From Endurance to Dressage
Thank you all so very much for the many congratulatory comments that you posted the other day regarding our wedding anniversary. I was quite surprised by such an outpouring of well-wishes, both here and on Facebook. Like I said, it was just another day for us, a little more fun than usual perhaps, but still, just another day.
After riding and writing, travel is my next favorite thing to do, so of course I want to share photos of our trip. We've been to Las Vegas a number of times, Hubby more than me as it is certainly a guys' favorite, but we always do something a little different. Some of you must be wondering how far Vegas is from Bakersfield. If traffic is relatively normal, it's about a 4 hour drive, but on a Sunday afternoon, it can be twice that.
If you've never been, prepare to be wowed, spend a lot of money, and experience serious sensory over-load. We always arrive with excitement and anticipation, but we're always just as eager to get the heck out of there. It's a strange city.
We stayed at the Bellagio, the casino with the big fountain show out in front. We've stayed there before, but I really like it. Last time we splurged and got a suite with a view of the fountain and The Strip, but since we were only staying one night this time, we got a less pricey room, but we still had a nice view.
The Bellagio has a large conservatory, a glass-roofed atrium that is decorated for the various seasons. This time it was done in a garden theme with live birds. I don't know how the horses fit into the theme, but as always, I found them!
Our plan for the night was to celebrate our anniversary with dinner followed by a show. Both were fabulous. Las Vegas does a lot of things right. Food and entertainment are certainly their specialties.
After dinner, we played some slots and a little roulette (I walked away with what I started with), had a glass of wine, and then drifted towards the theater. If you've never seen a Las Vegas show, the venues are all quite fabulous. The Bellagio's theater entrance is literally on the casino floor, so it looks quite small from the outside. As you walk through the corridor, the theater opens in front of you to reveal a very large venue.
I love Cirque du Soleil. They put on jaw-dropping shows, and this one was no exception. (There's a great behind-the-scenes video here.) O's theme was water. Much of the show happened in a massive swimming pool, but throughout the show, a floor would magically appear, lower, and then disappear. We both watched very closely and could never see the transformation happen. It was quite stunning.
We spent the next morning walking up and down the strip popping into different casinos and losing money. I hate that part of gambling; it's a lot more fun when you're winning!
On a whim, we decided to check out the very new High Roller observation wheel. It opened in March and is one hundred feet taller than the London Eye. We've seen the Eye in person, and it seemed quite high, so we were surprised to hear that this wheel was even higher at 550 feet.
Tickets can be bought from ATM-like machines for about $20 bucks for a regular, daytime ride. The evening trips are a bit more expensive, but I know it's worth it. Next time we're there, we're definitely going up at night. It takes 30 minutes to go around once, which was the perfect amount of time to spend enjoying the view. Which, by the way, was nothing short of spectacular.
So there you have it, Vegas in 36 hours. We gambled, ate a fabulous dinner, caught a great show, cruised The Strip, and even got a bird's eye view of the city. We had a great time!
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 …
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
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