From Endurance to Dressage
Click here (or scroll down) if you missed yesterday's post ...
Once we finished up tracking left, JL had me track right at the walk. The first thing she did was to explain what the sensation of "rolling in" was all about. It wasn't so much about needing to push him sideways, which he can do, it was more about "lifting" his right side up. I had suspected that was the solution, but I didn't know how to make it happen.
As we tracked right, JL had me shorten my reins as we had when tracking left. Then, she had me lift the inside rein, which I already knew how to do, but this was a bit different. On purpose, she had me ride with my outside hand in the normal position but with a strong feel and my inside hand lifted. The purpose was to "roll" Sydney back to the outside. I also added more weight to my outside stirrup which also seemed to encourage Sydney to lift his inside shoulder.
Sydney has a hard time tracking right. He really wants to look to the outside which drops the inside shoulder. Lifting that inside rein forces his nose in, which causes him to resist by bracing. When he fussed, I made the circle very small. JL called it letting the geometry do the explaining. If he was soft and upright, I could lower my hand, but the instant he fussed or braced, I raised my hand and made the circle small. Sometimes I only needed three or four strides before he understood and "unlocked" his neck. Sometimes we had to do more than one circle before he softened.
This exercise was exactly what we needed. I knew I needed to get him up and over, but I just couldn't coordinate all of my aids to make it happen. JL's simple explanation and eyes on the ground made it all so simple. We'll need to practice, of course, but I am finally so happy to be actually riding my horse instead of just being a passenger on a ball of anxiety.
Still more to come ...
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%: