From Endurance to Dressage
The other day, the ranch owners' daughter was out at the ranch doing some gardening. When her daughter was younger, they were pretty involved in the southern California eventing circuit. They kept Hannah's horses at some pretty fancy barns that included lots of bells and whistles.
As we were standing in the shade of one of the ranch's massive sycamore trees, Melissa remarked that this would be the perfect place for a table, some chairs, a few solar lights, and fireflies. We don't have fireflies in California, so we would have to import them - she was joking of course. Fireflies don't stay put. She said it would be our version of an equestrian lounge. I immediately voted yes; yes to all of it!
I frequently drag a mounting block to sit on under that tree to either watch my horses graze, clean tack, or just to cool off in the shade. When the ranch owners came out to join us, Melissa ran the idea by them. They immediately agreed that it was a great idea and gave the thumbs up to all of it except the fireflies. After joking around about all the improvements we could make, we all decided to grab an extra table and some chairs from the back yard. In less than five minutes, we had our Equestrian Lounge.
While it's only a table and two chairs for now, I look at it as a blank canvas. Now that it's officially a designated "place," I am going to start combing the internet for ideas on what else to add to spruce up our new lounge. The first thing I need to do is grab the two extra chairs we have up at the arena that nobody uses. We have a huge log that we all sit on instead. Our lounge doesn't need any more shade, we have that the entire day, and there is already plenty of greenery.
The first thing I might ask for is to move the fencing panels to the other side of the horses' fields where there are already other panels stored. The shaded area we've adopted as our new lounge also sits on a natural berm. At one time, there was a plan to build a stone retaining wall, so there is a pile of round river rocks already close by. I might start laying them out to form a decorative boundary.
After I told the ranch owner that I'd been pining for a table and chairs, she asked why I never said anything. I responded that I am just a guest, and it felt rude to make any requests. She thought that was silly. Since she has made it perfectly clear that it's okay to ask for stuff, I have a few ideas that she might be willing to go for.
First, the panels. We'll see how it goes after that.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%