From Endurance to Dressage
I hadn't ridden Speedy in ages. And when I say ages, I mean at least a year, maybe more. It's not that I dislike riding him, it's just that he can't do the work that I want to do, and he's been happy doing lower level stuff with his ladies. "J," the rider who rode him through most of 2021, hasn't been able to come down since October. She's had some health concerns as well as work commitments.
I've lunged Speedy a few times over the past couple of months, but no one has ridden him since October. He lives in a very large, sandy paddock, so he has plenty of opportunity to move around. He and Izzy play pretty hard throughout the week, so I don't worry about him getting stiff and sore. Besides living turned out, he also gets "turned out" into the yard to graze and visit with the other horses. Speedy is very respectful of the rules, most of the time anyway - on Sunday he came 90% of the way into the feed room before I could herd him out.
A friend who I've introduced to a few other horse friends is now horseless. She recently reached out to me asking if Speedy needed a new lady. I was thrilled to hear from her as I have made it very clear to the Universe that Speedy could use a girl who needs some horse time. She's coming out on Thursday afternoon to see if she and Speedy connect.
Since it had been at least four months since he'd been ridden, I figured I had better check on his level of "brokenness" before tossing someone else up on him. I consider him a schoolmaster, but before he can start doing real work again, he needs to knock some of the feral off. No matter how long it's been since anyone has been on him, I know that I can hop on without any fear. I can't expect anyone else to ride through those threats to buck though.
I gave him a thorough grooming which he very much appreciated. After saddling. I decided to ride in his riding rope halter. I had cleaned Speedy's bridle a few weeks ago and put it in storage, so I didn't want to get it dirty. He's perfectly manageable in a rope halter. He was spicy though. Even getting on took a bit of growling on my part. He threatened to buck when I got on, but it was just excitement. He's too well schooled for any real nonsense. He just likes to let me know that he could if he wanted to.
He pranced his way around the ranch chomping at his imaginary bit. When I suggested we just walk without the jigging, he tossed his head saucily. It was all in fun though. Speedy doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
The ranch covers ten or eleven acres, and there are all sorts of little paths and roads to cover. After we made the first loop around the ranch, his brain re-engaged, and he remembered his job. He also saw how much grass had grown over the winter. Suddenly, the jigging and prancing were replaced by diving head first into the lush grass.
Before too long, the grass will turn yellow and the foxtails will make things miserable. For now though, the ranch is as pretty as it gets. By the second loop, Speedy had settled down enough for me to hold the reins in one hand and my phone in the other. I couldn't resist shooting a minute a two of video. At 0:01:42, you can see one of our regular avian buddies, the egret. The first time I went by, he would not get out of the road. On our second lap, he was perched on the fence prepared to give Speedy a heart attack.
As much as I love this horse. I love sharing him even more. I hope he and "L" make a connection. While he needs to move, it's the interaction that he loves the most. I told the Universe to find a girl for him, or maybe three. I am going to trust that the right ones will show up.
How lucky am I? Pretty lucky, I think.
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%: