From Endurance to Dressage
A Little More to the Left, Please
Oh, dear. Speedy has decided that dressage isn't fun anymore. Hopefully he just woke up on the wrong side of the stall.
Knowing that too much arena time frustrates him, I've been working him only three days a week with turn out on the days that I don't ride. Even so, our ride on Saturday felt like an exercise in frustration. He started out hollow, resistant, and braced, which is normal. I have learned not to ask for any kind of roundness until he is moving willingly forward.
Once the gas pedal was working, I shortened the reins and started asking him to move onto my outside rein. His answer? An emphatic, no. I couldn't get him off my inside left leg to save my life. He wouldn't/couldn't let go through his poll or jaw either.
I did leg yields, turns on the forehand, and even some counter flexing. He finally started spooking hard, his go-to evasive maneuver. I went to my go-to: more of the same. Nothing was working.
In an effort to get something good accomplished, I went back to the canter; I had let him do a big canter earlier in the ride in the hope that it might loosen him up. For this canter sequence, I did shallow loops along each long side. While they weren't as good as we've done, he did begin to soften his left side.
We finished up still feeling like friends. I started to take the whole thing personally, but then remembered that he isn't trying to piss me off. Something was just off. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to capture that feeling of partnership.
9/23/2013 10:18:29 am
We do. :0)
9/23/2013 10:18:51 am
It does get discouraging.
9/23/2013 01:04:30 am
I think he needs a field trip!
9/23/2013 10:19:34 am
I just told him that! He was bummed that Sydney got to go to Tehachapi on Saturday and he didn't. I think you're right. :0)
9/23/2013 10:20:18 am
I can do trail work for variety, but jumping, even baby crossrails sends me into a panic! :0)
9/23/2013 11:51:36 am
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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%: