From Endurance to Dressage
This has been a c-r-a-z-y week. I moved from one to school to another on Monday. On Tuesday, I moved Izzy from a large paddock to an even larger one. Later that same day the chiropractor came out and gave me a quick lesson and adjusted Izzy's out-of-whack poll and neck. On Wednesday, I spent a long morning taking care of Speedy's eyes and hanging out with Izzy as he was still pretty annoyed that Dollar had taken over his pen. I have finally found some time to write about last Saturday's lesson, but so much has happened since that I forgot what we worked on.
After watching my video from Sunday - I always record the next day's ride, I remembered that we worked on a couple of small things. One thing Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, had me think about was keeping my hands closer together. I tend to to let them get too wide, especially in the lateral work. Other than that, most of the ride was just about fine tuning things that have been in progress.
While I love AHA moments and big take-aways, I also appreciate lessons where Sean just gives me a little coaching here and there as I ride. Fortunately, Izzy was feeling pretty confident with where we were, so I was able to just ride. We worked on shoulder-in travers, renvers, and then the half pass. We wouldn't be getting eights or anything, but Sean was really happy with how I was riding and what Izzy was giving me.
When I was talking to the chiropractor about Izzy being a complicated horse, he disagreed with my assessment. He feels that Izzy is actually pretty simple. I thought about it and had to agree. Izzy is definitely a you get what you see kind of horse. I guess the complicated part is in how to ride him. Here's a short clip of some left lead canter to trot from the video I shot on Sunday. You can see where he braces and comes against my hand, but there are also good moments of relaxation.
Every day is a new opportunity. I definitely wish it were easier, but if it were, I'd be bored and forced to choose something equally challenging.
I wonder if I'd like sky diving, rocking, or bungee jumping more?
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%