Speedy, I thought I was at a disadvantage by not having a purpose bred horse. I now know that it takes a lot more than a well bred dressage horse to win and be successful. In my opinion, a good mind is more important than huge fancy gaits or raw talent.
Now that Izzy is my main ride, I appreciate Speedy's giving nature even more. While Speedy was sassy and a lot less talented than Izzy, when it came to show day, he was game on. I knew that if I could more or less get it at home, whatever "it" was, he would do his best for me at a show.
As Izzy and I ride mile after mile on the struggle bus, I often complain to Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, that I am back to being an intro level rider. I just can't do anything right. Sean always rolls his eyes at my drama llama moments and then sagely reminds me that the world's best riders spend most of their time working on the basics. One of his favorite sayings is that beginners want to spend 90% of their time on the tricks and only 10% of their time working on basics. Top level riders spend 10% of their time working on the tricks and 90% of their time schooling the basics.
I saw this meme on Facebook a few months ago, and it seemed to illustrate Sean's point exactly. There is a lot of fancy in a dressage test, but none of it happens without good basics. If something is going to go wrong, it's probably something as simple as a halt. Or a transition. Or correct geometry. Or ...
Maybe I am doing more right than I realize.
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%: