From Endurance to Dressage
It's no secret that California, like much of the west, is in the midst of a pretty severe drought. It's so bad in some places that water usage has been relegated to only the most essential tasks - cooking, cleaning and bathing. I've heard talk of limiting water consumption to 50 gallons per person per day. So far, we've done such an excellent job of conservation in Bakersfield that we haven't been forced to endure that kind of rationing.
My barn owners have opted to let the vast expanse of yard go pretty golden. We still have grass, but it's spotty in some places and gone in others. In exchange for not watering the grass, I am allowed to water the arena. Most naturalists would probably freak out at the thought of watering dirt, but if you live in a hot and dry climate, you'll know why we water.
It is nearly unbearable to ride in the heat through clouds of hanging dust. So each day, my daily task is to haul the sprinklers around in an effort to moisten the dust for just long enough to get both of my rides done.
On Sunday morning, Californians woke up to morning rain showers that actually carried enough water to soak the ground. It was enough of a rarity that Facebook exploded with status updates like this one, "Laying in bed (yes at 11am), windows open, listening and smelling the rain outside."
Not having to race to the barn to beat the heat was already enough of a treat, but knowing that the rain was doing the job of my sprinklers sent me over the moon. It was like Christmas in July, a birthday party, and winning a blue ribbon all wrapped up in one giant package.
When I got to the barn, I grinned in absolute delight. My sandy arena was perfectly soaked everywhere. There wasn't a single funky area that the sprinklers always miss, and I didn't have to piddle around looking for jobs to do while the sprinklers did their work.
So while the Carolinas received more than a foot of rain from Hurricane Joaquin, we Californians grasped desperately at those few drops that planet Earth flippantly flicked our way.
El Niño, where are you?!?!
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%: