From Endurance to Dressage
Sydney was very tense for Saturday's ride, but completely relaxed on Sunday. The ride lasted less than 15 minutes. We did some neck flexes at the walk to warm up, and then I asked for a forward trot. We crossed the diagonal a few times before I put him on the 20-meter circle tracking right. Boom! There it was.
Right away I rode the circle with the feeling of being on a square. I only used my outside aids to start. Once I felt that he was pretty balanced, I started gently squeezing and releasing the inside rein. His neck softened and he offered a nice stretch with some inside bend. I added some inside leg and gave a little cheer. Well done, Sydney. Well done!
I gave him a short walk break and then picked up the trot again, this time tracking left. I did some figure eights and then asked for a left lead canter. Again, right on cue with no drama. We took another walk break and I sent him right. He started to rush in a few places, but I stuck with Lois's tip of squeezing my fingers closed and then releasing right away. Sydney heard me and brought his pace back in line with my posting rhythm.
Things were so relaxed that I knew it was a good day to ask for a right lead canter. As I prepared for the transition, I made good and sure that he was solidly on my outside rein. And then, as quietly as I could, I sat softly and thought canter (just like I had with Speedy G). I felt him hesitate as he worked out what to do. He thought about grabbing the inside rein and ducking in, but then he realized that it was just a canter. And in that split second of hesitation, he went forward into the canter and kept his balance.
I was delighted. Some days are disastrous but other days just go your way.
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%: