From Endurance to Dressage
Not long ago, I wrote about the loss of daylight and how it forces me, and all of you I am sure, to HUSTLE while at the barn in order to get everything done before dark. This is even more important if your barn has no electricity. At all. And I mean none: no lights in the tack room, barn aisle, or feed areas. We have head lamps, battery lanterns, and solar flashlights.
Kelly, over at Princess Diva Diaries wrote about much the same thing the other day, but she added a good metaphor: the stars must align for a ride to happen.
On Monday afternoon, my stars weren't simply mis-aligned, they were shooting haphazardly across the sky in true meteor fashion. I somehow managed to ride anyway.
It all started with a busted garage door opener. The task of calling an installer to fix the problem fell to me. I called in the early morning and left a message. I had to call back at 3:20 when I got off work, but if you'll remember, in order to get in a ride, I HAVE to be pulling out of work on time. As I stood by my car in the parking lot talking to the repair man, all I could do was groan as I saw the minutes ticking by.
Once at home, I should have been throwing boots on and bolting back to my car, but instead, I was once again on the phone with said repair man describing the make and model of the busted garage door opener. I looked at the clock and sighed ... it was only ten minutes lost, but still.
As I zipped down the road toward the barn, my phone rang. With no blue-tooth (my old one broke, and I am waiting for Christmas), I was forced to pull over to answer. It was the repair man; more minutes lost. Once I was back on the road, common sense tried to rationalize why I should just feed and forget the ride, but I was determined.
Over the last two weeks, Sydney has gotten better and better about working in the near dusk, and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to challenge him. I did my regular barn chores in record time and saddled Sydney even though he had only had a few minutes to work on his dinner.
As I climbed aboard, I kept my own body very relaxed and owned the notion that I was the leader of this little party. We started out at the walk, and Sydney obliged me by being a perfect gentleman. In 15 minutes, we were able to walk, trot, and canter with only one or two fussy moments. I was actually grateful for the fussiness as it gave me the opportunity to persuade Sydney that I had the situation under control.
Each day I am amazed at the difference in him. I know that only part of our success is due to Sydney. Most of it is because my riding is getting better (said with no boasting, only stating the obvious). Sydney demands very correct use of the aides, and ambiguity is not in his vocabulary. Now that my control of the outside rein is so much better, he can hear and understand me.
Here's to the beauty of meteor showers!
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%: