From Endurance to Dressage
Like I said yesterday, cake must improve your dressage scores. Really. I give you permission to eat cake any time you need to boost your score. That piece of cake helped raise my score by eight percent - that's a lot! That's right. I raised my test 1 (First Level) score of 55% to a whopping 63.438% for test 2.
I am not exactly sure how it happened, but I think I decided to actually ride my horse for this test. You know, by preparing for the movements and actually trying to set Speedy up for success. That kind of thing. Who knew?
Lois, the show secretary, a local trainer, and my reader for the day, gave me an excellent tip. She suggested that I view the 15-meter canter circles as my friends and use them to collect Speedy so that he was really on the aids for the canter lengthening. Sigh. That's what having a dressage dressage can do for you - point out the obvious.
I used the time before the bell rang to work Speedy outside the ring by doing a relaxed and thoughtful working trot. I didn't ask for big or brilliant. I just asked for relaxed and submissive. Thankfully, he was on board with my plan, and we sailed through First Level's second test as though we've been doing it all season.
Our trot lengthenings really need work, but I already knew that. Our leg yields are better than I thought; check out that seven! And our ten-meter half circles were really solid, but I already knew those were a strength and an easy way to earn points. Speedy's compact little body makes that movement without any effort.
Like Lois suggested, I made those 15-meter canter circles my BFF. And it paid off. We got a 6.5 for the first one with an acceptable 6 for the canter lengthening right after. And for the second 15-meter canter circle, we rocked another 6.5 with the comment, "some uphill moments." And as Lois suggested, that balanced circle set Speedy up nicely for the right lead canter lengthening (6.5), our more difficult side.
And not like it was by design or anything, but I helped Speedy maximize my scores by improving those movements that had a double coefficient. We earned a 6.5 for the free walk (13 points), a 6 for the left lead canter lengthening (12 points), a 6.5 for the right lead canter lengthening (13 points), and another 13 points for our stretchy trot (last year's needs to improve movement.
This wasn't a brilliantly ridden test, but the judge was tough and these scores are pretty solid. I am more than happy to see those sixes and sevens our first time showing First Level at a rated show. In fact, I'd be happy to see this score after riding First Level all year. Once we get a more acceptable trot lengthening under our belt, First Level is going to feel easy.
Yeah ... probably not, but you have to shoot for something!
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(*) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: