From Endurance to Dressage
Okay. Sydney is now back to working calmly. He's not rearing or bolting. We're also not cantering, but since he's relaxed, that tells me there was some fear and tension involved with the cantering.
We have a new "problem." Now he's so relaxed that he's lost any desire to go forward. He's reaching ... a lot at the walk, and he's pretty loose, but he's not driving forward from behind. I feel as if I were to quit urging, we'd fall into a pokey little amble. I've tried a few things over the past few weeks to get him going. I ask for forward, and then I quit asking. If he doesn't give me something, I squeeze very firmly until he picks up the pace. Repeat. The problem is that after halfway around the circle, he's back to the pokey, nearly walking, pace. As I am posting, I am thinking forward, forward, forward and I add energy to my posting.
I've also tried lots of changes of direction to wake him up. We'll track left for a circle or two and them swing right for a circle or two, but nothing's really working.
If you didn't know how explosive he can be when anxious, you'd tell me to get the whip and thwack, thwack, thwack to wake him up. I am just not quite sure I want to go that route since I just got him to relax. I also don't want to use spurs since I am afraid that if he does bolt or rear, I might inadvertently goose him when and if I have to grip to stay on.
We're definitely in a Goldilocks situation here: I don't want him racing around out of control and too fast, and I don't want him poking around so slow. I want him to trot out just right! So, how do I get him driving forward in a relaxed way?
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%: