From Endurance to Dressage
After the butt-kicking from the day before, Izzy was amazing on Sunday. I didn't lunge him because I don't want him to think that he needs to be lunged before every ride. The horse is on a huge turnout 24 hours a day which means he keeps himself moving throughout the day. It's also a bit of a walk from where I tack up to the arena, so he gets to warm up a bit during that time.
I tied Speedy in a new spot and asked him to kindly keep his marbles in his head. I hopped aboard Izzy and set off. As soon as were were clear of the mounting block, I did a quick check, asking him for a turn on the forehand. Oh, my! Was he ever quick to respond.
We did a few more turns in both directions, but this time I was able to focus on holding that inside front foot in place without taking a step forward. It wasn't done perfectly, but at this point, I am using the exercise for control much like I would do if I was doing groundwork.
From there we moved on to the trot, but unlike a lot of days, I was able to use the whole arena right away. For the month leading up to our last lesson, the one in early February, Izzy just got more and more rideable. I could put him anywhere I wanted at the speed I wanted, which was not the mach 10 he prefers. During the lesson, he was a raging lunatic, and for two rides after that the behavior continued.
The butt-kicking seems to have got him back on track. On Sunday, I was able to leg yield off the rail and back again. Speedy helped with that as he was tied right in the middle of the long side. Izzy was being so adjustable that I was even able to do the same thing at the canter. We didn't get quite as deep as needed for the shallow loop at First, Test 3, but we weren't too far off either.
On Monday, we did all again, and he was even better than the two previous days. I know there are many folks out there who question why I "put up" with Izzy's shenanigans. The truth is, this horse is really fun to ride. When we get past all of this baby horse stuff, he's going to be impressive. When he's listening, he's a naturally fantastic mover. He's elevated, swingy, and has power for days. This weekend, he gave me a tantalizing peek at our future.
His future self is worth the wait. In the meantime, I see a lot more turns on the forehand in his immediate future!
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%