From Endurance to Dressage
Speedy G's been getting all of the attention lately, but Sydney is still being worked daily and is moving along well. We're not cantering yet (again), but I have gained a great deal of control over that outside shoulder. At our last lesson, JL was very pleased with how well he moving off my outside leg to the left. That used to be his really stiff side. Now, he moves off my leg to the left better than he does to the right!
At our lesson last Wednesday, there were some tense moments. He did a couple of spectacular leaps into the air. The kind where you think, oh, crap! I am definitely coming off this time. But I didn't. I am not saying I am the world's best rider, but I am saying my instinct for staying on is pretty damn strong. He also reared ... once. This time, I was ready. I didn't pull back, I didn't panic, and I had him under control in no time. I simply bent his neck, got him back on the ground, and pat his neck as though it were no big deal.
We continued with the sideways movement, but once we started tracking right which has been his easier side, he decided to hang on the outside rein. JL had me tip his nose to the outside. This pissed him off big time, and he bolted. With JL's voice guiding me, I held that rein firmly as he tried very hard to escape. I repeatedly stopped him, hard, with the outside rein until he finally softened and let it go. It was scary, but he finally gave in, and I stayed in the saddle.
I'll admit that I was a bit nervous to get back on him the next day, but I knew he still had to work. Instead of riding, I dug out my trusty rope halter and did some serious yielding of the hindquarters and turns on the forehand from the ground. It was fun and Sydney actually enjoyed it! I also did more games at liberty with him. We've been playing the ground work games since Thursday and he's getting quite good at them. He's also being ridden, but the ground work is definitely helping.
Speedy G will go to Wednesday's lesson since we have a schooling show coming this weekend, but I am eager to show JL how far Sydney and I have come in yielding the forehand. I think she'll be impressed.
And again, several steps forward, a step back, but forward again. We'll get there!
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
2022 Show Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(*) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: