From Endurance to Dressage
With Speedy temporarily on the disabled list, Izzy's been getting some really good work done. Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, was here a week or so ago for a Sunday afternoon lesson.
As we trotted around Chemaine on an endless 20-meter circle, I complained about being stuck in the same place that we were three years ago. It simply doesn't feel as though we're progressing. Not one to offer false compliments or underserved praise, Chemaine pointed out that yes, we're still having the same arguments, but at a different level. I think that made me feel better.
With that in mind, we spent a good portion of the lesson micromanaging every step Izzy took. Every time he bobbled his head or popped it up, I resisted with the rein and added leg. And if he didn't soften, I kept my leg on. When we were finished, I exclaimed that that lesson was probably the most boring lesson of all time to give. All Chemaine got to say was yes, yes, kick him, harder, more leg, yes, yes, kick him.
Now that I have more control over his shoulders and haunches, it's time to start pushing him up to the bridle. And since he's become somewhat more educated, he no longer has a meltdown when he's "packaged up." Well not as frequently anyway. I think he does it sometimes just to see if I am paying attention.
The last thing we worked on was a bit of canter half pass. One thing I've discovered about Izzy is that I am more likely to get a better connection if he has to really think about what he's doing. Too many 20-meter circles allow him time to get bored. Chemaine agreed. She encouraged me to keep working on movements from Second and Third Level even though he might not be "through" or connected at the start of the movement. Sometimes the connection will come during the movement.
And then, because the universe owes me something, we had another lesson on Friday. 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%: