From Endurance to Dressage
First of all ... HALLELUJAH ... If you've ever been without internet, you know my pain. We went silent on Thursday and weren't back up and running until Monday evening. It was the longest weekend of my life. It is amazing how much of our lives are conducted on the world wide web. I have an iphone of course, but checking bank balances, researching puppy food, and paying taxes are not so easy to do with a tiny screen and mini key board.
I must apologize to my trusty modem - sorry, Dude, you weren't to blame after all. Anyone want to guess why we lost connectivity?
Why yes, yes it was little Miss Brienne of Tarth. Booger. The puppy found the internet line and worked on it until she successfully disconnected us from the world at large. The new line has been installed at about five feet above the ground. By the time she can reach it, she should be long past the chewing stage of life.
While I am sure that you find all of this incredibly fascinating, it's not what I've been wanting to write about. And frankly, now that more than a week has passed, I am over the whole Expo thing even though I had tons of stuff left to share. I'll give it a shot though.
Last week, I mostly talked about the nuts and bolts of Chemaine's program. By the way, before I forget to mention it, she's been invited to be the dressage clinician at Horse Expo in Sacramento in June. I am not sure if she has accepted the invitation or not, but I already know I can't go. As luck would have it, we leave for Italy that very same weekend. That's not on topic either. I leave the blogging world for an extended weekend and suddenly I am an incoherent writer.
What I wanted to say was that being a demo rider is really one of the coolest experiences that I've had. I can't imagine any show that I would attend ever being any more daunting than riding in an hour-long demonstration. What I most loved about it was that I was able to completely tune out the audience and just ride. I cannot begin to describe what a liberating experience that was.
Even though I tuned the audience out, I was still very much aware of the deficiencies in my riding. When I asked my best friend how we came across to the audience, I think she was honest in her response when she said we looked really good. I think she was actually a bit surprised at the quality of our ride - she's known me for more than 20 years, so she's seen all of the before.
She wasn't saying we were brilliant or anything, and she quickly added that we have stuff to work on, but her point was that we looked like we belonged there. I think she was impressed by our progress. That was a huge relief to hear because I work hard, but I don't usually see the improvement.
Knowing that we have said deficiencies made the whole endeavor feel so intimidating, but I approached it like I do this blog. From my own experience, I know there are far more riders out there like me, struggling, than there are finished riders.
I rode for those people, the ones who need to see a horse and rider messing up because that's what happens to them at home. By watching me struggle, they were able to listen to Chemaine's corrections and maybe take away some ideas to help them fix something at home.
So there you go - my final thoughts on being a demo rider at Horse Expo. There was much potential for humiliation and failure, but I focused on compartmentalizing those concerns and locked the doors tightly. Instead of riding with those fears, I focused on how I could help riders like me see solutions to our common problems. I hope I was successful.
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%: