From Endurance to Dressage
And Sometimes Sour ...
I do a lot of my writing over the weekend, so sometimes life happens after I've written a post. Of course, that doesn't change the good things that have already happened, but it makes a published post feel a bit like a lie.
Yesterday, I told you yet again how awesome Izzy is, but on Monday, I sighed in frustration. My soft as butter and oh-so-willing partner had sent in a replacement who was not up to the task. It wasn't necessarily his fault, but it was still disappointing.
It was windy and blustery - the perfect day for a horse to show his tense side. I could feel Izzy vibrating under my hand. I almost didn't even bother to ride, but then I reasoned that the only way to teach him to relax in stressful situations, like at a show, is to school during stressful situations.
I started him on the lunge line doing very simple walk to trot to walk transitions. I didn't want to get him any more wound up. I just wanted him to see that it was okay to move forward, but that coming back to a quiet gait was what I really wanted. He started to let go of some his tension, but not all of it.
After ten minutes of that, I rode. His back was tight, but at least there was no bolting or spooking. He would soften and lower his neck for a stride or two, but then it would snap back up. We did lots of walk to trot to walk transitions, changes of bend, and ten-meter circles. He never just let his breath go completely, but he did take a breath here and there and let it out.
So you know what, as disappointing as it was that he reverted back to a tense horse, he kept it together and tried really hard to be a good boy.
He's still awesome!
It's hard when they go back a bit. I've realized that Carmen is always going to be reactive and things that get her up will probably always be a problem. BUT I'm now using these as opportunities to teach her how to work through it anyway. It is getting better but it's not easy and can really test your perseverance.
5/1/2017 08:36:21 am
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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%
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%: