From Endurance to Dressage
I'll tell you who thinks they've won the lottery with this work from home business; our other four-legged family members. Yep. Yellow Dog and Tobias. This is an absolute dream come true. Considering their size and their desire to chew, dig, and otherwise destroy, they're actually big babies who really prefer to be in the house. With or without their people. With people is better, but they're not picky. In is in.
Normally, my husband and I roll out of the house before 6:00 a.m. each morning to head to work. The dogs get put out in the yard until my husband comes home around 3:30 when he then takes them for a drive and a hike. Since I work from home, the canines in our house are enjoying a whole new lifestyle, a vastly improved lifestyle if you ask them.
One of the reasons we bought this house was because of the park next door. It's not a real park - there is no play equipment for kids, but it's grassy with shade trees and a small picnic area. My house sits to the left of the park - you can see our wall and roofline in the two photos above, and our neighbor James lives in the house to the right of the park. My neighborhood uses the space a couple of times a year for community potlucks and socials, but other than that, it sits unused by everyone except us.
Now that I don't leave the house so early, or at all on some days, the dogs have decided that 7:00 a.m. is the perfect time for their first walk and potty opportunity of the day. So every morning at 7:00 the search for my shoes begins so that we can go next door to the park for a quick run and a chance to poop. The dogs have decided that pooping in their yard is gross and unacceptable while pooping in the park is not only acceptable, but preferable. We buy a lot of poop bags.
For the next three and a half hours, the dogs lie quietly in my office - frequently both of them will cram themselves under my desk so they can lie at my feet, while I teach via Google Meet. Occasionally Tobias will get upset when he hears strange noises from the kids, and Yellow Dog will bark if she hears a knock or a doorbell from one of the kids, but other than that, they spend the morning napping. As soon as I dismiss my students for lunch at 11:30, the hunt for my shoes begins anew as the dogs quickly determined that 11:30 was potty break number two. No pun intended.
With shoes on and my pockets stuffed full of poop bags, we repeat the earlier routine, but for the second trip of the day, I also grab the leashes. After everyone has done their business, we take a much needed walk along the lake path or sometimes we walk through the neighborhood. I've learned that sitting all day without moving around is hard on my back, neck, and mental well-being. I enjoy the walk more than they do.
The next three hours are spent pretty quietly. The dogs again nap as they wait for my husband to come home. Last Thursday, I was too tired to ride after I dismissed my students, so the dogs got to go with me to barn instead of with my husband for their normal afternoon walk. If you ask them, a visit to the ranch will always trump anything other than a trip to the beach. The ranch has so much more potential than your average hike.
I imagine that there are a lot of other dogs out there who think the Coronavirus is an answer to their prayers. While I am dying to get back to work for real - and yes, dying is a great word choice here, I will miss spending so much time with my dogs. I wonder if I could claim some new, weird, canine dependency syndrome that would allow them to go to school with me?
I'll need to look into that when the time comes.
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%: