From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday was the 4th of July. It's a holiday that I both love and hate. While I am angry and frustrated about many things that are happening in this country, I love the ideals upon which this nation was founded. I may hate living in California right now, but I will always be a proud American. The 4th of July celebrates the day that our Founding Fathers took the reins and declared the thirteen colonies free and independent states. They could no longer tolerate the abuses of a tyrannical king. I firmly believe in, and support, the ideals that were put forth in our nation's Declaration of Independence.
To celebrate Independence Day, my husband and I loaded up the dogs and drove to Kernville to check out the roaring Kern River and the Isabella Reservoir. The threat of flooding is largely past us as weeks of cooler than normal weather slowed the snow melt of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The current inflow and outflow at the dam are nearly equal, and the reservoir is currently at about 88% capacity. I don't think anyone alive has ever seen it that full.
On the drive to Kernville, we stopped to let the dogs run around and swim, I also kept asking my husband to stop so that I could take pictures. For drought weary Californians, the sight of so much water is jaw dropping. The lake is so high that the shoreline is only a fraction of what it typically is. In some places, the lake has risen to cover access roads and campsites. Besides admiring the view, we also stopped in at the Kern River Brewery for lunch, something my husband does nearly weekly.
In the afternoon, I laid by the pool while my husband watched something on TV. For dinner, we celebrated with grilled hot dogs and a bottle of Croatian wine. Fun fact: It is said that the Republic of Ragusa (Croatia) was the first (or one of the first) country to recognize American Independence. After the dogs had their dinner, we gave Tobi his annual dose of Ace and kept on an eye on him as he gradually conked out. My husband suggested we give Yellow Dog a dose as well, but I didn't remember her being nervous about the fireworks. I was wrong. At 9:00, just as the fireworks really got going, my husband talked me into giving her a dose of Ace as well. She didn't melt down like Tobi does, but I was up until after 11:00 as she panted and tried to crawl in my lap.
That is the part of the 4th of July that I hate. I understand that fireworks are a traditional way to remember the hard fought battles during the war for our independence, but it is sure a difficult night for anyone who has horses, dogs, or cats. The ranch owner texted me last night to let me know that Speedy was running around but not panicked. I am sure he'll be tired this morning. While not one to race around in a panic, Izzy no doubt internalized the stress of the noise as well. Both boys will get some TLC this morning. I hope all of your furry friends made it through the evening safely.
Fireworks are the part of the 4th that I hate. I can't wait until they're banned.
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%: