From Endurance to Dressage
Cha Ching and his mom
This post was suggested by Cha Ching's mom. Recently she and I were chatting after a Saturday lunch and she shared with me that this was something that really resonated with her. It took me by surprise because I felt exactly the same way after hearing it. If a hunter/jumper turned 3-day eventer and an endurance rider turned dressage rider were both struck by the same comment, it certainly seems worthy of being a blog topic.
Read on ...
In February, several friends and I made our annual journey to Pomona for the Equine Affaire. We attended an Axel Steiner clinic that left me with some good ideas to mull over. The format of the clinic was a Q & A session in which Mr. Steiner asked his horse and rider pair to demonstrate the answers to the audience's questions.
One thing he said that really hit home for me went something like this: 'the rider does not get to take a break during the free walk. The rider gets a break only after exiting at A.'
The point he was making was that it is the rider's job to show off her horse throughout the entire test, and that she should be fit enough to not need a break during the free walk. The audience laughed, of course, because we all must do the same thing!
This idea has really changed what the free walk means to me. I'll be honest, I really took it as an opportunity for me to regroup, rest, and prepare for the next element of the test. It never occurred to me that the free walk was also an element of the test and should be ridden with the same degree of focus as any other movement. What a concept!
Cha Ching's mom
3/7/2011 10:16:06 pm
Excellent clinic by Axel.. Many wonderful tidbits of wisdom! And the horse was going to start showing Grand Prix in a ..... drum roll please.... Snaffle!! Impressive!
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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%
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