From Endurance to Dressage
Grrr ... maybe it's better not to ride after a long work week, and an equally long horse week. Dealing with the regular stresses of life and then having Speedy's hospital visit to deal with sort of wore me out. I am not so much physically tired as I am mentally fatigued. Even so, horses must be ridden.
It seemed a good motivator to set up the camera to video my ride on Sunday. We've made so much progress that I wanted to see it for myself. Twenty-four minutes into the ride, I got off and turned the camera off in disgust. I didn't have to see it to know that was ugly footage.
Sydney simply would not maintain a steady rhythm. He would not soften or bend his neck. In fact, he wouldn't do much of anything. I tried every trick I could think of. He was simply heavy and ploddy up front and my aids were completely ineffective. All of this my fault. I know that. I just couldn't seem to get myself together.
With the camera turned off, I regained my motivation and decided to really take hold of Sydney and put his butt to work. I shortened my reins, which I had been trying to do for close to half an hour, but this time, I held onto them. I put my legs firmly against Sydney's sides, and I started using my back and shoulder blades.
Viola - there it was. All of a sudden Sydney was moving forward. He started making those lovely little grunting sounds he makes when he's using his back, and the foam started building in his mouth. All it took was for me to really engage my seat and core. Once I stopped worrying about how we looked on the video, I got a much better connection. What I need to remember is to establish a rhythm, shorten my reins, and use my core and back. It sounds so simple...
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Shows Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Completed …
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: