From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy and I had a great Sunday. I really love that horse, but I don't always take the time to reflect on how much or why.
He joined my little family in December of 2007, five years ago. When he arrived, he was really only a back-up horse to my mare, Montoya. Yes, I loved him, most of the time, but he wasn't my main man.
When Montoya died in 2010, Speedy G went from back-up pony to front and center. He was still young for the job at only 6, but that's what happens when you're the understudy; sometimes you get called up. We've spent the last three years developing a pretty incredible bond. We did five endurance races together in the first part of those three years and 25 dressage shows in the second part. That's a lot of time together!
I ride a lot, but sometimes I just don't feel like putting in a focused, schooling ride. That was the case on Sunday. So instead of riding, I decided to piddle around and catch up on barn chores. I laundered the people bedding in my horse trailer (in preparation for the Christian Schacht clinic), dug out my show clothes tub from the trailer's closet to be re-organized at home, and then gave both boys haircuts.
I don't body clip, but I do like to keep my boys neat and tidy. Over the last few weeks I have been noticing that Speedy was beginning to look like quite the chunky-monkey. His head was looking rather large and polar bearish. His jawline hairs were at least four inches long! Speedy has quite a lovely Arabian head, not the cartoonish and grotesque thing you see on many show Arabs; yuck, but it was hidden under a very thick winter coat.
I forgot to take a before shot, and I never got a very good after shot, but he looks a lot better! While I did Sydney's ears and beard, I turned Speedy out for a little free time. By the time I brought Sydney back, Speedy was soaking wet from his gallop. The upside was that I got to drag out my RAAC cooler and give it a try. He looks quite smart in the thing even if it is a tad too big!
Speedy was such a good boy for the haircut, he's still wonky about getting his ears done, and since he seemed to be really enjoying his time with me, I decided to go for a hack around the neighborhood. I think Speedy really needed to get out of the arena. We spent nearly 45 minutes ambling through the loop, which even included a wade in the river.
At a narrow section of trail that passes between two properties, I had to get off to remove some recently cut limbs from the path. Speedy was even good as I held his reins in one hand while dragging a particularly large branch with the other. We ultimately had to just wade through the rest of the branches; he followed behind me in a nearly gentlemanly fashion (he did crowd a little bit).
By the time we got back to the barn, the sprinkles that had threatened had turned to big drops. I was rather glad as I just didn't have the mental energy to ride Sydney through any anxiousness. He had been turned out for more than an hour while I had groomed and ridden Speedy so I knew his wiggles had already been worked out for the day. His ride could wait for another day.
My Sunday with Speedy gave me time to appreciate his fun and quirky personality. I think he enjoyed hanging out with me as much as I enjoyed the day with him. Here's to gray ponies!
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%: