From Endurance to Dressage
I really dislike having my picture taken. No matter how hard I try, which is probably the real problem, I end up looking really cranky. Or disgusted. Or just plain mad. I try to smile, but it's rare that I come across looking happy to be there. When Lori Ovanessian offered to do a photo shoot with my horses, I hesitated for only a moment. The possibility of getting a good one of them was more than I could resist.
Lori and I set a date, rain threatened, of course, so we postponed for the next day. Secretly I was relieved because I was certain appointment number two would fall through, and I wouldn't have to spend any time in front of the camera after all. But no, the day was dry and cloudy which is apparently excellent for shooting photos.
Lori's directions were to wear something nice and bring a set of riding clothes. Something nice? Has she never met me? I am not much of a dresser-upper; I am much more of a jeans and sweater kind of gal. Worried that she would be disappointed, I went the jeans and sweater route anyway and hoped for the best. As a bit of a compromise, I did add a pretty scarf and jewelry. Lori took a look at my wardrobe and seemed satisfied with my choice of colors.
We walked around the property scoping out good locations for the types of photos that Lori wanted to try. As we walked, she adjusted her camera's many settings to ensure the correct amount of lighting would enter the lend and so on. My confidence grew as we talked. She knew what she was doing.
We spent some time first in the arena using the white fencing and green background. From the first shutter click, Speedy was game on! I can never get him to stand still for photos. For Lori, he posed for over an hour, and I don't mean just a little bit, he truly posed! His ears were ALWAYS up and he either looked directly at the camera, or gave a lovely silhouette as if to say, this side, or this side? Lori giggled at him more than once. I know how charismatic he is, but it was really nice to see someone else appreciate his personality.
We ultimately used a number of locations for the photos, but my favorites were the action shots. Lori asked if someday she could come back and shoot him at liberty doing his "Arabian thing." I suggested we do it right then. Speedy and I play some fun games out in the arena, and I suspected that he would be up for it that day. You can see for yourself.
Click play to start.
There were many more ... these were just my favorites!
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%