From Endurance to Dressage
A few years ago, my mom bought me a very specially selected Stübben bridle for Christmas. I chose it because of the thin leather strapping. It was designed with a finer, more petite horse in mind - like an Arabian. The leather is super soft, and it looks really nice on Speedy.
Virtually all dressage bridle are designed for heavy warmbloods. The straps are all thick, particularly the nosebands. This bridle has a much thinner caveson, and even the cheek pieces are narrower. It's difficult to see all of that because the bridle looks well-proportioned to Speedy's face.
So where has this bridle been? Well, it was such an expensive purchase that it's been hanging in my home office waiting to be used exclusively at shows. I did use it a few times, and I even bought a duplicate of the bit that I was using - a Korsteel lozenge bit, so the bridle was always ready to go.
The problem is that my fancy browband is on my schooling bridle, formerly a Micklem, now the recently re-instated SmartPak Plymouth. I also switched to the baucher bit, of which I only have one, so it was all just too much work to switch out the bit and browband for a show.
Somewhere over the past year and a half, my spending comfort level has risen. I think the transition to it's okay to use your good stuff on a daily basis started when I bought my Ariat Volant's for every day riding. Those suckers were pretty darn expensive, and I've used the holy heck out of them. I think I am getting my money's worth.
As I was thinking about getting ready for this weekend's CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC), I remembered that lovely bridle that was just hanging in my closet, and all of a sudden, I realized what a gigantic waste of money it is to never use it.
My mom certainly wouldn't want to know that it is hanging unused. She would much rather know that I am getting her money's worth out of it. I also realized that I take really good care of my tack. I clean and condition it regularly, so it's not like I am going to ruin it by schooling in it every day.
So Speedy has a "new" bridle. I've used it several times this week, and each time I put it on, the softness and suppleness of the leather surprise me. I am finding more and more that it's really silly to save your good stuff for occasional use; it's a lot more fun to live decadently!
Here's to living the good life!
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read