From Endurance to Dressage
I am not sure that it was officially 80 degrees yesterday afternoon, but it was sure close. I rode, again, in a tank top. Our summer might be scary hot and long, but for right this minute, the weather is glorious. And so was my ride on Sydney. It's rare to have consecutive rides on both horses that go so well. It's usually a great ride on one and holy crapola on the other.
I don't know what has happened, but everything that JL and I have worked on for the past six months is finally gelling. Just like Speedy G, Sydney was naughty yesterday, but I had an answer for each goofy offering. When he squealed and flung his head, I bent his nose to my knee and worked him around my inside leg to outside rein. When he got stiff, stiff, stiff, I pulled his head left with inside leg and then I pulled his head right with inside leg and then left and right, over and over.
When I even suspected that he might blow through my outside aids, I made the circles very, very small and added lots of outside leg. If that wasn't enough, I used the pulley halt, especially at the canter. When we take our first canter strides, Sydney tries to explode away from me. I usually wrestle him back onto the circle and repeat the attempt. JL suggested instead that if he hangs on my rein and runs off, I should halt him hard, and get him off my outside rein and leg. So that's what I did. I used the pulley halt, and then MOVED him with the outside rein and leg back and over. I did it a few times and viola ... success.
It was not a pretty ride, but again, I was able to successfully school through every single "naughty." I was able to work him both directions at the trot, we cantered to the left, and all of the work took only half an hour. That might seem puzzling. I was glad for the 30 minute ride because sometimes it takes 45 minutes before I can get him to listen. My goal right now is to simply get him on my aids. If that takes 12 minutes, we're done.
We did it in 30 minutes yesterday. Here's hoping for 15 minutes today!
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%: