From Endurance to Dressage
On Friday we said goodbye to Sparks, our barn's oldest resident. She was 31. Dr. Blanton was called to look at Spark's newest ailment, a newly swayed back with a leg drag. The diagnosis? Old age. Sparks's owner made the very difficult decision to say goodbye to her very good friend. It was the right choice. Sparks's mom couldn't bear to see Sparks go, so I volunteered to stay and be Dr. B's tech. I had gone through the process with Montoya a year and a half before so I knew what to expect. Even so, I cried as Sparks's heart slowly stopped beating. Dr. B kissed her cheek, and I stroked her neck as we sent her to better pastures.
My mom is coming for a visit! I haven't seen her in at least four years, maybe even five. She's excited to meet my equine family, as they are new since she last visited. When my mom called and asked what my schedule was like, I said that she should plan her visit in time for Sunday's show. She was very excited as she's never seen me compete with my horses. I am kind of excited about it, too. Even though I am all grown up, it will be very satisfying to give my mom a blue ribbon. Now I am glad I am the only rider in my class!
How great is it when we have one AHA moment after another? Pretty darn great. I do not mean to sound like a dork here, but I am finally understanding how to use the inside and outside aids AT THE SAME TIME! Sydney was back under saddle on Friday for more trot work and less walking. He was all Dr. Jekyll, with none of Hyde's dastardly behavior anywhere in site. We worked on soft, relaxed circles with changes of direction. I love how I can feel him change his bend when I change my seat.
Tomorrow is my fifth dressage show of the season with Speedy G. It is also a rated show which means it is an opportunity for us to qualify for the Regional Adult Amateur Championships. We have to score a 65%. Can we? Yes. Will we? I don't know, but I am feeling good about the show. I have a new comfy saddle that keeps me much more balanced, and I have a bit more confidence in my riding ability than before. We're also showing at a place that I really enjoy, and the warm up arena is HUGE. I am loving that part of it!
Rest in peace Sparks. Hey mom! And finally ... Here's to a fun-filled weekend!
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%: